Qimpro Gold Standard 2019

Meera Shenoy


Co-Founder, Youth4Jobs

MEERA SHENOY, Founder, Youth4Jobs Foundation, has been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s words: The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Ms Shenoy is a pioneer, in India, for market-linked skilling, job placement, and mentoring of underprivileged youth. Three themes run throughout her work:
» Believe in the intrinsic potential of the poor and vulnerable
» Work with rural youth, as 69 percent of India lies in its villages
» Use information technology to ensure quality and transparency in work.

Youth4Jobs was founded by Ms Shenoy seven years back, with a singular focus on youth with disabilities, from rural underprivileged families. She chose to work in this challenging field, because the World Bank and World Health Organization had reported that India has 70 million disabled population. Barely 0.1% have jobs. India’s chronic problem was adopted by Ms Shenoy, the crusader.

Youth4Jobs has trained over 17,800 vulnerable rural youth with disability. Of these, 30% are girls, who are kept hidden in their homes because of the social stigma of disability. Sixty percent are placed, on merit, in the organized sector; 18% work in local SMEs. Currently, the organization works with youth who have locomotive disability, hearing impairment, and low vision. Parents are delighted that their disabled children are now gainfully productive.

The flagship program, WISE, spread over 45 to 60 days, is customized to aspirations of the youth and market needs. The key modules address: communication English, soft skills, life skills, values, yoga, and job-specific skills as required by industry. Youth4Jobs has 27 WISEtraining centres in 16 states of India, as well as one in Mauritius. The companies that recruit students from these training centres are: Amazon, Flipkart, Tata Star Bazar, Taj, ITC, and more.

Ms Shenoy has realized that a job to one member in the family, lifts the entire family out of poverty in a sustained manner. Her work demonstrates this every day.

Ms Shenoy commenced her career in skilling as Executive Director, Employment Generation and Marketing Mission. This was India’s first governmental mission for jobs creation, focusing on for rural and tribal youth. She has also worked as the World Bank’s specialist in youth and skilling, for their poverty alleviation projects.

We congratulate Meera Shenoy. Our Qimpro Gold Standard 2019 for Education.

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