Pooja DIshaIt is around four in the afternoon and a group of young students hastily rush into 26-year-old Pooja Kaushik’s house in Nayagaon area of Faridabad, Haryana. A small, colourfully decorated chart paper outside the house proclaims that tuition classes for students up to 10th standard are conducted here.

“We have recently ordered a flex print of the signboard. It is much bigger and people will be able to see from a distance,” says an excited Pooja. “I got the idea of putting up a signboard as a marketing strategy only after the DISHA training session,” she adds.

Pooja is one of the several women of the region who are a part of the UNDP’s DISHA project for entrepreneurship promotion, being implemented in Haryana by HPPI.

“I have been teaching in a nearby private school for last seven years. Even though I always thought of starting tuition classes for the students of my village I lacked a clear understanding of how to go about it. Being a teacher, I knew I had the capacity but just didn’t know where to start from,” she says.

Pooja decided to attend the 3-day training session after she was informed about the DISHA project by a neighbour.

The training session conducted under DISHA project explains the various aspects of starting and establishing an enterprise and ways to grow it in a very comprehensive way. Following the training, regular follow-us are conducted by the trainers to ensure that any bottlenecks on the way to starting a business are resolved through proper means.

“From the instructions received during training, I made a budget diary to list out all the initial expenses. I realised that the savings from my salary was sufficient and I did not need to take a loan for conducting the classes. All the initial investment went in printing the signboard and stationery for my students,” says Pooja.

Pooja Disha2

Since majority of students attending the classes are from humble backgrounds, all of them are provided notebooks, pencils and other items of need. This keeps their interest levels up while also attracting them to the class every day.

“My fee structure is such that these students are able to afford the classes. I charge them based on their grades and most of the parents are happy to send them here since they know their children are in the care of an experienced, practicing teacher close to their home,” she says.

When asked about her plans for future, Pooja, who along with a Bachelor’s degree also holds a Diploma in Computers Operations, is quick to respond: “From the savings, I am going to start a computer centre near the main road. I have already identified the location and our computer teacher at the school I teach has expressed interest in joining as an instructor,” she says with a smile.

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About HPPI

Humana People to People India is a development organization registered as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 as of 21st May 1998. It is a non-political, non-religious organization. Its mission is to unite with people in India in order to create development in the broadest sense through the implementation of the projects that aim at transferring knowledge, skills and capacity to individuals and communities who need assistance to come out of poverty and other dehumanizing conditions.

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