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The style, the confidence..

English-speaking camp organised by Bidar's District Development Forum is a big hit


The style, the confidence…

English-speaking camp organised by Bidar's District Development Forum is a big hit

Raghunath Metre passed his degree and diploma in education in Kannada medium. Hailing from the remote village of Markhal in Bidar district, he knew little English. He was worried this handicap would push him down the ladder in the job market. However, after attending a month-long English training camp organised by the District Development Forum, he has gained confidence.

Now he can not only write without errors, he can also speak in an American accent. “I am sure I can face any competition now,” he says.

The District Development Forum, which is an umbrella organisation of the Shaheen Education Society, Karnataka Rashtriya Education Society, Kalyan Karnataka Trust and other NGOs, organised the camp.

Resource persons of the Hyderabad-based English House trained nearly 1,600 students, unemployed youth, teachers, and professionals in the camp. On the last day of the camp, students displayed their skills in English speaking. They spoke on a topic of their choice before an audience of over 600 people.

Boys and girls from Kannada, Urdu and Marathi medium spoke fluently on topics suggested by judges. Each one of them succeeded in speaking error-free English and surprised their teachers and parents.

Vithal Apparao Patil, who came from the remote village of Chandori, recalled his experiences before attending the camp and later. S. Pujashree asked her friends to shed stage fear and used impressive body language and voice modulation.

She won hearts

However, the person who stole the show was M. Safura. The girl, who studied in Urdu medium, fumbled the first time she was called on stage. She forgot her lines and ran back to her seat with tears in her eyes. However, when she was called to the stage the second time, she mustered extraordinary courage and delivered a memorable speech. Her last words were drowned in applause. She received a special cash prize and a memento from the organisers.

“That was exactly my fate five years ago,” says English House director Munawar Zama. A pharmacist in a Hyderabad hospital, he was feeling stuck in his job. He wanted a promotion, a hike or a better job. “However, to get anyone of these, I needed to be fluent in English and I was not,'' he says. He thought of enrolling in an English speaking class but could not muster the courage to speak to the receptionist there. “Finally, I met Professor Hammad A. Alvi who changed my life,” he said.

Today, Mr. Zama is among the most popular English trainers in the country. He has trained over 50,000 students, professionals and unemployed youth across India and abroad in the last few years. His students include IPS officers in New Delhi, IIT and IIM students, English teachers, young recruits at call centres, and those aspiring for jobs in the corporate sector. Before the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi administration invited Mr. Zama to train personnel who manned control rooms in the police commissionerate and municipal administration offices, and the traffic police.

His workshops are usually one month long and he admits even those with “a nodding acquaintance of English.” He also teaches students in the orphanages in Hyderabad.

“We plan to organise training camps by English House every year,” Shaheen Education Society secretary Abdul Quadeer, a member of DDF, said.

link http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-feature/tp-educationplus/the-style-the-confidence/article2687599.ece




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