Ask any IT professional, why he chose this profession, pat comes the reply: well, there was more money, got influenced by friends, parents wanted, did not get any job, or I liked computers. But when you hear that “I wanted to become a Doctor, but because of poor financial condition, could not afford to study so long, hence did engineering instead”, you cannot stop yourself from knowing further.
After completing his degree from Hyderabad, Vamsi Krishna Nukala started working as a Software Engineer at Wipro Technologies, just like every person dreams of. But strangely, he found weekends more exciting than weekdays. More than loving his job, he found true peace in working with different NGO’s on weekends. “I slowly understood that working in the social sector, which was just a reason for me to spend some meaningful and productive time, was actually where I belonged, and not in the predetermined rat race”, said Vamsi. With a strong will, he decided to step away from the race, and stand out of the crowd. With his mother’s immense support and cooperation, Vamsi commenced his studies for Social Entrepreneurship at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
In his last semester, he came to know about the PRIME MINISTER RURAL DEVELOPMENT FELLOWSHIP, that’s aimed at providing professional support to hard core affected rural areas, and create livelihoods under the INTEGRATED ACTION PLAN, in tribal areas. Vamsi pronounced his interest for the same, and after a rigorous selection procedure, was selected from 1000 applicants. “After one and a half months of classroom training in Hyderabad, we were placed in the remote villages and interior rural areas, to analyze and study the reality faced by the villagers”, explained Vamsi. Here we saw the problems that prevailed at every aspect like scarcity of resources, lack of infrastructure and communication, resistance from the residents, etc.
Under the Fellowship, Vamsi was stationed in Karim Nagar district of Telangana. With the help of the District Collector, Vamsi and his team started operating in full swing, for promoting livelihood for tribal weavers and workers. Meticulous surveys were carried out to understand the possibilities where resources were mapped with existing skills of workers, and identifying potential markets. “As we started interacting with various SHGs and women’s cooperatives, we crystallized the idea of setting up a MINI APPAREL UNIT using their skills”, Vamsi validated. Initially, 2 units were established as a pilot, but with the help of the Government it scaled up to establishing 7 such units.
Though various predicaments were faced by his team during this venture, Vamsi was optimistic about his approach, and believed that germination of any new endeavor requires patience. But to maintain the enthusiasm of the traditional tribal weavers, Vamsi and his team developed another livelihood project – THE CUCOON BANKS, with a potential market for Tasar silk cloth and accessories. The breakthrough happened when the first lot of silk products, were sold to the renowned fashion designer of Mumbai, Neeta Lulla. Currently, 15 such handlooms are working in the area and receiving recognition for their work.
Having left the fellowship in April 2015, Vamsi still considers himself blessed for the intense experience he received during this period. Now with his colleague Narendra, Vamsi has started a Consultancy, providing services to companies and enterprises, who wish to implement their CSR the right way. Sometimes in life you need to make a decision to follow your heart. Decisions to bring about a change can be very strength sapping, but it also gives you the freedom to start doing what you want, and following the things you want to discover in life.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts!!
Story by : Tanima Chakraborty | Compiled by : Nikhil Sharma
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