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5 Vocational Discipline Options For Students

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By Tarun Raina:

A vocation can be described as a career or calling to find a suitable career choice. In simpler words, vocational courses are practical courses through which one gains skills and experience directly linked to a career in future.

It is an intriguing field, with quite a bit of potential for an aggressively expanding industrial sector, as vocational courses equip people with the right skills to be a part of the strong managerial workforce.

In the Delhi region alone, the number of students taking CBSE’s Class 12th exam shot up to 2,34,653 in 2012 from 2,05,384 two years ago. Year on year, the number of all-India candidates taking the school-leaving exams grows by 10%. With a flood of students passing out each year and the drought of college seats, vocational courses are options to be looked into. For a market driven economy, education needs to be tailored and directly related to jobs. According to experts, people those who have an education that prepares them for a profession, have a far greater edge in the world.

In general, vocational courses are offered in six broad disciplines such as Agriculture, Business and Commerce, Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Home Science, Health and Paramedical Skills. For a secure future for ourselves and the country at large, some of the above disciplines are futuristic and hold the key to the betterment of the future. They are;

Agricultural:

Agricultural education is a vast subject including agriculture, food production, research, etc. under its belt. This belt is an important accessory of our countries development. So it is important to keep it buckled up. Due to the broadness this industry involves according to global, regional and local pressures including those originating from political, societal and technological changes and entry of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector and the problem of farmer suicides have made this field of vocational education important and the need of the hour. Due to its importance in the future and a never ending research base a student can very easily frame a career out of this subject.

Leisure, Travel and Tourism:

With a studded culture and striking sites to visit in India, vocational education in travel and tourism has a wide scope. It is one of the largest foreign exchange earners, providing employment directly and indirectly to millions of people worldwide through many service areas. Some of these service areas are the government tourism departments, the immigration and the customs services, the travel agencies, the airlines, the tour operators, and the hotels. The career in the travel and tourism industry is essentially concerned with providing services for people who are away from home, on business or holiday. It requires assessing the needs of tourists and businessmen and helping them make the best possible travel arrangements from the many travel options available, making this field interesting for students with handsome pay packages lined up.

Vocational Engineering:

Engineering has been identified as a key industry and economic driver that will strengthen the economy of the world in the coming decade. As a result, many universities have established new vocational programs in engineering fields. Fields like mechanical, electronics, computers, chemical, civil etc. are the most sought after. It is the backbone of every industry, as it designs and also builds structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes making it one of the most important and most sought after vocational course.

Health and Social Care:

With the onset of sedentary lifestyle and the increase in the number and types of diseases health and social care have become a much needed and important profession. Vocational education in this field includes health care, clinical care, personal hygiene, nursing, paramedics etc. Depending on their qualification, students may start off as care assistants and develop care pathways to become doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, counsellors, psychotherapists, Paramedics or a range of other related occupations.

Media and information:

With electronic media becoming the primary mode of communication in today’s world and a key feature of every organisation, vocational education in this field can prove to be very fruitful and engaging. With courses like printing, electronic advertising, electronic customer services, sales promotion etc. A person can analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and forms showing his creativity and credibility.

A person can choose a course in which he has an aptitude or talent in. To render this, vocational guidance is required in schools as well as other levels of education, to guide a person to formal (following a structured training program) or informal (training to cater his/her ancestral trade or occupation) vocational courses.

In today’s world with cut throat competition, just having a degree in hand does not comply that you get a job; you need to have the skills needed to do the job. Vocational courses were introduced with this idea to increase the employability of graduates. Equipping them with the skills needed for self-employment, improving the employability of girl students and making the graduate course suited to local needs and conditions.

Due to liberalization and globalisation and the revolution in information technology, many new sectors opened up and new job opportunities were also thrown up which required only minimum training. Vocational courses were meant to incorporate all these changes and impart skills to the students undergoing vocational courses accordingly.

With increasing global pressure and the shaken economic condition around the world companies now look for people with the skill in hand and not on paper, as they have to pay lesser salaries to them. This is the reason for maximum number of jobs being outsourced now a day’s as people living in countries with a lot of population and a suitable exchange rate, demand very less against the people living in their own countries.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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