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Since May 2016, the Tech Mahindra Foundation has been running its SMART (Skills for Market Training) Academies to offer advanced and long-term courses in some specialised vocations.
The initiative was initially launched as the SMART programme in 2012 and later evolved into SMART Academies. Launched under Tech Mahindra Foundation’s employability vertical, it has a two-fold aim — to create, build and nurture a skilled workforce and uplift youngsters, transforming them into skilled world-class professionals.
The SMART programme has tasted much success. The courses have helped 116,130 (and counting, since March 31, 2021) youth. Fifty percent of these are women beneficiaries who have acquired advanced industry-specific skills in healthcare, digital technologies and logistics.
The SMART Academies are one of the pillars of Mahindra’s skilling initiatives, which focus on the youth who are the protagonists of India’s economic growth story. Over the last 15 years, the Group has skilled 500,000 youth and created 100,000 jobs.
Here are the stories of women who believed — in themselves and the SMART Academies — and had the courage to #BreakTheBias.
Despite hailing from an economically challenged background, Aarzoo knew she wanted to build a better life for herself and her family. Her father supported her dream and encouraged her to study further. Such was Aarzoo’s commitment that she travelled around 50km every day from her house in Pinjore to the SMART Academy for Healthcare in Mohali. She was considered an inspiration and was even offered a scholarship by the Academy. The introvert soon transformed into a confident and outgoing young lady, and she currently works as a Dialysis Technician.
While growing up, Sonal Chavan always knew she was expected to support her family. However, she was determined that her career would be something that she was passionate about. She discovered her passion for patient care while doing the General Duty Assistant course at the SMART Academy for Healthcare in Mumbai. Sonal is currently working as a Patient Care Attendant. “When I received the PPE kit while undergoing training, tears rolled down my face, and I felt like I have achieved something,” she says.
“To be a hero, all you need to do is to believe in yourself,” says Pooja Pal. The youngster completed the two-year-long Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Diploma Course at a SMART Academy, where she credits the counsellors for having helped her identify her strengths. Not one to rest on her laurels, Pooja plans to pursue an advanced EMT course soon.
Share your congratulatory messages for these brave youngsters and other SMART Academy students like them in the comments section below.