Published: 08th September 2018
Here's how 22-year-old Deepa Gujar's life took a turn for the better, thanks to a digital literacy training programme
This International Literacy Day, take a look at how basic computer literacy helped Deepa Gujar earn a living and provide for her entire family
Deepa Gujar was just a child when she first started working. Her father had died when she was very young, and being the oldest among six sisters and two brothers, Deepa had to share the brunt of the responsibility of providing for the family. Her mother was a homemaker and couldn't afford to provide for such a large family by herself.
"I didn't receive proper education, so it was really difficult to get a decent job. I started working as a receptionist in a hospital and I was earning about Rs 3,000 a month. That was hardly enough to provide for all of us," says Deepa. That's when she shared her struggles with her friends. They told her about a literacy training programme in her village, hoping it would fetch her a better job.
On ground: The Code Unnati programme is an initiative to create digital literacy across India
The programme, Code Unnati, an initiative to create digital literacy was free of cost. Deepa jumped at the opportunity and applied. "I didn't know anything about computers before I took up this training. But after I joined, I was trained in MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint and its applications in daily life. Almost everything around us functions with the help of computers. So how can one survive in this day and age without knowing how to use it?" Deepa wonders aloud.
After the training, Deepa learnt how to enter data on the computer. She started entering information about all the medicines in the hospital's pharmacy. Her efficiency was immediately recognised and she was given a new job as a data entry specialist. Even her salary was doubled. She is now receiving Rs 7,000, which she says, is quite sufficient to meet her family's needs. "I am so much more hopeful and happy now. In fact, I want to train myself more so that I can get a better job and climb higher in life and provide better opportunities for my siblings. I'm so grateful to Code Unnati for changing my life," says a grateful Deepa.
Like Deepa, there are hundreds of others who have turned their lives around, thanks to the efforts of Code Unnati, an initiative by multinational software giant SAP. The objective of the initiative is to create digital literacy skill among children, youth and adolescents in tier 2 and 3 cities and villages. The on-ground education happens through their NGO partners. For school children, Code Unnati has come up with a computer literacy curriculum and have even set up an entire Unnati centre in schools.