Purpose! A word that’s hard to wrap your head around, a powerful word, a word that defines your existence, & a reason to wake up every morning.
Do we value things like material comforts, extravagance, fame, glory etc or is it about fulfilment & the small acts of kindness that can make a lasting difference in the lives of the not so privileged?
Despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, social and economic backwardness is a poignant issue in India. At Unnati we firmly believe that there are enough opportunities for change, and through our intervention we can take a generation above the poverty line in just 50 Days, forever and therein lies the quintessence of our being.
I have felt our education system is dominant in focussing only on knowledge derived through books and ignores the kinesthetic aspect of learning thereby achieving the desired result of employment for the youth is questionable. Thus not ensuring that the youth are settled with a job even after 10-15 years of education. This realisation that our education system is not delivering results led to the program Unnati being formalised.
When we started Unnati, we realised the inherent strengths of the program through the various examples of how it changed people’s lives. These results cannot be illustrated in words. It can only be experienced. We do experience it every day and that is what keeps us going day in and day out. We truly believe that we have an extremely special way to tackle the daunting challenges faced by these youth. The intervention happens at a very low cost which again is so important for our country. It is because of these factors that we feel the strong need to scale and help many youth in this country.
Take a classic case of Srinivas who hails from a village near Mandya in Karnataka. He came to Bangalore and was working in a shop for Rs. 1500. He slept in the shop at night and could not afford much but still managed to send home Rs. 500 every month. He went through the Unnati program and landed with a job of over Rs. 8000 per month in Cap Gemini. This was a turning point of his life. He later identified one of the critical problems as water for his 2 acre land. He saved money to put up a bore well pump by the end of the year. Over the next few years, he continued on his job and grew to become team lead. The thoughtful decision to irrigate his land brought his family out of a dire situation. Few years down the line he ensured that his sister got educated and married the right person. Srinivas got married and the first thing he ensured was to send his wife to Unnati. Both of them worked together and bought a plot, built their dream home in the outskirts of Bangalore and are now leading a fulfilled life with a child. All this has happened in a period of less than 8 years.
We at Unnati largely concentrate on the fundamental techniques of understanding and mastering myriad skills. The advantages of mastering skills for an individual are, they help raise confidence, improve productivity and give them a sense of direction.
When we talk of authenticity we mean trustworthiness, being unpretentious and purity of the intent. We ensure that we always walk the talk.
Quality to us is the urge to excel and this forms our driving force and keeps us on our toes. It’s also the professionalism with which we execute and the ease with which we go about accomplishing our tasks and all this matter.
Effectiveness – Today under CSR, everyone is talking about impact. For us the essence of good work is always connected to the impact. Unnati is about transforming the youth, being relevant to the needs of the market, ensuring that the youth trained have a job after the training and are able to progress in their jobs. The growth factor in their life is critical.
Dedication – Whatever we do is out of Love for the country. We love the work we do, and it is done with a fierce sense of commitment.
Over the years we have realised that transformation has to happen through change in value systems of the youth and our entire model is based on this. Our efforts are more to empower the youth through strengthening of their value systems, rather than just skilling. Skilling will definitely get them a job but when accompanied with a strong value system it earns them the much required respect. The underprivileged youth require this to face the many challenges in their lives. We ensure that their experience at Unnati is inspirational and this is what brings about the magical transformation.
We have always felt that we are blessed by the Almighty and supported by our well-wishers, throughout our journey. The gratitude we bear can only be expressed by us through our work. We are fortunate to attract likeminded people and most of the top management do pro bono work. The commitment is always 100 % and never compromised on. For the management, it is about being inspired by the impact, the values for which each one in the organisation stand for. At Unnati it is about doing work with complete focus on delivering and not about owning the work or the organisation.
Unnati was started in the year 2003 and over the past 15 years we have trained and placed over 25,000 youth. During the year 2018-19 we are sure of touching the 5 figure mark of 10,000 youth. Considering the massive population and the huge number of unemployed youth in this country, this intervention may seem a very small drop in the ocean, but for us at Unnati it is all about spreading joy and happiness to many and enjoying the journey on a personal basis every day. The fact that a small intervention like this can make a family go above poverty line in just 50 days is extremely motivating and inspiring. For me the Quintessence of being is about “Bringing in joy and happiness on the faces of those that cannot make it on their own and to essentially enjoy that journey along with them daily”