Twenty-one-year-old Amit Mane came to Mumbai with a small bag of clothes, a certificate confirming that he had cleared Class 12 from a junior college in Sangli, a small district in Maharashtra, and a desperate need for a job. His father, the only breadwinner in the family, met with an accident when Amit was in Class 10. He was paralysed waist down, causing Amit to become the youngest breadwinner for his family of five. He worked in the fields in the mornings and earned Rs 378 per day, and cycled 14 kms to reach his college in the afternoons.
Amit didn’t want to move to Mumbai at first. He was scared of the unknown challenges that lay beyond his village. But he couldn’t get any work in Sangli. The thought of his parents’ medical expenses, and younger brother’s education drove him to re-examine his hesitation to move to Mumbai. Pushed by poverty and lack of job opportunities in his area, Amit moved to Mumbai, a place he found ‘frighteningly busy’. He started living with his cousin and her family in the city’s suburbs.
His relative told him about Magic Bus, which has a Livelihood programme that assured quality training and placements. “Till the time I stepped inside the centre, I had absolutely no idea about the retail sector or the job opportunities there,” he admits. What surprised him more was that through the programme, he would be part of a definite placement opportunity with the largest 24-hour medical store, Wellness Forever.
“It was nothing like school or junior college where you learn, but there is no guarantee which of the lessons would help you find a good job. Here, there were opportunities waiting for us. And the training prepared us for the same,” explains Amit.
Amit made the most of his training, although he hit a roadblock in spoken English. Lessons on communication and personal development helped him prepare for interviews, although he admits to being ‘scared’ during Taster Day, the first interaction with prospective employers. “I definitely thought they would reject me and I’d have to go back to Sangli empty-handed,” he admits. Instead, they gave him feedback on how to improve in areas he lagged.
From that day to now, as Junior Customer Associate Services at Wellness Forever’s outlet in Bandra, Amit has started dreaming. “My only wish is to retire my father who is now looking to go back to work to feed his family,” he says.
Kumar Gaurav, Manager – HR of Wellness Forever, says, “Amit has shown excellent performance in customer services. His ability to handle challenging issues and the quality of work is admirable.”
While Amit admits that his earnings, Rs 12,925 a month, is higher than what he used to make by working in the fields, he is driven to do better and earn more. “I want to be patient and not leave my job soon. I see I can grow in this company and I want to give it my best shot,” he reaffirms.