SVP-TIDE’s Energy Stewards project presented young people, from school dropouts to college-going students in need of money, with a new livelihood source and skill building opportunity.
If not for his internship stipend at TIDE, Anthony James would have struggled to pay his exam fees. James, 20, is currently pursuing his BBM (Bachelors in Business Management) in a local college. The annual fee of Rs 25,000 was too steep an amount for his widowed mother, who works as a labourer in a garment factory, to afford. “I contributed the Rs 4,000 I earned as an Energy Steward towards my education. The money really helped me at my time of need,” James says.
The tasks Indu did were so easy – Count the number of lights and fans, do the meter readings, check for air conditioning – that you’d wonder why this 20-year-old claims that it changed her life. But it did. After doing 4 energy audits as Energy Steward in four leading corporates, Indu has learnt more than just energy conservation. “For the first time, I entered a corporate complex. From speaking to the staff to meeting the CEO, they were all first-time experiences. I learnt how to approach people, how to speak, how to dress and how to behave,” she says. Daughter of a tomato merchant who is the sole breadwinner of the family, Indu is also happy that her stipend added to the family income.
For electrician Praveen S, 25, his short stint as an Energy Steward has taken him far ahead of his classmates who underwent the ITI training in electrical repairs along with him in 2012. “My course was all theory; I’d never had a chance to examine practical electrical issues till I began doing energy audits through TIDE,” he admits.
Praveen conducted energy audits in the large offices of Britannia, Manipal Group, Radio City and Pearson Group, where he learnt about their energy maintenance practices, monitored their energy usage patterns and checked for lapses. “It was an experience I would not have had if not for the TIDE internship program. It has built my confidence as an electrician, and now I feel more ready to start out on my own,” he adds.