- by Janie Lee
Manisha is an 18-year-old female from Akola, a city near Nashik. When Manisha was taking the exam for standard 12, she was not successful and discontinued her education. Because she did not pass, her parents were embarrassed and did not allow her out of the house. This meant that she was no longer able to see friends or pursue any type of career.
Hearing about Manisha’s situation from townspeople, a Pratham mobilizer decided to visit her home. The mobilizer visited Manisha and her family to explain the bedside assistance vocational skilling program. The mobilizer discussed the opportunity for Manisha to take theoretical classes on basic healthcare and gain practical experience through hands-on work in a local hospital. By the end of these six months, Manisha would be ready to work in a hospital alongside nurses and doctors.
Her parents, like many other young girls’ parents, were reluctant to let her take the bedside assistance course. They did not like the idea of Manisha working long shifts and coming home after 6 pm, but the mobilizer continued to discuss the potential benefits and returns of giving Manisha her independence back. Not only would Manisha be able to gain employment despite not having passed standard 12, but she would also be substantially contributing to her family’s income in a respectable environment. After several back-and-forth conversations, Manisha’s parents finally gave her permission to start the course.
When Manisha arrived at the Nashik PACE Center to start the bedside assistance course, she was not used to learning English and being in class six days a week, especially after having been stuck home for an extended period of time. However, she enjoyed the material and was diligent about writing down everything she learned. Through persistent dedication, she was able to pass the theoretical portion of the course.
(Manisha’s notes from the theoretical portion of her exam)
Recently, Manisha completed the practical portion of the course and is now preparing to be placed at a local hospital. She looks forward to taking care of patients and making personal connections with them. Her long-term goal is to gain experience and knowledge as a bedside assistant and eventually go on to become a nurse. When Manisha was asked about how she feels about her success, she continuously expressed her gratitude for the mobilizer who changed her parents’ opinion as well as her life.