Growing up in a village in the midst of Tamil Nadu’s rice growing belt Suresh and his sister lived with his alcoholic father and seasonal labourer mother in Aranganur.

Agricultural land in this village was fast getting sold into plots for urbanisation and the unskilled population around was being pushed into hopeless poverty. Suresh, a young boy of 17 who had failed his class 9 exams had an opaque vision of his future, or as much as destitution, lack of education and a failed education would allow him to see.
Around the same time, Sharana, that has a habit of adopting orphaned villages on the Pondicherry Tamil Nadu border that neither state cares about, picked Aranganur to launch its Vocational Training programme in Carpentry (VTC) specifically aimed at school drop outs. Suresh was selected as one of the candidates in the very first batch.
The VTC programme is aimed at providing a yearlong intensive programme in carpentry, a skilled and respectable career option that is in demand considering the construction boom in and around Pondicherry. A comprehensive package, it trains the participants in theory and practicals and in the use of a wide range of skills for small to heavy machinery. At the end of the programme the boys receive a certificate. Suresh, in this programme finally dared to dream.
But this phase wasn’t to last long. In the middle of the programme, his father died suddenly of a heart attack. Unable to bear the shock Suresh dropped out and weeks went by. The social worker in charge, his carpentry master and even his classmates tried to persuade him to resume. He wouldn’t.
They didn’t give up and Suresh finally resumed classes and completed the course.
Today Suresh is employed at the Wood & Design Co., and when placed he had the highest pay package in his batch. Productive in a respected skilled profession, Suresh is extremely grateful to the VTC programme for turning his life around.
Recently, be bore the entire cost of his sister’s wedding.