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Jobs for Change

The story of a young boy who gained wisdom on Mumbai’s streets and went on to become a millionaire just by luck won global accolades.

The Yuva Parivartan Second Chance Career Fair looked to bring youth from Mumbai’s slums into the mainstream

The story of a young boy who gained wisdom on Mumbai’s streets and went on to become a millionaire just by luck won global accolades. And,bringing the concept of Slumdog Millionaire from a celluloid dream to a ground reality this weekend was a career fair for youngsters from Mumbai’s teeming slums,the Kherwadi Social Welfare Association’s ‘Yuva Parivartan Second Chance Career Fair.

While the career fair has been held each year for five years now,this year saw new hopes and dreams among children and organisers,all buoyed by the success that two children from Mumbai’s slums have tasted earlier this year.

“There are a lot of similarities between the characters in the movie and the youngsters who come in search of jobs. Armed with a vast storehouse of latent energy and talent,these individuals are a force to reckon with. Brought into the folds of mainstream society,they can be part of a win-win solution,” said Cyril Lobo,director of the career fair this year.

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This initiative is to create opportunities for youth,mostly school and college dropouts,who would otherwise not be able to enter the job market.

Std VI pass and shabbily dressed,a shy Summet Manklahasin (12) is unable to fill out his form in English but he is pinning his hopes to get a decent job on this fair. “I worked as a canteen boy but now I want to work in a corporate office as an executive,” is his dream.

Having been married long before the legal age,Sherya Kadam (23) is now a mother of a two-year-old. She has worked as tailor,but is now hoping to get a job in computers. “Computers are the in thing right now,” she says. “Sewing will not yield me much as computers will.”

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The Yuva Parivartan movement was started by former President A P J Abdul Kalam to enable school dropouts to learn skills and earn a living. Jobs like mobile repairing,air conditioning and refrigeration repairs,motor mechanic,motor driving,wireman,fashion designing,beautician,hospitality and nursing are offered for both boys and girls aged 16 to 24 years.

Meanwhile recession put a small spoke in the wheels. “Last year,we had 25 companies with 100 stalls looking out for kids. But this year,only 12 companies are participating,” said Lobo.

First published on: 30-03-2009 at 01:33:36 am
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