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02
Aug

From rags to riches stories of success


Written by Dr Sunder Rao Bethapudy

Vocational Training Centre is situated in VizianagaramThe Vocational Training Centre is situated in Vizianagaram, a District Headquarters, about 40 miles from Vishakapatnam.This centre was opened by Rev. H.Doughlas Graham M.A,Executive Director, The Leprosy Mission Canada on 22-11-1988.

This Vocational Training Centre encourages young people  between the ages of 15 and 25 who are cured of leprosy, are from families with leprosy, or who may be disavatanegd by a disability to gain vocational skills so as to establish their own business or gain employment . One of the greatest challenges facing those with leprosy is the need to earn a living. The stigma associated with leprosy and a lack of skills make getting a job very difficult for those with leprosy or who have family members with leprosy.

 There are some criteria for admission into VTC.

If the students have leprosy, after their treatment they can join the course they choose.

Secondly, if one of their parents have leprosy, the children are eligible.

Thirdly, if the students have any other disability (other than leprosy), they are still eligible.

There are many courses available to choose from, for example Tailoring, computing, car mechanics, making haversacks, bags , welding. They stay in hostels with full boarding facilities.

The courses run from two to three years, the tuition fees and the boarding fees are free of cost to the students. After graduating they are encouraged to set up their own business and free guidance is given in setting up the business. Loans with no interest are given initially in setting up their business and the loans can be paid back in due course of time.

 

Apart from this training centres, no other institutions exist to help provide skill training for leprosy affected persons. Without training there is little hope of finding work or planning a secure future. Increasing their socio-economic status improves overall quality of life and gives people a way to provide for their families.

 

Here are some stories of success

This is the story of Mrs. N.M

Mrs N.M was in the first batch of VTC. Her father had leprosy and he had a watch repair shop in a place called Bobbili, about 40 miles from Vizianagaram. After finishing her course she went back to her place Bobbili and set up a tailoring shop called ‘’Madam tailors’’. Her business went very well and employed novice tailors and trained them as they worked for her. In the mean time, sadly her father died. It was a great loss to her. But she continued to work her way.

She has now taken 7 more tailors to work for her and she even takes the newly trained graduates from VTC, Vizianagaram. She is married and has one daughter who is presently at college. The place she is working belonged to her father, however when her father died the property went to her brother. She intend to pursue her tailoring business as her business going well.

 

This is the story of Mr. K. Kiran Kumar, son of Mr. Rama Rao, of Parvathipuram, Vizianagaram.

My name is Kiran Kumar and ours is a small family. My family consists of myself, my father and mother, my older sister and my younger sister. My mother suffers from leprosy. Once she received her medicines from the Primary Health Centre, she got better. She could not go to work and stays mainly at home.

My father works as a manual worker and earns his money. With the money he gets from the work , he spends on the family, and educate myself, my older and younger sister. Sadly my father lost his eye sight, so he could not go to work. As a result I stopped my education and went to work instead. With the money I earned we spent it for the family and I educated my older sister to a degree level and my younger sister to Intermediate level. I tried best to read as well as work at the same time. But I was not able to carry on like that. I stopped my education.

I used to work as a paper boy and as a shop assistant to support my family for some time. My elder sister has come to marriage age but we did not have enough money to marry her and that was a great worry to my parents. Somebody from the Primary Health Centre suggested that I my be eligible for training at VTC , Vizianagaram. When I spoke to them, somebody from VTC came to my home and took all the details about my family.

After few days I got a letter saying I am selected for a free training and boarding facilities. My whole family were extremely happy about this opportunity. My main aim and hope is that I want to train myself as a motor mechanic and set up a business, earn some money and support my family and do marriages for my both sisters. I am in the middle of my training at VTC.

 

 

Media Gallery Vocational Training Centre Vizianagarams

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