From unemployed to starting a business that not only fills his but everyone’s stomach

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Nilesh, is a resident of Ghorpadi gaon, Vikas Nagar who lives with his family. Due to the circumstances at home he could not continue with his education. After passing his 12th grade he began working as a tele-caller but could not continue due to some unforeseen circumstances.

Nilesh was unable to find a new job and this brought a lot of difficulties to his family. His educational qualification and lack of skills in the digital medium created major hindrances. He came across the Digital Empowerment course through the mobilisation process in the community.

During the Digital Empowerment course, Nilesh got introduced to the online platforms for the very first time. He learnt the basics to having a proper digital presence. During a session, he got to know how the online platform can help in self-employment and earn a steady income.

“I was never aware of the opportunities available on the internet. The Digital Empowerment course has helped me ease my day-to-day life but, most importantly, helped me earn enough to support my family.”- Nilesh

Nilesh got the knowledge of PMC’s scheme for self-employment through one of the classes and saw this as an opportunity to begin his business. He enrolled for an online self-employment training session after which he applied for a shop act licence. Today, he owns a dosa centre in Vikas Nagar with an income to lead a comfortable life.

The Digital Empowerment program gives individuals from underprivileged communities to leverage the internet to improve the quality of their day-to-day life. The components of the Digital Empowerment curriculum focus on the ability to search on the internet, utilize e-Services, undertake cashless transactions and have a digital presence.

A story of sheer hard work that reaped the sweetest fruits

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A resident of Laxmi Nagar community in Yerwada, Tauseef is a persevering youth who has been by his family through all their ups and downs. His family’s sold fruits at the market as a vendor which was a major source of income for them. He has currently appeared for 12th-grade exams and also does odd jobs to help his family out financially.

He was a student of the second Online batch at Yerwada Lighthouse. Despite not having access to a smartphone, Tauseef took a lot of efforts to attend the online foundation course with his friend who lives close by. The lockdown rules during the pandemic often hindered this but he put every effort into reaching his friends home for attending the course.

During the Foundation course, Tauseef would actively participate in the activities conducted and slowly began to realize his true potential. Tauseef’s conditions worsened when he lost his license as a fruit vendor. To support his family, he worked as a truck that delivered vegetables & fruits to the markets early morning. Even though he had worked the whole night, Tauseef attended the online foundation course.

“The Lighthouse helped in difficult times during the pandemic. They provided my family with food when we had no source of income and helped me train myself to get a regular source of income. My family is grateful for their support.” Tauseef

Tauseef’s family also received food packets from PCC during the pandemic. Tauseef is currently placed with BigBasket which gets him a regular income to help his family. For Tauseef, learning is the only constant. Currently, he is pursuing an online course in Retail Management to improve the promotion of his business.

The Lighthouses are designed with a holistic approach to empower the underprivileged by giving them an opportunity to turn their life around. The motive here is not only to help them gain financial stability but also to provide them with emotional support while they’re on the way to self-realization.

Dreams Turned Into Reality

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Zeeshan Ansari was always inclined towards the fitness and health industry. He stayed updated with the latest trends in the industry too. Even though Zeeshan hailed from a small suburb on the outskirts of Pune, he had big dreams and aspirations.

He joined the Lighthouse with the aspiration to become a trained gym instructor and financially independent. During the Foundation course, he was always proactive and enthusiastic about every activity conducted. On learning his field of interest, the Lighthouse team helped him get the right training and further enrolling him in ABS Fitness Institute.

Zeeshan excelled his training and in a short span of two months, he joined one of the trendiest gyms in the city, Golds Gym, as a gym trainer. He now earns a living to support himself and his family. He is happy to be a part of the fitness industry and continues to learn new techniques to progress in his career.

“The mentors at the Lighthouse are very encouraging towards every student. They supported my aspirations and guided me to achieve my dreams and become financially independent.” – Zeeshan

The Lighthouse offers its students the freedom to choose their career paths and stand by them in every stage of their journey. Currently, there are 5 Lighthouses in Pune that are successfully transforming the lives of the underprivileged communities with the sole objective of enriching every life.

The metamorphosis of Aarati into a confident youth

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Speaking English fluently means that you are a smart person was the belief that Aarati Mulay, a home-maker, had for a long time. Her language in English was weak and this was the reason she doubted herself and never had confidence.

Aarati enrolled herself to the Warje Lighthouse primarily to learn and speak in English. Knowing about her interest in learning the language, the Lighthouse team encouraged her to enrol her for the English course along with the Foundation course.

During the activities of the Foundation course, she began to gain self-confidence slowly and steadily. She was always proactive and sincere and often asked questions and cleared all her doubts during the course. With time, her command over English also improved.

By the end of the courses, she transformed herself into a young and confident youth who aspires to achieve her dreams out of which one was to become financially independent. Aarti started applying for jobs and gave interviews regularly.

“The Lighthouse not only helped me ‘find the diamond in me’ but also made me independent and confident.” – Arati

The English & Foundation Course gave Aarati the confidence to answer all the questions with ease and she bagged herself a job at Astute group as a tele-caller. Today, she supports herself and her family with a comfortable living.

The Lighthouses are designed with a holistic approach to empower the underprivileged by giving them an opportunity to turn their life around. The motive here is not only to help them gain financial stability but also to provide them with emotional support while they’re on the way to self-realization.

“It’s never too late to begin again”- John and Sharlet Gaikwad

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John and Sharlet Gaikwad were at their lowest when they joined the Lighthouse. They needed a new purpose. The family had been facing hardships for quite some time and needed the motivation to begin again.

The Lighthouse team members and students gently reminded them that “it is fine to give oneself the permission to be happy again”. At the Lighthouse, amidst all the youth, they gradually opened up and felt a sense of belonging and fulfilment. The connections with their new Lighthouse friends made them realize their interests that gave their life a new meaning. After participating in a few activities, John learned he enjoyed cooking. He later decided to start his own canteen.

Initially, John faced difficulties but he was persistent. The Lighthouse team provided him with guidance regarding the costing model and sourcing new orders. Today, John has a job in a large company, running one of their cafeteria counters! His dream is coming true. Meanwhile, Sharlet realized she was inclined towards the beauty industry and enrolled for the Beauty Parlour course.

The Lighthouse continues to conduct sessions with John and Sharlet, and guide them on their successes and learnings. More than earning a livelihood, their motivation towards life is to connect with people and create a sense of belonging.

The Lighthouse program continues to motivate people like John and Sharlet and is determined towards changing lives and giving people a reason to live. The motive here is not only to help people gain financial stability but also to provide them with emotional support while they’re on the way to self-realization.