ETASHA has an eclectic staff, to say the least. Some members facilitate. Others create curricula. Supervision and management is the role of some faculty. And then there’s Monika Gupta, who literally does a little bit of everything. Ever since ETASHA was founded back in 2006, Monika has been whatever the organization needs her to be.
She serves as ETASHA’s Governing Council Secretary and her duties include (but are not limited to) keeping and maintaining records, teaching computer classes, providing and checking materials in ETASHA centers, keeping track of appointments and leaves of absence, scheduling, travel arrangements, monitoring monetary transactions, and a little bit of career guidance (try repeating that list in one breath). Essentially, she is the secretary of the whole organization, working with paperwork whenever necessary.
Now, you might think that having so many responsibilities would make Monika’s job a little hectic—you would be right. No two days ever look the same for her, and she is always working on something different. However, she embraces the various tasks that her job entails, going about her duties with a smile. Indeed, she explains, “I really like keeping and organizing records and working behind the scenes.” However, that’s not to say her job isn’t difficult. Coordination is the main issue. She points out, “One of the most difficult parts of my job is checking and arranging travel plans for ETASHA employees. At the end of every month, everyone sends me their reports and accounts, and I have to read over them and check them for accuracy.”
Despite all of her tasks, she still finds time to occasionally facilitate, teaching computer classes sometimes at the Madanpur Khadar and Tigri centers. She usually teaches younger trainees about Microsoft programs (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) and the basics of the Internet. In addition, she also works to help trainees by participating in career guidance, which focuses on advising students about potential future careers and areas of employment. “Some of my fondest memories in my years with ETASHA have come from my experience with counseling trainees. I really like being able to give advice that will set them on the right track and help them decide what they want to do with their lives.” She has found that the young people that ETASHA helps have taught her almost as much as she has taught them. Every new experience with one of them brings new revelations for her, which is why she wants to continue to work in ETASHA in the future, bringing about the kind of positive change that ETASHA engenders in impoverished communities.