“I Have the Opportunity to Transform Many Others Like Me”

Rohini Madan, Executive Trainer, talks about her experiences after joining the team at Head Held High Foundation and what keeps her motivated at work

Rohini grew up in Chandrapur, in a family of five that included her parents and two sisters. Her father used to run a tea shop in town. She completed her MPhil in Economics and then started working as a sales executive at a showroom in town. But although the job gave her a paycheck, she felt it was not the career track she wanted to pursue.

In June 2019, she got the chance to join Head Held High Foundation as an Executive Trainer and convinced her family that it was the right move for her. Rohini’s own parents had taken loans to enable her and her sisters to continue their education. She now felt excited about the opportunity to support others who were dealing with similar challenges.

Her first location was Wani, Maharashtra where there were hurdles in terms of transport and connectivity from the main town. Rohini says, “For all the new members of the training team, our greatest source of support and motivation were the senior trainers. They were always there to advise and show us the way forward. Any issue could be resolved with team work at HHH.”

Counselling was a key skill and tool that the team was encouraged to develop. They learnt how to speak to families and address their mindset — primarily when it came to women and their inclusion in the workspace. Rohini felt happy to be driving this effort and also to see results emerging from it. Post training, many youth from her batches started jobs in the local area.

After completing two batches in Wani, Rohini then moved to a new centre at Kamptee (Nagpur) which also became her home for the duration of the training. Despite the remoteness of these centres and related challenges, Rohini says, “I was ready to continue since I knew how committed the students were to their goals — of starting livelihoods and being able to support their families. We were like family and till date, all my students are in touch with me. They often call me their ‘mother’ since I would take care of them individually.

With the pandemic, the responsibilities of Rohini and her fellow trainers have expanded. Apart from training, they are also involved in helping families with accessing social security schemes and providing other forms of Covid-related support. Rohini says,  “I am grateful to HHH for helping me to help others during these tough times. The new initiatives have taught me a lot  – about everything from mobilising, building awareness, registration and more. It was important to connect with people and let them know that we were there to support them during this crisis.”

Rohini got married earlier this and is now settled in her hometown Chandrapur again where she recently wrapped up another training batch. She is grateful to her husband and family for being a huge source of support and strength. Her husband, Rohini says, “is the one person that makes me believe in myself and pushes me to be a better version of myself.”

She now plans to continue in this role, empowering youth in their quest to create better lives for themselves and their families. She says, “My goals will keep me going over the next few years; if I achieve even half of what I have set out to do, I will be satisfied.”

She adds, “HHH is an organization where a person can handle multiple roles such as mobiliser, trainer, placement cell coordinator… It makes one more invested in the job where there is new learning every day.”

This article was drafted by Mouli Chatterjee

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