DFW President Visits Pratham Training Center
Pratham Dallas-Fort Worth chapter president Sri Sridharan regularly visits India and, when he can, sets aside time to visit Pratham’s programs. Below is a field report from Sri.
For the second time this year, I was able to experience Pratham up-close. I visited the Pratham Arora Centre for Education (PACE) in Panvel, Maharashtra. The center runs vocational training programs that empower disadvantaged young adults from rural areas by providing job training and placement in some of India’s fastest-growing industries. The center in Panvel, near Mumbai and the gateway to the beautiful Konkan region, offers training in the electrical, automotive and plumbing trades.
Unlike more traditional learning environments, Pratham uses a hands-on approach. For example, students in the automotive course were provided with a car that had a semi-functioning engine, a damaged body and several other problems. Instructors provided tools and guided students through the repair process. By the end of their three-month training, students will have repaired or replaced the damaged parts, fixed the dents and repainted the body.
In Panvel, we are also setting up a mobile service van—a sort of garage-on-the-go—as an innovative way of providing on-the-job training to students with real-life client interaction and problem-solving. Training is only the beginning of the journey. Pratham partners with leading Indian businesses, like Tata Motors and Larsen & Toubro, who hire program graduates.
The Panvel center has the capacity to train 90 students at a time, and so far we have provided job skills to 800 young adults.