Kartavya members with slum children in Hatia
Geography scholar Sanjay Manjhi may be its star find, but members of Kartavya, the students’ outfit of National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT), Ranchi, want many others to shine.
The 800-member outfit, with two centres at Hatia and Tupudana to teach needy children, now wants to equip rural women from the twin areas with vocational training.
Courses on the radar range from embroidery and sewing to computers. Participants will be women from low-income groups who currently work as domestic helps and daily wage labourers.
“Our main aim is to link the underprivileged sections with the socio-economic mainstream. Everyone has the right to discover his or her full potential and lead a better life,” said Kartavya team coordinator Sudhanshu Kumar.
But equipping women with income-generating skills would have a far-reaching impact, hopes Kartavya.
“It is our fond hope that the women will become financially self-independent and run their family decently. If a mother earns, her children get educated. She doesn’t squander her earnings,” Sudhanshu smiled.
Right now, at both Hatia and Tupudana, around 100 underprivileged children study to prepare themselves for schools later. Members then give them everything needed for studies — school uniform, fees, books, notebooks.
Of course, there’s the youth Sanjay, featured in The Telegraph (Sweeper & scholar, he’s proud of both, April 6). He was just another poverty-stricken rural talent with no hope of completing his education. A chance meeting with Kartavya members changed his life.
Today, this MPhil student of geography is as proud of his academic CV as he is of the fact that he works as a Kartavya mentor and an NIFFT canteen odd-jobs man.
The summer vocational course for women — mothers and sisters of the children currently enrolled at the two centres — will pave the way for many more success stories, said Sudhanshu.
“We decided to take up the cause of these women when we realised that they can’t make both ends meet due to acute poverty. Their husbands don’t give them financial support to run the family,” he said.
Every day of the week, once women complete their household chores, they will assemble for a one-hour training at Kartavya’s Hatia centre.
“We have two sewing machines, one embroidery machine and one computer at our centre for the women to use for their hands-on training,” he said, adding that the number of participants would be 50 to start with.
“As the numbers swell, so will our batches. Our summer vacation starts from June. We will accordingly set our timings and rope in graduates from nearby slums as teachers, too,” Sudhanshu added.