“At Gurukul I learnt to face my fears. Everyone has problems in their lives, just like I do. At Gurukul we learnt to take these problems head on and challenge it. I don’t run away from problems anymore.” says Simran Tai as she collects her Certificate of Achievement after successfully completing the ‘Programme in Life Management’ under Gurukul, the flagship initiative of The Nudge Foundation.
Supported by a group of India’s best leaders and entrepreneurs including Nandan Nilekani and PayTM’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, The Nudge Foundation was founded with the sole purpose of achieving sustainable poverty alleviation. The Life Management programme provides a 360-degree life, learning and economic foundation to the participants that equips them to escape the cycle of poverty. The 100 day rigorous programme is fully-residential and addresses the major reasons behind the poor falling back into poverty such as lack of education and employment, poor health and living conditions. The strategy is to achieve a holistic development of the candidates by working on skills related to social development, personal development, financial discipline, family, soft skills etc. Upon successful completion of the programme, the participants are presented with a certificate by The Nudge and provided with employment opportunities.
Since February of this year, a total of 6 batches have passed out of Gurukul and 284 graduates have been trained and placed in driving, beauty salons and data entry jobs. Plans and efforts are in place to open more employment avenues for the participants in healthcare and hospitality sectors. Furthermore, in order to augment the training programme, the graduates are attached to a ‘Life Guard’, a mentor to steer the candidates through any challenges in their professional, personal and social lives. The idea is to provide sufficient assistance in decision making, financial guidance and other key areas to ensure that routine life incidents do not pull them back into poverty.
Currently, The Nudge is operating three Gurukuls with a capacity to train and graduate over a 1000 students in a year. Although based out Bangalore and operating majorly in Karnataka for now, the organisation plans to scale up its operations in a phase-wise manner and explore the feasibility of franchising the gurukuls to other NGOs.
When asked about her experience with Gurukul and future plans, a gleeful Simran says “I now know that education is very important. I will make sure that my brothers never stop their studies or become lazy. I want to earn and take care of my parents and brothers. Even after I get married I will not stop working.”
For more details about The Nudge, visit www.gobarefoot.co.