"Inspiration should come from within"
Nita Gaikwad had barely completed little over two years with TCS and was already beaming with dreams. She was keen to pursue data science. She leveraged the in-house training courses available to upgrade her competencies and make a head start in her aspirational domain.
"Inspiration should come from within. You must not seek it from the outside world. The fire to grow, nurture and attain a goal must drive you to take the next steps in your career," emphasised Nita as she narrated her exciting journey from a small village of Khanota in Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu’s capital state, Chennai.
TCS' Youth Employment Program aka YEP not only catapulted her life alone but also inspired many girls and boys from her village to tread paths which was once an unknown territory.
“I always had an inherent inclination in academics. I was a curious learner. My father spotted this early on and supported all decisions that I made in my educational and professional career. His encouragement helped me to choose my very own path,” felt Nita.
Talking big about the YEP benefits, Nita said, “The program improved my communication skills, aptitude, and built confidence. The knowledge and motivational speeches shared by the expert faculty during the training period enhanced my overall personality. They made sure that I could negotiate any challenge thrown at me during my aspirational journey and along my way.”
Having obtained her Degree in 2018, Nita is a first-generation graduate from her family. Her father, Shahji Gaikwad is a farmer, her mother Sangita, is a homemaker. Her two elder brothers Ganesh and Kanifnath are employed and settled. She recollects the days while pursuing her studies from the Govt. College of Engineering and Research, Avasari, Pune: “Whenever I would come home from the hostel, I would see my father and brother breaking their backs to provide for my education. I developed an urge to grow independent and contribute financially to my family. Even if I failed, I re-attempted with greater vigor and positivity. This attitude always contributed to my success,” states Nita.
Nita has always been fond of traveling and exploring new places and cultures. Her passion took a new turn when she was posted to Chennai. She traveled by train with a handy map, the basic jowar flour to make Bhakris (jowar rotis), and Bakarawadi (a popular snack from Maharashtra) to Chennai. She made friends, got to know their culture through their language, folklore, visiting friends’ homes, sightseeing. She grew fond of Tamilian cuisine.
For Nita, cultural diversity was transformational in many ways. While returning to her hometown for a break, she opted for her first-ever air travel. She was so enthralled that she made a pact with herself to take her parents aboard by air after the Pandemic subsides.
Today, Nita and her family are respected more than ever in her village. Many who are aimless or struggling to find a career aim in life approach Nita for advice. Nita tries to guide them to the best of her abilities.
Youth Employment Program, which was Nita’s driver, is a key constituency of the sprawling CSR umbrella that TCS holds. It is driven by passionate volunteers. It is controlled by a clear-cut strategy for effectiveness. The YEP deployers on the ground also re-invent themselves every morning with a re-ignited desire to serve one of the national assets—the Youth Force. The program focuses on the biggest challenge of modern India, which is unemployment among youth, especially female graduates.
Millions of Indian youth are looking for an opportunity to learn, grow and transform themselves. Thus, through the Youth Employment Engineering Program (YEP Engineering), TCS reaches out to douse this unseen fire in their bellies and absorbs the hunger to turn it into hope by enabling sustainable employment. It generates first generation corporate employees resulting in generational improvement.