empowerment

Unnati – The steering light

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel..’ – Socrates.

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Unnati kindled one such flame in Tamilarasu. Tamilarasu is from a small town in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu. His family included his parents and two siblings – a brother and a sister. Tamilarasu’s father & brother were the earning members of the family. His father was a school teacher. And before Tamil joined Unnati, his family income was around Rs. 20000 a month.

Tamilarasu had completed his Bachelors degree in Economics. He was in a confused state of mind as to what to pursue next, and landed up doing a Teacher’s training course and subsequently  a bachelor’s study in Cooperative banks. Yoga always interested Tamilarasu. It was in one of his Yoga classes that Tamilarasu learnt about Unnati. He was desperate to settle down quickly and thought Unnati would help him settle down well.

Tamilarasu thus joined the BPO vocation in the 18th batch of Unnati. As with almost everyone else that we speak to, he vows by Unnati. He attributes all his success in life to Unnati, and says he cannot imagine a life in which Unnati did not exist. While at Unnati, Tamilarasu points  to three very important life lessons he learnt:

1.   Never to waste food: He recalls being taught about the importance of every morsel of food, and the multiple number of working hands that go into producing them. His entire family now practices this good habit.

2.  Getting over stage fear: Having studied in the Tamil Medium, Tamilarasu had very limited knowledge of Spoken English. He was reluctant to communicate in English when he first joined Unnati. Tamilarasu says Unnati gave him multiple opportunities to stand up on stage and deliver a speech. This, he says, improved his customer-facing confidence.

3.  Preparedness for the job: Tamilarasu mentions the extent to which Unnati would coach the students with mock interviews / role-plays and follow-up feedback sessions. It is this attention to detail that has helped students like Tamilarasu find a good foothold and achieve successes in life!

Tamilarasu also mentioned that many faculty / leaders at Unnati practice what they preach, and lead by example. This, according to him has inspired and will continue to inspire many students.

After completing the course at Unnati, Tamilarasu got an accounts job in Chennai. Pararallely, he went and trained at an auditor’s office. This was in 2007-08, where he was paid around Rs. 3500 a month. Tamilarasu’s interest in learning also helped him in his career. He found an advanced auditing job in Dharmapuri, near his hometown. This new job paid him Rs. 12000 a month, but it seemed higher because he was closer to home, and smaller town meant lesser living expenses.

Tamilarasu soon found a job with Jindal Fibres at Dharmapuri. Jindal pays him around Rs. 15000 a month, which has helped Tamilarasu almost double his family income. Tamilarasu has been working with Jindal for almost 2 years now.

Tamilarasu did not relax with such successes in his career. His quest for knowledge and his interest to learn new things seems to be perennial.

He pursued advanced studies in acupuncture and alternate healing techniques. He is now pursuing his masters in Yoga (M. Sc.).

Tamilarasu’s dream is to begin some kind of an alternate healing centre, and help people maintain healthy bodies. He envisions that as an industry where he can create employment opportunities for four to five people, and instil good values in them just like Unnati has done for him. He says Unnati is God’s gift to him and that he has got a ‘never-say-no-to-work’ attitude, thanks to the training at Unnati.

There’s even a small poem that Tamilarasu wrote for Unnati which roughly translates into “Unnati was my steering light when I was tossing in the torrents of life!”

We wish Tamilarasu the very best in all that he does, and sincerely wish that he is the torch-bearer that he dreams of becoming!

Contribution by Sukanya Kuppuswamy ( volunteer )

Team Unnati

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