In the year 2007, a group of people from remote villages in India – who couldn’t read or write in any language – set out to accomplish the impossible.

From being absolutely illiterate, they went on to acquire the ability to converse in English, to work on computers and essentially, to work like any other ‘employee’ in a high-tech industry, where they could be considered ‘Knowledge Workers’ – in under 8 months.

They began by learning the English alphabet. They learnt how to read the first few words in English, and they became familiar with using a computer. Bit by bit, they began to understand what it meant to read and write, what it meant to believe in themselves, and their ability.

They began to start speaking and living with confidence. In eight months, they had changed — dramatically.

Most of their training was conducted by the founding team of the Head Held High Foundation itself, with the support of dedicated volunteers.

The videos of these eight people before and after the training can be seen in the last section of this page.
The Rural Edge was the next phase in the journey of HHHF. It was started in 2009, in partnership with Samuha, an NGO, which has been working in the state of Karnataka for more than 25 years, and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.

The key assumptions that needed to be validated through The Rural Edge were:

  • The methodology of training, empowering, and enabling would work in a rural setting at a much larger scale
  • People who have no prior training experience could be trained through a ‘Train the Trainer’ program
  • People with little or no education could work from the villages itself, and the model can be used to get work outsourced from villages
Of the 120 villagers, 113 completed the training. A number of them were inducted into a village BPO to work with HDFC Life, Genpact, a UK customer and others on the same campus as they got trained. The model was validated and it demonstrated the ability to scale.

“I was privileged to witness their first steps to success. Here were people who couldn’t even read bus numbers five months ago, but now speak very decent English, are able to type at a speed of 40-50 words per minute and can obviously do rudimentary clerical work.” – Dr. Rajat Chauhan, Guest Trainer


  • Background of Chandru
  • Chandru’s Graduation Day


  • Background of Ramesh
  • Ramesh Progress in the 7th ...
  • Transformation of Ramesh
  • Ramesh’s Graduation Day

Uttam Prasad

  • Background of Uttam Prasad
  • Uttam’s Graduation Day


  • Background of Meghraj
  • Meghraj’s Progress on the...
  • Megharaju’s Graduation Day


  • Background of Hemanna
  • Hemanna’s Progress in the...
  • Hemanna’s Graduation Day


  • Background of Jayaraj
  • Jayraj’s Graduation Day


  • Background of Chandana
  • Chandana’s Graduation Day


  • Background of Divyashree
  • Divya’s Progress in the 7...
  • Divyashree’s Graduation Day