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Educated choices

What did you want to be when you grew up?


This year, Snehalaya students completing their 10 and 12 std have an array of interesting career options from archaeologist, surgeon and event manager to games designer, beautician and software engineer. Our Education Committee recently met with 17 boys and 20 girls from our childcare institution to hear more about their plans and see how we can help them achieve their dreams.

Snehalaya shelters the children of sex workers from an early age with the ambition of providing them a quality education that will ensure they find a future away from the red light areas. We also support children living with HIV, some of whom are orphans, encouraging them to look to the future with hope and ambition.


Deciding a future career is never easy and we often rely heavily on our parents, families, friends and teachers to guide us in our choices. For the children growing up under our care, their view of the world and the careers it offers are often limited to those they interact with on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many express desires to enter the police, social work, healthcare, hospitality, driving etc.

While we appreciate our children considering paying it forward through service to their country, we also want to ensure they are making the right choices for them by encouraging them to consider what they love to do and are good at. It can be confusing deciding the route to your chosen career and our education committee was set up in 2022 to help our children decide on the right paths after they received their 10 and 12 std exam results. This year, we have brought the first meeting of the committee forward so we can start discussing and researching their education plans as soon as their exams are over. The committee will meet again once their exam results are received when we can start the admissions process.

In our first meeting, each child was asked to share three future career options after which they were tasked with researching which colleges and courses will help them achieve their ambition. In a first, we also gave them information about our own Vidya Sahayog Scholarship, a Snehalaya scheme open to all young people from low economic backgrounds. Some were very clear and confident on their plans while others will need more support to decide on their next steps. This is when Sachet Foundation steps in with their portfolio of careers counselling and vocational skills training supported by two dedicated on-site staff. Snehalaya and Sachet teams will work with the children individually and in groups to ensure they have a clear plan once they know their results.

In some cases, the young person doesn’t have the academic strength to continue their education beyond 12 std. Sachet and our SKVK vocational training unit have developed metalwork, beauty parlour, fashion, two-wheeler and automobile repair and carpentry training on-site, providing many young people with the practical skills that will lead to well-paid employment. Sachet also connects us with other NGOs and organisations that can offer training and placements in professions such as hotel management, carpentry and sports-based training across the country. 

Giving our young people the responsibility to decide their own futures and interrogate their strengths and passions is paying off. The committee is proving very successful in ensuring our young people make the right choices and stick to them, greatly reducing the numbers of drop outs once they start college. We have an increased confidence that the skills we are arming them with before they reach 18 provide a strong foundation to help them stand on their own two feet once they leave our care.

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