Kalpana – Sense and Simplicity

ITI Students of ETASHA

As I waited on the second floor of the training block of the Jijabai ITI, I kept wondering, “How would things go? Would I be able to do this properly?

And just that very moment echoes of “We shall overcome” reached my ears. Yes, it was being sung by the girls of ITI enrolled with ETASHA.

A minute later about twenty girls burst out of room no. 1 and I started searching for one who may stay back in the classroom. I finally asked someone for Kalpana (whom I was to interview that afternoon) and she pointed out towards a girl, in the centre of a group who seemed to be in the middle of a very interesting as well as important conversation.

Kalpana (19) had joined the Hair and Skin Care Trade  course last July and has also been attending the employability skills program run at the ITI by ETASHA for about 3 weeks. One thing I noticed which was common between us was that we were both slightly uncomfortable with the word “interview.”  For her, it was the first time she was told, “You’re going to be interviewed” and for me it was the first time I was doing an assignment of this nature. As we started chatting, both of us soon forgot about the word “interview”!

On questioning her about her school and subjects her prompt answer was, “My favourite subject is English.”

She is currently trying to master grammar and enjoys talking in English.

And with that our very first “interview” began. ‘Kalpana stays at Madangir with her parents and three siblings, an elder brother who works with the human rights department, a younger brother in the sixth grade and sister in the eighth grade. Her father works for the education department and her mother is a homemaker.

The next sphere of her life we touched upon was her trade i.e. hair and skin care. She took it up because she is really interested in beauty and its current trends despite her father’s disapproval.  She has learnt a number of hair-do’s and loves to try them out on her friends.  She likes to try out her threading skills on her aunt and mother at home and her younger sister enjoys imitating her. Although Kalpana thinks she’s too young to try out those things, she adores her sister and lets her have her way, be it threading or hairstyles.

Inspired by her elder cousin, she also plans on doing a “draftsman” after the duration of the hair and skin care course.

When asked about ETASHA’s programs, she flashed a smile and answered that she loves the way they painstakingly explain every detail and have no issues in repeating it numerous times.

Like many of the girls enrolled in ETASHA’s programs, Kalpana too started off as a slightly under confident version of what she is now. Learning English has made her self-esteem rocket upwards, and she feels that she’s ready to take on life with a positive and confident approach. She hopes to get a job with anyone of the recruitment companies which come for campus placements. Her plan is to try and get a job under someone initially and then run her own hair and skin spa someday.

Being a very sensible and down to earth person, her mantra in life is “simplicity”. She takes pleasure in the smaller things in life which I could clearly see when she appreciated the beauty of the calendula’s which were in full bloom in the garden which one can see from the window that overlooks the garden.

One of the things that really stand out about her is that in today’s rat race she is really calm and reassured. She takes things at her own pace, is very patient and does a good job. She feels it would take her a long way, which I am sure it will!

I enjoyed meeting and conversing with Kalpana. She is confident and quite focused at this stage with dreams foe her future. Her training with ETASHA is certainly giving a direction to her fascination for the English language and thereby enhancing her personality.

Simple and sensible in her approach to everything, from her handwriting to the precision with which she does her work, the popular advertisement tag, “sense and simplicity”, describes Kalpana perfectly.

Our volunteer blogger, Sneha is a student from Zakir Hussain College, Delhi University, New Delhi


1 thought on “Kalpana – Sense and Simplicity”

  1. Hi Sneha – another great blog – you write so well and this is such an interesting story.

    Keep it up, Ian

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