Vinay, known for his warm smile and colourful socks, hails from Teliwara, where his family has been running a sock packing business for over two decades. Their daily routine involves receiving materials from Sadar Bazar, ironing socks, pasting stickers, attaching labels, and packing them in polythene for distribution. On average, they manage to pack about 120 bundles each day, with each bundle containing 12 pairs of socks, earning them approximately 10 rupees per bundle. This business is the primary source of income for their family of five.
After completing school, Vinay, being the only son, naturally joined the family business. Despite this, he harboured aspirations to expand his horizons, leading him to enrol in ETASHA’s Computerized Office and Data Entry (CODE) Course. Here, he skilfully balanced his time between assisting in the family business and acquiring new English and computer skills. After completing the 17-week programme, Vinay emerged as a more confident and communicative individual. “I was introverted, mostly spending my time at home. The course not only helped me make friends but also provided an opportunity to practice English,” he shares.
Vinay’s interest in English was partly inspired by his uncles, who are English-speaking tour guides in Agra. While he had a good grasp of English grammar and writing skills from his school days, he initially struggled with speaking confidently. The course encouraged him to apply his knowledge practically. “I could write well and knew grammar, but speaking is different and crucial,” he realized. He diligently worked on his pronunciation, changing ‘aalso’ to ‘also’ and ‘vas’ to ‘was’, and continues to make strides in his linguistic skills. This progress helped him overcome his fear of interacting with strangers. “I used to be concerned about what others would think, but now, I don’t let that stop me,” he asserts confidently.
Vinay’s newfound confidence received a significant boost when he was tasked with approaching high-end restaurants in Connaught Place to inquire about job opportunities. “Venturing out like this was new to me; even a visit to McDonald’s used to be a rarity. These experiences significantly boosted my confidence,” he reflects.
Vinay equates his recent journey of expanding his comfort zone to stretching a pair of snug socks. He firmly believes that these experiences have contributed greatly to his confidence and will be invaluable as he steps into the next phase of his career.