“There is no other way out – Education is the key for a better life. Otherwise we can only work as daily workers with a very low income.”

Pankaj Awchat, shop owner in Butiburi, Nagpur District, Maharashtra

Pankaj Awchat is only 21 years old, and yet he is already running his own mobile shop in Butiburi, a village around 35 km south of Nagpur. His father being an Auto Rickshaw-Driver, Pankaj knew that he would need a good education to make a better living one day. So while going to school he also attended two Technical Training Courses in Butiburi and Nagpur. Finally, after finishing 12 th grade he decided to take part in the Ecumenical Sangam's 6-months Electrical Wiring and Motor Re-winding Training Course. The training included boarding in the Bamhani Base Centre. Pankaj especially enjoyed the community and team-work experience besides the technical training. At the end of the Training Course, with the Government Certificate in his hands, he prepared to open his own mobile shop with the help of a loan from family and friends. Offering electrical rewinding of mobiles and selling mobile hardware the young entrepreneur is now earning up to 4000 Rupees (£54). per month, which is quite a lot compared to the monthly wage of 2500 Rupees (£33) for a low-skilled factory worker. The business is running well, so Pankaj has good prospects of earning even more in the future.

Having a stable and comfortable source of income, Pankaj's name has become popular in the village. With a huge grin on his face he reports about the rising number of marriage proposals he receives since he is running his own mobile shop.