At the Crossroads of a Career

    The Career Guidance program conducted at Aler village in ZPHS, Bachannapet, Warangal district, is by far one of the best events conducted by SAHAYA and is surely another feather in our cap. It all started with Sreeram anna, the founder of Sahaya, posting a Whatsapp message on the group asking for the volunteer availability for a career guidance program. The idea sounded very interesting to me and I knew it was an opportunity I will not want to pass up. Hence I impulsively said, “Yeah. I am in”. 
      The very next day, 5th of March, Sreeram anna, Eshwar anna,our beloved President accompanied by Akhil anna, Ravi teja and Sainath started our journey towards Bachanapeta. We began to discuss how to go about with the proceedings, brainstorming ideas to engage the students. For me, the journey was fun, inspiring, highly motivating, and unforgettable.
After a three-hour ride, we finally reached Bachannapet, Aler!  
       As soon as I entered the school, I could spot a group of students sitting around a tree and being taught a lesson in English. This was something I never witnessed earlier other than in few Telugu movies. But this made me ashamed of my ingratitude towards all the comforts I enjoyed as a kid. And it was rather amusing to be welcomed by the kids murmuring, “Namaskaram Teacher”.
    Without much delay we kick started the session. The Principal of the ZPHS school introduced our team to his staff and students. Sreeram annaya gave them an incisive introduction to Sahaya and its objectives. The man of the show, Akhil Annaya did a splendid job in interacting with the kids. His analytical approach accompanied by a quick wit helped him establish a strong sense of connect with the students. He hosted the entire event with passion and intensity.

     Meanwhile, two of the most amazing people I have had the pleasure of meeting, Sreeram anna and Eshwar anna, spontaneously came up with the idea of a 5 min skit to entertain the kids, impersonating two tenth class pass outs discussing their plans after tenth. The kids laughed their lungs out at this hilarious yet educative skit .This turned out to be the highlight of the entire event.

        Sainath and Ravi Teja put their best foot forward in sharing invaluable information with the kids and proved themselves to be stand out volunteers of Sahaya.
       This program has been conceptualized with the view to highlight the relevance of career guidance among the tenth grade students. We not only threw light on the plethora of opportunities that exist but also briefed them on the amount of effort required to reach their goals.
      Every child has been asked this question-"What do you want to be when you grow up?". Few kids have a lot of goals set and are filled with enthusiasm to pursue their dreams while few of them just follow the crowd and ape their friends' choice. No matter what the case may be, the real battle begins after their tenth grade. In many cases, we observe that the decision of a student is not based on their interests and aptitude, but is hugely influenced by the choice of their peers. To help children understand this point, we conducted a small fun activity wherein we have asked the kids to sign on a piece of paper and compare it with their friends around.  No two people have the exact same signature, and even two people with the same name do not sign in a similar manner. This reflects that every child is unique and hence, their choice also must be as unique as they are. We also emphasized on the importance of tenth class and their board exams which they have to face shortly.  It is at this juncture that they have to make an informed and calculated decision since this choice of theirs will decide the scope of their future. Hence, ideally a student has to pull up his socks right from his ninth grade. Kids need to be motivated to contemplate their strengths and weaknesses. They need to have a clear view of where they see themselves ten years down the line.
         Career guidance for students in the schools is indeed an important program to guide the students in an appropriate direction. The Students in rural communities who progress to Higher Secondary Education have limited exposure. The students are uncertain about which course to choose following their graduation. There is an absence of people in the community who have undertaken higher education studies that can be role models and steer children in the right direction. As a consequence in many cases, the interested and aspiring students cannot achieve their ambition. Hence, we at Sahaya shed light on all the options they have at hand once they pass out of their tenth grade. They were given excellent examination tips and briefed on Health and Hygiene. We organized a small cultural event to help the kids showcase their hidden talents. The kids turned out to be very interactive and way beyond our estimations of their standards. The Principal and the staff were very supportive and were in awe of the ideals of Sahaya. There was immense satisfaction and appreciation in the students and staff, alike.
         We are glad that this session has not just ignited those young minds but also helped them gain the courage to take a stand for their choice.
         At the end, school management complemented us with a memento for our (Sahaya's) self-less activities.
         This event was indeed a huge success and helped us grab media attention. It is a memorable day not just for us but for the entire Sahaya family. I fervently hope that Sahaya remains successful in organizing many many more events like this to foster a sense of awareness in students.