Ms. Sushmita Khandagle, an eighth-grade student at Zila Parishad Higher Primary School in a small village called Shirodi in Auragnabad district, Maharashtra. Due to low landholding, her family’s main source of income is agriculture labor. The family earns only about Rs. 25,000 annually from subsistence farming. Due to their poor economic situation, Sushmita never had the opportunity to use a computer, though she was eager to learn. Her family’s financial situation limited her dreams.
Thanks to the generous support of the Guru Krupa Foundation, S M Sehgal Foundation offered digital and life skills awareness training sessions at Sushmita’s school. Excited by the opportunity, Sushmita was the first to register for the class. With the trainings, she became skilled at operating a computer and using software such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Sushmita learned about the uses of computers, the internet, and email; online application submission, bill payment, and ticket booking; and basic life skills such as decision-making, goal setting, and navigating gender equality issues.
This year, Sushmita participated in the Dr. C V Raman Scholarship Examination along with other students. When her schoolteacher called the students to fill out the online application, the other students had to first open email accounts before they could apply, but Sushmita surprised everyone by filing the application herself through her own, already-established email account, which allowed her to apply easily. This achievement provided her with a morale boost and appreciation from other students who were learning digital and life skills awareness.
Sushmita said that her confidence level has considerably improved due to the digital and life skills awareness trainings.