The Neo Jholawallahs
Parliamentarian|February 2017

The Image Of Social Workers In Un-ironed Kurtas, Lugging Their Jholas, The Sacrificing Persons Drawing Sympathy And No Money, Has Changed, Especially With The Csr Funding Law And The Best Universities Bringing Out High Class Courses.

Robin Keshaw

DIVAKAR SANKHLA is an IIM, Lucknow and IIT, Madras passout. As he gets ready for his work, he gives a final touch to his presentation which is loaded with ‘numbers’. An hour later, he is at his work location – a small, crummy room in Sangam Vihar, Asia’s largest unauthorised colony. he is presenting before a bunch of 13 year old kids, who are completely engrossed in Divakar’s presentation on ‘Using apps to play with numbers’. Divakar winds up his Maths presentation and kids take out their tablets to start playing with numbers.

“At Alohmora, we are trying to harness the power of the internet to provide the child access to information and low-cost learning resources. Through this, the kids will learn to build their skills independently. essentially, we are focusing on teaching processes of learning rather than teaching some specific content”, Divakar explains about his work. Alohmora is the organisation he founded with Parinita Jain, a University of Michigan passout, in 2015. Alohhmora’s vision is to ‘create a world where all children are equipped and empowered to design their own life path’.

BYE, CORPORATES 

Post his MBA, Divakar had worked for Citibank and Pepsico. “At Pepsico, I used to set sales target and help my team to plan and build capacity to achieve their target. At Alohmora, we help children set their career goals and then prepare them to achieve their target. The nature of my work remains the same, just the agencies have changed”. Divakar reminisces about his transition from corporate world to social sector. In last few years or so, many individuals have followed similar footsteps. P Chandrashekar, a BITS Pilani graduate, trod a similar path when he left his job with JP Morgan Chase to head Nirmaan Vidya help Line, providing career counseling guidance to the youth and children from marginalised sections. Likes of Divakar and Chandrashekar have brought a significant change in the way, social sector is perceived in Indian society.

There are some common perceptions attached with the definition of social work in our society. Low pay, informal, low profile, obscure, last resort, post-retirement, jhola chhaap are some of the typical terms which crops up in mind when one hears about the social sector. A substantial majority also sees the ilk of NGO brigade and activists with much disdain, for being an impediment in the way of economic development of the nation. Abhishek Verma, Lead engineer with L&T Infra rues, “70 per cent of our projects are stuck in government files due to the pressure mounted up by the activists.”

CSR MOOLAH 

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