Finding hope during the Pandemic – Angel’s Story Of Resilience
Angel, a 23-year-old, from Bangalore describes her family life as troubled. She attributes this reality to her father’s lack of initiative in supporting the family of five financially.
“My father has never been very supportive of my mother. She is the one who has held the family together and I wanted to enter the workforce as soon as possible to support her,” says Angel.
Angel’s mother and elder sister work in the garment sector as stock checkers, while her father is a welder. The pandemic impacted her mother and sister’s jobs as the lockdown in Bangalore due to the second wave imposed special curbs in the garment industry leading to loss of pay for months on end. “It was a very bleak time and I felt very helpless,” adds Angel.
It was during this period that Angel found out about the online career development sessions organized by Sparsha Trust, one of our NGO partners under the MyQuest program. Quest Alliance in collaboration with Sparsha Trust imparts key 21st century skills to young people like Angel, who come from disadvantaged communities and poor educational backgrounds.
Angel’s highest educational qualification is 12th standard. “I couldn’t continue my education due to financial constraints at home. Also, I wasn’t sure who would hire me without a degree,” she adds.
The career development sessions firstly reassure young people like Angel that they are employable and that their educational qualifications do have value in the job market as long as it is complemented with other key skills like – communication skills, digital literacy, workplace readiness, and financial literacy.
“The course really changed my perception about my own capabilities. It gave me the confidence to apply for jobs and face interviews,” adds angel.
The transformation one sees in Angel is evident. Near the end of the second wave, she managed to secure a job as a General Duty Assistant in a reputed hospital in Bangalore. She earns Rs. 12,000 per month, a significant contribution to her family’s income struggling to make ends meet. “I enjoy working and helping patients, especially during these difficult times. I also like the fact that I am now in a sector that is going to remain relevant for a long time,” she adds.
Quest Alliance’s skill training intervention in collaboration with NGO partners like Sparsha Trust has helped young women like Angel enter the workforce despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Families and communities at the verge of financial ruin have been able to make a comeback owing to young people entering the workforce.
The garment sector in Bangalore was adversely affected during the pandemic. According to reports, Bangalore alone has 750 garment factories employing 2.8 lakh workers, 75% of whom are women. According to a study by the Garment and Textile Workers Union(GATWU), close to 69% of women in 25 garment factories in Bangalore, were forced to resign during the pandemic.
AngelGeneral Duty Assistant at a Hospital
“The course really changed my perception about my own capabilities. It gave me the confidence to apply for jobs and face interviews.”