Prema Goswami is one of our students who successfully completed a Biometry course from Garud, THT IT & skill center about a year ago. She hails from Kohina village, Block Garud in District Bageshwar of Kumaon Himalayas. Her mother, Asha Devi, has known The Himalaya Trust in the past as she attended one of its Birth Attendant Trainings.
Prema lost her father when she was just 14. Since there were two younger brothers too, Prema and her mother had to work hard to sustain the family. She was always interested in her studies and thus she topped not only her class, but the school itself, consistently from class 9 to 12. She also gave tuitions to other children to help the family.
THT started a pilot initiative on IT skill in 2014 with the objective of skilling himalayan youth and encouraging IT integration with all aspects of employment for better results. She saw a newspaper advertisement about computer training, issued by THT. In this three-month Biometry course, THT was offering basic computer education too. She took mother’s permission and joined it, along with 64 girls and boys from this valley. Only 16 students passed this course, since computers were a new thing for many of the rural kids.
Prema was one of the successful students. Now she had a Diploma in her hand. She applied for a job, to Silvertech Company of Ahmedabad. She was accepted and was asked to work in Almora at a monthly salary of Rs 10,000. After six months, the company sent her to Agra on a raise. Now, she was getting Rs 13,500 per month. After sometime, she was asked to join at Hyderabad. This was a difficult decision since her mother was not keeping well and she did not want to go too far away. She decided to resign and return home.
She was promptly offered a job by The Himalaya Trust. She is serving happily here, while taking care of her mother and two younger brothers. She says that thanks to the Biometry course, she has seen a little bit of the world beyond mountains and now knows that she is capable of dealing with life anywhere. She knows her true worth now.
Sundar and Kishan, two other students from the same course, are doing very well also, having set up their own shop; they specialize in making Adhaar cards, Marriage cards, Photo ID etc. As students, they travelled 22 Km up and down, from Gwaldam, to attend this course. Today, they think that their hard work has paid back well. They are able to sustain their needs without leaving their village in the Himalayas.
Currently, more than 100 students are learning IT skills in THT Garur center and many more are willing to join future courses.