The story of eight Extra-ordinary people
In the year 2007, a group of people from remote villages in India – who couldn’t read or write in any language, set out to accomplish the impossible.
From being absolutely illiterate, they acquired the ability to converse in English, to work on computers and essentially, to work like any other ‘employee’ in a high-tech industry, where they could be considered ‘Knowledge Workers’ – in under 8 months.
How did they do this?
They started learning from alphabets, they learnt how to read the first few words in English, and they became familiar with computers. Bit by bit, they began to understand what it meant to read and write, what it meant to believe in themselves and their ability. Slowly, they began to experience life in a much different way. They began to read, write and speak.
They began to start speaking and speaking with confidence. The process was slow… but in eight months, things had changed dramatically. A new breed of people had awoken to the possibilities that the world had to offer them.
Most of these training was conducted by the founding team of Head Held High itself, with the support of other dedicated volunteers.
The videos of these eight people before and after the training can be watched here.
The Rural Edge
The Rural Edge was the next phase in the journey of Head Held High started in 2009 in partnership with SAMUHA, an NGO and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, working in Karnataka for more than 25 years.
The key assumptions that needed to be validated through The Rural Edge were:
- The methodology of training, empowering and enabling would work in a rural setting at a much larger scale
- People who have no prior training experience can be trained through a Train the Trainer program
- People with little or no education can work from the villages itself, and the entire model can be used to get outsourced work done from the villages itself.
The Rural Edge successfully proved these assumptions and beyond. The success of The Rural Edge can be demonstrated in the stories of some of the trainees like Shobha here -
The Rural Edge gave belief and purpose to our further work…