186 underprivileged youths get a chance to transform their lives with a job in hand

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BANGALORE: The/Nudge Foundation, a nonprofit working towards poverty alleviation in India, today graduated 186 students from poor backgrounds with 100% placement, at an event in Bangalore.

This is the biggest batch of graduates across its 8 Gurukuls supported by Mphasis, Cisco Sapient, HT Parekh Foundation, Wells Fargo, BookASmile. The event was attended by Kannada movie superstar Puneet Rajkumar who is the brand ambassador for the Gurukuls and was elated to share this extremely proud moment with the graduates.

The students were visibly excited to leave their lives of struggles behind, and use the training received at the Gurukul to enter the corporate world. They have job offers from HDB Financial Services, Randstad, WicketRide, Bharat Matrimony, among others.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief guest Puneet Rajkumar said, “I’m so excited to be part of
this movement that The/Nudge has started and see all of you graduating today.  I hope the number of graduates double and triple in the coming years.”  He also asked the graduating batch to support their parents and encourage their friends to join the Gurukul.

The/Nudge Foundation’s Gurukuls run a fully-residential program with an emphasis on
extensive experiential learning. On completion of the program, individuals are provided with job opportunities and a lifelong support system to prevent them from falling back into poverty.

The current batch consisted of 165 men and women from Sales and Management livelihood and 20 from Driving livelihood. One of the students is Gayithri, who was the only earning member of the family of four.

However, due to her mother’s health issues, she quit her job at Safal and couldn’t find another one. She came to the Gurukul hoping that the English and Digital literacy she learns here would help her find a better job but one month into the program, her mother fell extremely ill and passed away.

Even though it was a shock to her, Gayithri came back to resume her training at the Gurukul within 2 days. When asked why, she said, “I want to make a life for myself, take care of my younger sister and be independent. I know my mother wanted that too and the Gurukul is the only way it is possible.” Gayithri graduated with her batchmates today, with a job at HDB financial services (a unit of HDFC Bank) with a starting salary of Rs. 10,000.

Delivering the keynote, Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC, said, “This is a golden period for India as a country to rise as one of the greatest nations in the world. The/Nudge’s work to give this kind of opportunity to the underprivileged youth is therefore timely and necessary.”

He added, “While skill development is important, the quality of training matters as well and that is where the Gurukul is making a difference. I can see these students shaping the future of India.”

Special guest Manish Dugar, CFO of Practo and advisory board member of The/Nudge,
recalled how before starting The/Nudge Foundation in 2015,  Founder and CEO Atul Satija had shared the plan with him. “At that time I thought it was a noble effort but never imagined that Atul’s vision would grow into this massive organisation that has already successfully graduated a large number of underprivileged youth and is growing bigger each day.”

The/Nudge Foundation currently has 2000 annual student run-rate and they aim to reach an annual run rate of 5000 students by December 2017. Last month, The/Nudge also started Plumbing as a new livelihood for their students. The/Nudge’s future plans include introducing more livelihood options like Hospitality and also expanding to other cities in India.

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