– as penned by Alo Sud, board member- Sharana
The Vocational Training in Carpentry is a programme that enables school dropouts to take up a respectable viable career option in an otherwise hopeless life.
This note on the programme is as true as calling the Pyramid a tomb. The interest is in the extended definition and the beauty is in the layers.

Vetrimaran’s life we may safely claim is already transformed. Today he comes to the VTC on a cycle, wearing a clean uniform, receives two nourishing meals a day along with two refreshments, he gets a monthly stipend that has tripled his family’s resources, his study material is free and by the end of his stint he will be a skilled carpenter with as much knowledge of theory as of practicals, all this taught to him in a clean, systematic healthy environment. His life one year on will be get only more dignified and prosperous.
We may never fathom the scars in his heart left by his mother who deserted the family eight years back. He may struggle to reconcile to the premature demise of his father five years ago – to alcoholism. Maybe later he may empathise with the untenable circumstances of an unskilled wife and mother cohabiting with an alcoholic…and then maybe he may not…

But in all this, there is still a story of humanity. Abandoned by his mother, bereaved by the demise of his father Vetrimaran and his sister were taken in by their grandmother. On a meagre income of a thousand rupees a month, she cared for her grand children. Their uncle too was a huge support providing the family in kind and even paying for a heart surgery Vetrimaran’s sister had to undergo.
This story is a heart-warming example of the capacity of even the most deprived to have the biggest of hearts. Extended families can absorb such deserted children and even though it takes more effort and time and the assurance of sustained support, NGOs such as ours feel strongly that reinsertion within the extended family is the humane and child oriented policy that should be the norm.
For Sharana the opportunity to give this child and family hope and a very concrete empowerment via skill development is an incalculable reward.