Education has advanced a lot and it keeps on progressing to keep up with the demands of the advancement in the skill sets needed by the Industrial World. While the regular students benefit from the advanced lessons, those students who drop out of school due to various reasons keep lagging behind. These students, as they grow up, become ill-equipped, with their meagre knowledge, to keep pace with the ever-advancing world and so lose all credibility for future employment.
Juana Foundation, in association with CBSE, has collaborated with M. G. World Vision School to try and rectify this situation. They have inaugurated a first-of-its-kind Skill Centre, specifically for the children of the LGBTQ community as well as other school dropouts. Their vision is to help the school dropouts learn digital literacy and data entry so that the students can have a sustainable career.
This CBSE skill centre was inaugurated in MG World Vision School on 29th July 2022. This is the first of its kind skill centre to be inaugurated in the state of Uttar Pradesh as well as the first to be initiated by CBSE. The beneficiaries of this skill centre would be getting two certificates at the end of their training.
There were some notable names at the inauguration of this skill centre. Along with Principal Dr Mrinalini Anant, there was Ms Rudrani Chhetri, Mrs Swati Ganguly (President of Juana Foundation and Co-founder of Juana Technologies Pvt, Ltd., and Edufiq technologies), Mr Osborne Dsouza (Vice – President of Juana Foundation and Co-Founder Director of Juana Technologies Pvt, Ltd., and Edufiq Technologies), and Dr G. Mahesh (Professor, Dept. of Social Work, Indira Gandhi National Open University).
The inauguration event started with the Lamp Lighting Ceremony after which the Volunteer students introduced the chief guests to the audience. This introduction was followed by a short skit on transgenders that showed the gender roles, discrimination and societal differences prevailing in the society. This skit was followed by speeches from the chief guests who all gave their views on the inauguration of this skill centre.
Ms Rudrani Chhetri started her speech by thanking the parents for she believed that without parental support, the road ahead becomes very hard. She also compared the society during her time, when the people of this community had no help and had to hide away, to the society nowadays where there are so many people who work together for the betterment of this community. She further explained that during that time, there was no technological advancement, no Google, or any search engines where people of this community could search for and understand when they feel confused and therefore had no knowledge about their rights and choices. Thus, they were forced to drop out of educational institutions out of shame and fear. And yet now, this skill centre has been built for the betterment of the people of her community so that they could have sustainable careers and live with pride.
Dr G. Mahesh stated that this was a proud moment for this was the first of its kind skill centre in India and thus came with the responsibility of working with the bigger perspective to show that inclusive education for this community is possible and that minor communities should not be neglected if the society is to keep progressing.
Mr Osborne Dsouza, during his speech, mentioned in his speech how technology is very important and thus technological transformation is extremely necessary for this community. Juana Foundation aims to give the minor communities and the beneficiaries under each project, more opportunities so that they can have future employment openings.
Mrs Swati Ganguly, during her speech, explained the Juana Foundation and its purpose which is to help neglected minor communities and minor societies using their three approaches – Intervention, Education and Advocacy. In simple terms, Juana Foundation operates on realising its vision of a world where hearts and minds are full, people are empowered, and life is healthy. She also thanked the people who have come forward to help the foundation on its path to fulfilling its mission to be a catalyst in people’s holistic development and provide sustainable education and health for all – irrespective of differences. She also gave a little summary of the four major projects of the organisation. Project Nawal, Project Navya, Project Vriddhi and Project Unnati.
The event was arranged in such a manner that the speeches were interspersed with skits, dances, and poem recitations to keep the audience engaged and interactive throughout the program. At the end of the event, the principal, Dr Mrinalini Anant, thanked everyone for attending the event. She especially thanked the “Gramin Vikas Evam Manav Sewa Sansthan Muzaffarnagar” NGO for providing them with the beneficiaries for this skill centre. During this, “Braveheart” badges were given to all the enrolled beneficiaries, and it was explained that one student from the school would be allotted to each of the beneficiaries to help and guide them during their sessions. Thus, the event ended on a happy note providing hope for the enrolled beneficiaries.