Cattle grazers to BPO employees

A group which had never gone to school and grazed cattle and worked in farms and fields are all set to work in BPOs. Some even intend to go back to the village and train others.


The first batch of nine zero education candidates who were trained by Foundation 4 Life, a NGO graduated on Saturday. They were selected from villages and trained in Bangalore from September last year. They even had on-job training at Graditim, a BPO in Chennai.


“Our son used to graze cattle in our village in Koppal. Since he never went to school we thought that he would be a cattle grazer all his life, until today. He speaks very good English and looks smart,” said farmer Thimappa and his wife Basamma while they looked in admiration at their son Ramesh (19).


Ramesh too recalls how he was cheated every time he went to sell onions since he did not know numbers of calculations. “This was just a year ago. Sometimes when I went to the market to sell the onions grown in our field, I was fooled. Now, I not only know numbers but I have learnt computers too,” he said.


Meghraj (20) too did not think beyond his farm. “I too thought that I would either become a farmer or a coolie like the rest in my family. I had never been to school too. Now, suddenly things have changed and I can confidently speak in English and am not shy too,” he said.


His parents Kuttappa and Laxmamma lovingly call him ‘Sir.’ “He has become a ‘sahed’ now. I am very happy and I just can’t stop smiling. When I was sending him to Bangalore I was a bit apprehensive. Now, I don’t want him to come back,” said Kuttappa.


When Hemanna (22) went home after his training, his mother was unable to recognize him. “His looks and demeanour had completely changed. He looked smart like a city dweller. Only when he came closer I recognized that it was my son,” said Devamma.

Hemanna used to work as a security guard and had never been to school.


The people behind

25 year old techie Rajesh Bhat came up with this idea of training uneducated people in BPO jobs. Sunil Savana the executive director of Silicon Plains boosted him and his two other techie friends Ajith Satpute and Samik Ghosh joined him. The four together started Foundation 4 Life.


“Last year we selected nine people from various villages in Karnataka and trained them in the English language and computers. The next batch with 100 people will begin shortly. We also intend to start BPOs in villages where the villagers can work,” said Rajesh.










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