- by Janie Lee
Sunil Jathar is 19 years old and hails from a small village called Rajur Gahpanti in the district of Jalha. When he reached the 10th pass, he ranked 2nd and thoroughly enjoyed school. Although Sunil was fully capable and determined to complete his education, he could not afford the exam fees of 50 rupees and subsequently had to drop out of school. He mentions that he had never held 500 rupees in his hand during his youth.
Sunil’s entire family faced financial hardships as they lived in a small shed in the village. His father and mother were laborers earning less than 2000 rupees a month to support a family of six. His older brother maintained a job as a construction worker and his younger brother and sister were both farmers. In order to contribute to his family’s wellbeing, Sunil took a job cleaning dishes for 10 rupees a day. Although Sunil got a better job as a laborer breaking stones, he still was unable to help support his family.
A mobilizer came to Sunil’s village last year to talk about the courses and opportunities at the PACE Hospitality Training Centre in Aurangabad. Sunil was very eager and determined to take advantage of the possibility of being employed at a better paying job. Although he experienced difficulty adjusting to a new environment, he noticed many of his peers were also going through similar challenges. He and two of his friends talked about the potential benefits of diligently finishing the three-month course and decided to stay and try his best. After completing the three-month hospitality course, Sunil was placed in the Oakwood Hotel, where he now earns 5000 rupees a month.
With his new income, Sunil was able to assist his mother when she fell ill. His mother recently became very sick and was immobile. Going to the hospital to get treatment was not an option, as she did not have the means to pay for services. Sunil sent 1000 rupees home to allow his mother to get proper treatment and prescriptions. He continues to work hard and is grateful to have the ability to live independently and support his family at home.