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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dreams ride skill route to IT citadel

A three-month computer training programme of Microsoft has turned around the lives of several youths from villages, not only with a set of skills but also jobs.

Trainees like Shahnawaz Hussain and Archana Kumari from villages in Muzaffarpur were just a few of the youths trained. Hussain has landed a job with a Bangalore company at a monthly salary of Rs 15,000. Earlier, he used to earn Rs 5,000 at a bag shop in his village. Archana has decided to work as a computer teacher at a local school. She will get a salary of Rs 2,500.

Both of them, like 8,000 beneficiaries in Bihar, were trained at community technology learning centres in their villages. Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd. is running the programme in collaboration with Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, a non-government organisation.

On Wednesday, the organisations held a community development programme at the office of State Institute of Health and Family Welfare in Patna. The aim was to allow the beneficiaries to share their story before and after the training programme.

Archana Kumari from Rami Rampur village said: My father is a farmer and does not earn a lot. To support my family I thought to do the three-month course. After the course, I have been offered a job of a computer teacher at a local school.

Microsoft is running Community Technology Learning Centre in six villages of Bihar where rural youths are being imparted IT skills to make them suitable candidates for jobs. So far, around 8,000 people have been trained in the state and 5,000 among them have got jobs, said Manju Dhasmana, communication affairs manager, Microsoft.

She added that several of the youths have got jobs of supervisor and cashier and are earning anything between Rs 3,500 and Rs 10,000.

Apoorva Oza, the chief executive officer of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, said: We trained the youths in basics of computer like MS Word, Tally and use the Internet. Several of the youths have got jobs in accountancy sector after the training.

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