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“From a docile me to a confident me…”

It was indeed a golden moment for Mousumi Islam when a text message flashed on the screen of her cell phone. It conveyed that her first month’s salary from TCS had been credited to her bank account. 

Few hours later she headed straight for the local jeweller to buy a gold ring for her younger sister. For her it was “an achievement” of a promise made during her days in the engineering college to one of her siblings. 

“Though I made a promise, was not sure…” Mousumi was not confident about a placement that would fetch her enough to afford a piece of gold. 

Studious Mousumi was unsure of herself to stand the test for an employment because the medium of instruction in her school was Bengali-her mother tongue. Bengali is the most widely spoken local language in West Bengal an eastern India state. She not only shied away but was actually scared of talking in English.

Mousumi’s stint with the Youth Employment Program engineering made her interview and industry ready and she talks about how it infused all round confidence in her.

“The program infused in me a feeling that I was capable of overcoming any barrier. I should not lack in grit and determination.”

“The motivating factor…”

“Jobs are scarce and good jobs are even more so. My aim was to join an MNC. Thus, I knew that I have to meet their remarkably high standards in terms of skill sets, including communication and etiquette. The motivation and self-confidence got so deeply ingrained in me that I constantly tell myself to go for further and higher education…

“Overcoming fear of English…”

“Once the sense of determination was deep inside me, I was extra attentive during the modules which dealt with the business English communication skills. Apart from the speaking practice that I got during the activity-based learning sessions, I fearlessly started speaking at home with my sisters even if I was speaking wrong…

“Empowerment in every way…”

“I could feel the sense of empowerment within myself the moment I knew that my job with my dream company was finalised. Till the time I was a student it would be my father who as the head of family would decide where the destination of our next family holiday would be. Now it is me who decides…

Though my father who is with police, would never say in so many words, he too felt mentally relived somewhere as the family had its second earning member. My job was my father’s victory: He ingrained in us that education was the only means for our survival. He still inspires me to go for higher studies…”   

But for Mousumi, there is no denying that the journey of her career would not have reached here had the Employment Program not contributed as a force multiplier. She is equally indebted” to her “affectionate teachers” in school and college who build the foundation for her.