‘Alohomora’, the famous unlocking spell from Harry Potter, had saved the protagonists of the fantasy series from many a dangerous situation. In our everyday world sans magic, Alohomora Education, a non-profit organisation from Delhi is unlocking potentials in young aspirants from less privileged families. For the students of 11th and 12th standard in government schools, this team is providing vocational training to hone their individual skills and propel them towards the right career path.
Boys do menial jobs, girls get married
While urban teenagers from a well-to-do background dwell in a dilemma over whether to choose engineering or medical, the problem is slightly different for a large number of high school students from low-income families. Coming from a position where earning the daily bread is the primary concern, often their career dreams are curtailed due to lack of proper guidance and direction. As a result, brilliant brains find themselves stuck in menial jobs, where ambition has no entry. It is worse for the girls, who are considered ready for marriage the moment they graduate school. Due to a general lack of awareness, only a handful of students from underprivileged succeed in making their mark in different career fields.
A bleak future
This is where Alohomora Education comes in to save the day. Founded by IIT-IIM graduate Divakar Sankhla and University of Michigan alumnus Parinita Jain, Alohomora Education is catering to the needs, dreams and passions of around 1,500 youngsters so far. “Students in low-income government schools are often the first-generation learners in their families. 11th and 12th-graders are often completely clueless about their career choices, and they have no one to mentor or guide them,” Divakar informs Efforts For Good.
“Before we started, we surveyed many government schools in Delhi and Gurgaon. We found that around 97% of the students get less than 80% marks. And since ours is a marks-based educational framework, most of them fail to get admission into decent colleges. They consider their 12 years of schooling as a waste. Boys are left with no choice but to take up some computer or basic English course, and girls mostly surrender to family pressure to get married. As a result, they inevitably drift off to a bleak future,” he shares.