A story of journey towards independence and responsibility…

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Mamta Kanwar Shekhawat, lives with her parents and 4 brothers, total 9 members in a small one room house in Prakash Mill Compound area in Lower Parel. Mamta’s father hails from Rajasthan and moved to Mumbai for seeking employment. Having completed his education only till grade 4, he worked in a mill and started his family in Mumbai. Mamta’s mother has never been to school and always stayed at home to look after her children especially Mamta’s younger brother who is differently abled. Mamta’s eldest brother, the first graduate from his family, is married and has two children. Mamta’s youngest brother has completed 9th grade and is not interested in continuing his education further.

When Mamta and her elder brothers were young, Mamta’s father was not willing to send them to school due to financial constraints. Mamta’s mother being uneducated wanted her children to go to school and make a better life for themselves. On mother’s insistence, Mamta was enrolled in nearest Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal School along with her brothers. Mamta’s father had severe alcohol addiction issues due to which the environment at home was not very conducive for the development of the siblings. Despite of the frequent fights at home for money and father’s alcohol issues; Mamta completed her 10th grade as she wanted to support her mother by taking responsibility of her own life. Not knowing her actual interests and passion, Mamta followed her peers to pursue further education in Commerce field in Siddharth College in Mumbai only with a dream to get a good job, be independent and support her family. Meanwhile, Mamta’s both brothers had started working and the family felt that things would change for better. But soon tragedy struck the family when Mamta’s elder brother passed away in a freak bike accident within a week after her eldest brother got married. Mamta decided to stay back in her native town to look after her grief-stricken mother. She only returned to Mumbai after 8 months, as only 3 months were left for 12th grade exam. Mamta requested her tuition class teacher to give her extra lessons and managed to pick up on the lost lessons and appear for her 12th Grade exams.

After Mamta completed her Bachelors in Commerce, Mamta’s mother wanted her to learn stitching for earning a living and work at home. Mamta felt the need to upgrade her skills to secure a job and that’s when she got to know about Bright Future’s Youth Development and Training Center. Mamta’s mother was approached by Bright Future team and counselled on what value Bright Future course would add to Mamta’s personality and her job prospects in market. Seeing that Mamta’s mother was not keen on sending Mamta to work, the team convinced her mother that the course will empower her daughter to be independent, support their family as father could no longer work due to sickness and thus take charge of her situation and life as a whole. Mamta then joined the 3 months program from May 2015 and started coming to the center every day. During the course she picked up computer skills, communication skills, developed awareness about development sector and also learnt that there are so many others like her who need guidance from organisations like Bright Future. Mamta was not inclined to work in a Mall or any Retail outlet instead she wanted to do something more meaningful and fulfilling and that’s when the opportunity to work with Bright Future as a receptionist came along. Mamta’s mother was delighted that she will be based out of office and with an organisation and with people she already knew from her training program.

Mamta started working from January 2016 as a receptionist but she was very skeptical if she will be able to pull it off. Kishor Palve, Bright Future’s Founder, personally gave Mamta inputs on how she could improve on her office administration skills and she soon developed skills in receiving people and calls on reception, interacting with vendors, managing basic recruitment processes under HR Manager’s guidance. Being curious about all that people did around her at work, Mamta took the onus of her learning and learnt documentation, excel and basic HR processes by finding mentors on her own. When the existing HR Manager moved out of Bright Future, it was Mamta who was assigned the responsibility of managing the function till a new person was hired in that place. Keeping in mind her performance during that phase, potential and openness to learn, she was promoted to Human Resources Assistant’s position from May 2017.

Mamta sees a lot of changes in her in form of her ability to critically analyse, emotionally more stable, ability to learn from her environment and more responsible. She also learnt how peer pressure affects youth, other issues related to youth and how to use positive disciplining for change which helped her relate to the issues faced by her younger brother who got into a bad company and had to be talked out of it. On personal front, Mamta is able to establish better relationships, resolves conflicts at home and takes responsibility of members of her family. She also encourages her sister-in-law to be more independent by giving her more exposure to the world outside their home. Mamta’s mother says, “She has grown a lot and has become independent and takes care of all of us.” Mansi, Mamta’s supervisor at work, says,” Mamta is very hardworking, always willing to learn new things at work and uses feedback positively to improve her work.” Kishor says, “Mamta is very honest and assertive when it comes to expressing her thoughts and opinions. She has developed good people management skills and works well with external and internal stakeholders of the organisation.” It is very heart-warming to see Mamta’s transformation into an independent and responsible young girl!!

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