On World Youth Skills Day today, we take a look at some of the skills youngsters have discovered during the lockdown period
1. Turja Basu Mallik, a final-year MBA student of NITIE, Mumbai, spent the lockdown in his Calcutta home, learning some data analytics tools to upskill himself. “I enrolled in courses offered by different online education platforms like Coursera and Udemy, and also YouTube videos were there for further reference,” said Turja, who has done a course on VBA and Macros, advanced excel tools used for automating menial tasks in excel from Udemy. He has also learnt Tableau, a data visualisation tool from Tableau’s official website and Udemy, and Python, a programming language from Coursera. YouTube taught him Statistica, a statistical modelling tool.
2. Sharanya Gupta, a final-year student of NSHM Knowledge Campus, picked up video editing during this lockdown, with the help of a simple app on his phone. “Being a student of media sciences, I have always had a knack for understanding the basics of video editing, but somehow never put much effort to work. When the lockdown started, I started digging up old pictures and videos from my travel experiences in my archive. While I have learnt the basics of editing in class, this really helped me to sharpen my skills. I use the video editing app YouCut, which is really easy to use,” said Sharanya.
3. Shrobona Sen, final-year masters student of English at Rabindra Bharati University, chose to learn custard making to fill up the lockdown period. “During the lockdown I decided to learn to make something that will be both yummy and healthy. Custard can make boring fruits interesting and hence I tried my hand at making mixed fruit custard,” said Shrobona.
4. Ayan Sarkar, a third-year student of electrical engineering at Techno International New Town, turned to music to spend his homebound time composing melodies and writing verses. “The lockdown has given me enough time to contemplate and compose different kinds of music and write verses which I have wanted to do since long,” said Ayan, who stays in Howrah.
5. Quazi Mowaz Ahmed, who lives on AJC Bose Road, utilised this time to teach himself the basics and benefits of hydroponic farming, a system of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. “I spent most of the lockdown days in my native town of Dwarka, Bolpur, where I learnt a great deal about organic farming. The hydroponic technique of farming is a great way to harvest organic fruits and vegetables while keeping the costs and environmental waste to a minimum,” said the final-year economics student of The Bhawanipur Education Society College.
6. A third-year student of mass communication and videography at St. Xavier’s College, Akanksha Ojha was always fascinated by psychology but never got a chance to study it. “I got to know about this online internship on graphology (understanding personality through handwriting) offered by Cognizavest and immediately enrolled. I learnt why we tend to behave in a certain way and that there are so many layers to us in terms of our socio-emotional behaviour, childhood, organisational skills, anxiety, etc, which can be analysed simply by the different elements of our handwriting,” said Akanksha, a resident of Howrah.
7. For Payal Roy, a third-year student of journalism and mass communication of Shri Shikshayatan College, the lockdown situation spurred her to channel her creativity across a range of DIY skills that she picked up from YouTube. “I learned making miniature foods and crafted tiny versions of biryani, chicken roll, momos, breakfast platters and what not with my leftover polymer clay. I tried my hands at chalk carving as well. Carving out cartoon characters out of chalk is too much fun,” said Payal, who lives in Howrah.
8. Meghatri Mitra, a final-year masters student of English at Rabindra Bharati University picked up wall painting to spend her lockdown days with, looking up YouTube videos to learn the basics and etch beautiful floral patterns on the four walls of her home. “YouTube helped me a lot to do this,” said Meghatri.
9. Amanjit Singh, a second-year mass communication student of St. Xavier’s College, used his time during the lockdown to pursue his hobbies of magic and Cardistry. “I am into magic and Cardistry for quite some time but due to the lockdown I took up my passion and spent more time on it,” said Amanjit. The resident of Shakespeare Sarani shares his tricks on Instagram and YouTube.
10. Procheta Bhattacharyya, a second-year student of Netaji Subhash Engineering College, dreamt of becoming an author from childhood. “The motivation I received from my friends and my readers on social media pushed me to write poetry during the pandemic. I submitted my drafts and self-published two poetry — Coexistence: A War and Coexistence: A Dilemma — books through Notion Press,” said Procheta.
11. According to Rishabh Karamchandani, a fourth-year B.Tech student at Amity University Kolkata, learning a new language is like a workout for the mind, boosting one’s mental capacity. “Despite being fluent in five languages, I’m always looking to learn new languages, and the excess time during the lockdown came as the perfect opportunity to do so. I installed Duolingo on my phone and started taking Spanish lessons,” said Rishabh.
12. One midnight, Vineet Maliakal and Shivam Bhotika, both third-year students of St. Xavier’s College, decided to start a podcast, realising the lack of podcasts that talk about ideas involving students and connecting the world with innovative socio-cultural initiatives in a friendly tone. “Over the last few weeks, we have met more than a dozen activists, C-suite executives and artists virtually and discussed their views of the world and things around their work,” said the duo. Their podcast, Oftenly Wicked is available to stream on all major podcasting platforms.
13. Anjishnu Roy, a third-year student of Kalyani Government Engineering College, was always interested in art, but decided to utilise his free time to take the plunge into digital art. “I was curious about the intricacies of graphic design and decided to start learning digital art from YouTube and posting my artwork on Instagram,” said Anjishnu, who lives in Guwahati. Apart from the praise that poured in from friends and family, what stayed with him was his juxtaposition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night with an iconic frame from Masaan, which drew appreciation from Varun Grover, Richa Chadha and Shweta Tripathi, prompting him to keep going with his art.
14.Prachie Bedi, a postgraduate mass communication and public relations student at St. Xavier’s College, is an aspiring film-maker. She picked up many new skills and completed a one-minute film depicting “the three months of relatively peaceful quarantine” of her life. “I have already done cinematography, direction and handled the camera for my projects. But during the lockdown I thought of exploring other aspects of film-making. So I learnt Adobe Photoshop from YouTube that helped me to design posters for the promotion of my big crowd-funded project Slave to the Groove. I also started learning about Stop Motion Animation from YouTube. I am also attending tutorials by filmmakers on social media to pick up as many tips and tricks possible,” said Prachie.
15. Purabi Chatterjee, a final-year postgraduate student of NSHM Knowledge Campus, took to YouTube tutorials to learn how to play guitar and rekindled her childhood bond with painting. “I always wanted to play guitar but my college schedule didn’t permit it. My brother has a guitar. When the lockdown happened, it was really nerve-wrecking, sitting at home all day so I thought that why not try something new. I have started learning guitar from YouTube tutorials,” said Purabi, who used to paint a lot as a kid but lost touch with it and the lockdown made her go back to it. “I painted the walls and windowpanes of my room. Sticking to your hobbies is what you can do to bide time productively and I want to also learn other forms of painting online,” she added.
16. Gargee Basu, a final-year masters student of Rabindra Bharati University, learned Warli art. “The pandemic situation is difficult for everyone. So I took refuge in the simplicity of village art. As it was not possible to go to any village right now to spend time or take photos, I wanted to bring out the folk culture in my drawings. Hence, Warli art was something I wanted to try. I have used real stick and ropes to make the elements like a swing, look realistic. I learnt it through YouTube,” said Gargee.
17. Summers are all about treating ourselves with mangoes and ice creams and Dipsha Santra, a student of Rabindra Bharati University, blended the two by learning to make mango kulfi. “I thought of using the mango to make some tasty dessert. I went on to learn how to make mango kulfi and I was successful too,” said Dipsha.
18. A final-year student of The Bhawanipur Education Society College, Mihika Ghelani had been an artist in her schooldays but eventually distanced herself from her hobby when in college. “When the lockdown had just begun, I used to spend most of my time scrolling through social media apps, often to my mother’s disappointment. Then one day, while I was going through Pinterest, I came across a few doodles and comic strips which encouraged me to pick up my brushes again,” she said. After her new-found inspiration and her mother’s constant push to do something productive, she began working on doodles, comic strips and origami and sharing them on her Instagram page. “Doodling and comic strips usually require specialised pens and brushes but since they were difficult to come by at this time, I worked with whatever I could find at home,” said Mihika.
19. Sayantan Chandra, a third-year student of St. Xavier’s College, has been an avid chess player since childhood but he decided to begin streaming online chess tournaments during the lockdown on his social media handles. He took it a step further, by donning the role of commentator, in addition to being a player for the first time. “I started commentary with the intention of boosting our local chess culture, but to see several grandmasters be a part of the tournaments was extremely encouraging,” said the Sealdah resident.
20Vedant Karia, a third-year student of St. Xavier’s College, decided to start making memes and one-liners and post them on his Instagram profile. “I’ve always been a lover of memes, and had some ideas but never actually went through with them before the lockdown, making this a fun new hobby,” said the Salt Lake resident.