Pilelo-Ho!
Finding a way out of poverty: Keerthi's story
Finding a way out of poverty: Keerthi's story

“I don’t know if I could be happier. I believe this is the best thing that has happened to me in the last 21 years”, says Keerthi, his excitement seeping through his otherwise calm voice.

In June this year, Keerthi was hired as Customer Sales Specialist in Eureka Forbes at Mysore city, Karnataka. He gets a salary of 4000 per month and incentives for every sale that he makes.

On asking if he is satisfied with the remuneration, Keerthi explains “Our family has seen some tough days since my father passed away 15 years ago. My mother toiled day and night to make ends meet. She works as a coolie in a local sabzi mandi earning just 3000 per month. I would have dropped out long ago had not a government scholarship funded my education from tenth onwards. I was in desperate need for a job. I had to earn and help share the burden in the family. This job engages me for just three hours leaving the rest of the day to help in household chores and improving my own skills. And, the salary is a huge help for my family. Last month, I took home 15,800 for selling 6 vacuum cleaners. For the first time in years, my family could at least afford the basic necessities. It is definitely a beginning”.

After his father's death, Keerthi's mother took up a labourer's job in the local vegetable market. She had a monthly income of Rs. 3000.

“Such opportunities are hard to come by especially for people as poor as us”, says Keerthi.

The Magic Bus Livelihoods Programme provides suitable employment opportunities to underprivileged youth like Keerthi to help them break out of poverty.

Keerthi was a part of the third batch of young people in Magic Bus’ Livelihood Programme in Mysore city. The programme helps in building the capacities of underprivileged youth so that they set realistic aspirations for themselves, inculcate employable skills, and get access to gainful employment.

“When Magic Bus Youth Mentor Deepu came to our house and informed us of the Livelihoods Programme, I was drawn towards it. I had graduated last year and was desperately looking for a job. I asked around in my community and heard favourable responses about the programme. A friend of mine in the community had got a job within months of joining the Livelihood Programme”, Keerthi explains.

Keerthi with his trainer at the Magic Bus Livelihoods Centre

After joining the programme, he was taken through a Comprehensive Need Assessment followed by a Personal Development Plan. It was a blueprint of his strength, weaknesses, aptitude and attitude. He also went through a process of training on using computers, managing his finances, spoken English language, and business entrepreneurship. The last is a compulsory skill set giving young minds a direction to become entrepreneurs themselves.

Keerthi’s strength and interest was towards managing interactions with customers. He was advised to focus on marketing and sales oriented job. When the Eureka Forbes opportunity came along, we asked Keerthi to go for the interviews. “It was my first interview. Naturally, I was nervous. But, months of grooming and practice at the Livelihoods Centre had its benefits”, he says.

Keerthi is considered a conscientious and hardworking employee at Eureka Forbes.

Keerth’s performance at Eureka Forbes is being lauded by his team manager there. He is seen as a valuable member, capable of taking up new challenges, and comfortable with the customers.

For Keerthi, this is a step forward in the right direction. “Some more years down the line, I want to start my own agency”, he signs off.

Keerthi aspires to start his own agency

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