Betappa Gowda – 39th Batch – Retail – +91-9986183846
‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.’ – Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi’s above quote seems to perfectly fit Betappa Gowda’s life situation. Betappa Gowda’s family is from Tumkur district. He has a sister, and used to live with his parents & grandparents. Agriculture was the family’s business, and his father was the sole bread winner. The lands yielded seasonally and from an income perspective, the monthly family income, after taking care of all that was needed to sustain the farmland, was a dismal Rs. 4000.
In many such agricultural families, as we have observed during the interviews, there is a lot of focus on education for the next generation. In line with that, Betappa’s parents made sure that their children continued their education, while the parents focussed on the financial backing necessary to run the household. Betappa started pursuing a 3 year Diploma in Electronics & Communication before joining Unnati, and hopes to complete the course this summer. His sister is now studying to get a Bachelors’ degree in Science.
When Betappa and his family were wondering about his future, one of Betappa’s friends mentioned Unnati to the family. The friend was a student of the 38th batch. He was originally a tractor driver & a JCT operator. Unnati had transformed this friend’s life and he mentioned to Betappa about how Unnati helped him with “living skills” and computer skills. Amazed at the opportunity, Betappa took the next available transport to Bangalore. In his own words, he “jumped into the decision without thinking of anything”. He had not consulted his parents, he had merely told them that he’d be away for 70 days.
Betappa chose the retail vocation. Once he had more details on Unnati & what they do, he did tell his parents and they were equally happy and excited for him. Betappa recalls that he always admired people who spoke well on stage, and wanted to be successful at it himself.
He says Unnati gave him many many important lessons for his career and his life. Of them, he mentioned the below as his most significant learning:
- Instilling confidence in students & letting them get over their inhibitions: Betappa got over his stage-fear, and by the time he graduated, was able to converse fluently with everyone.
- The culture of respecting one and all: He recalls that everyone at Unnati was very encouraging, there was no ragging, no mockery; nothing negative. And this, he says, helped many a student transform.
- Healthy Interaction between the students and teachers: Be it class activities, stress-management, money-management or other life skills training sessions, there was always a sense of transparency & trust in the classes that ensured maximum participation.
Betappa thoroughly enjoyed his 70-day course at Unnati. When he completed, he was selected to work at the ‘Apple of My I’ store. He proudly mentions that he was one of the first students from his batch to’ve been placed.
Betappa has completed 7 months on the job. Since he specialized in Retail, he says the job has become easier for him to handle. In 7 months, he has been elevated from sales executive to cash-in-charge to now being a “store in-charge”. He is very happy about his progress, especially considering that 3-4 senior colleagues are still awaiting their chance. He received very good comments during his half-yearly appraisal. His annual income is Rs. 96,000, and is expected to increase this month.
When asked about his career goal, Betappa mentioned that he wants his organisation to grow (being responsible), and he personally wants to handle a chain of 3 stores in 2 years.
Betappa is all of 19 years old & has so much clarity in thought. He mentions that village folks like him get a chance to survive, thanks to Unnati. He says if one listens to the teachers at Unnati & follows their instruction without bias, they will automatically be successful.
Team Unnati is very happy about Betappa’s success and wishes him a very bright future!
Contribution by Sukanya Kuppuswamy ( volunteer )