Oct 12, 2020

Bhanupratap's Story: Braving the Storm


For Bhanupratap Pradhani, an electrical trainer at Pratham’s vocational center in Kalimela, it has not been an easy year.

When the COVID-19 pandemic sent India into lockdown last spring, the 27-year-old returned to his family home in Tonda, 125 miles away from Kalimela. As Pratham restructured its vocational training model, moving from in-person to online sessions, he and his students—many with little or no prior Internet exposure—suddenly found themselves immersed in the strange new world of e-learning. “It was challenging in the initial week,” Bhanupratap admits, “but slowly, both the students and I were eased into it.”

It was then that Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan wreaked havoc along Eastern India, causing extensive damage to the cellular networks near his village and making remote learning impossible. Knowing what had to be done, Bhanupratap made the journey back to Kalimela and began conducting his online classes from there.

According to Bhanupratap, synchronous instruction is crucial for engaging students and instilling the fundamentals of the subject matter. Courses consist of two sessions, each about 15 days long. In the first, called Dekho (watch), students are given a digital lesson covering all theoretical aspects of the skill coupled with videos and PowerPoint presentations for additional background. The second session, called Seekho (learn), entails hands-on work with live demonstrations and practical exercises.
Participants also rely on Pratham’s life skills development sessions, which will assist them during the job placement process.

Pratham’s perseverance and ability to adapt quickly and effectively during India’s lockdown has allowed us to continue providing thousands of underprivileged youth from rural India with skills training and self-confidence that will lead to careers and economic self-sufficiency, lifting individuals and families out of poverty. With India’s new Unlock 4.0 guidelines paving the way for the reopening of our vocational training centers, Bhanupratap can’t wait to conduct his first hands-on practical session in six months.

Join us in celebrating teachers like Bhanupratap, who inspire us with their commitment to Pratham’s mission every day. Support their work with a donation!