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Livelihood Training - Mahindra Pride School

In support of the Government mandate for affirmative action, the Mahindra group has set up Mahindra Pride Schools to empower youth from socially disadvantaged sections of society by providing livelihood training, to enable them to gain employment based on their skills.

The first Mahindra Pride School located at Pune, commenced operations in 2007. To date, Mahindra Pride Schools have come up in Chennai, Chandigarh, Patna and Srinagar. The school is meant exclusively for youth (18-25 years) from socially disadvantaged sections i.e., (SC), (ST), (OBC), Notified Tribes (NT) and De-notified Tribes (DNT); offering equal opportunity for men and women, with a focus on rural youth. It is non-residential and offers various alternative livelihood options to the students free of cost. 'Road Shows' are conducted for a month in specific communities / hamlets with a high SC/ST/OBC/NT/DNT population to spread information about MPS and encourage the youth to enroll for the training offered by the school. Students are then assigned suitable courses depending on their personality, aptitude and interest, which are judged through intensive written tests and personal interaction at the time of admission itself.

As of March 2014, 9367 students from socially disadvantaged communities (SC/ST) have received training in one of the three areas of Hospitality Craft, Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES - for BPOs & KPOs) and Customer Relationship Management and passed out. Post the 3 month intensive training, MPS students have found high growth service sector jobs with food chains like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC; 5 star Hotels such as Hotel Le Meridien; department stores such as Westside and BPOs and KPOs such as Bajaj Allianz, HCL, TCS, Dell, Cognizant and Mphasis. Remarkably, there has been 100% placement of students in lucrative jobs and a consistent increase in current average starting salary being Rs. 10,000 pm. and the highest starting salary till date being Rs. 25,000 pm. MPS is committed to continue to provide livelihood training to over 600 students annually, enabling them to build a career and a future & making it possible for them & their families to RISE above their limiting circumstances.

One such RISE story is of Srilekha, the eldest child of Rajshekar and Soleshwari. Given the severe economic hardships facing her family, 21 year old Srilekha, completed her graduation in computer science scoring 70% through sheer perseverance. After the sole bread winner Rajshekar's potato chip stall failed, the family's situation reached a point of complete desperation, forcing them to sell their house to repay debts and compelling Srilekha's mother to sell potato chips to liquor bars in the locality. Fortunes turned for the family, when Srilekha was referred to the Mahindra Pride School in Chennai, where she received intensive training in ITES. MPS instilled in her "a positive and can-do attitude". After successfully completing the 3 month training at MPS, Srilekha was placed at Cognizant Technologies Limited as a 'Trainee Programme Analyst' earning the highest starting salary of Rs. 25,000 per month.

Says Srilekha "MPS is an ever rejuvenating heavenly garden which has nourished my life to bloom prosperously. It has drastically changed my life. Now I have become the most responsible person in my family and want to ensure a happy future for my mother and my younger sister, whom I will educate. I have even started dreaming about a house of my own. Thank you, my dear teachers, thank you, MPS."