Uddami was started in 1999 by a teacher and a software developer with a simple idea – teach practical computer skills that would lead to a good job and a better life.
Sounds easy right? This is the background – despite significant economic progress, 23.6% (2011 estimate*) of India’s population live below the poverty line.
Kolkata is a teeming city of over 14 million people with an infrastructure meant for 4 million. The majority struggle every day just to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.
Economic opportunities are rare for youth and women from low-income communities in Kolkata. To have an edge in the overcrowded mainstream job market they must develop skills that set them apart because the competition has better education, more resources and unlimited connections.
If you are lucky enough to be born into an economically secure family the possibilities for success are limitless.
If not, opportunities simply do not exist.
Uddami Computer Training Center provides free computer access and practical skill training to help fill this gap.
The computer center has evolved into an inclusive place where everyone is welcome – no distinction is made based on religion, color, gender, ability or disability.
This is a place where students respect teachers not from the “guru” tradition but for their knowledge and fairmindedness. Where both students and teachers aren’t afraid to say “I don’t know” because they agree this is the first step to learning. Where students are encouraged to think, question and dream.
Uddami’s philosophy is that every individual deserves the chance to reach their full potential.
From Uddami graduates:
It’s not only computer skill it’s about behavior – how they treated us it’s wonderful, [there’s] not such a word that expresses my feeling…
I got information about Uddami from my father. Here is a place for the poor boys and girls to get a chance, where they can learn computer without investing a lot of money. Teachers are very helpful and careful. They always try to make us do better so we can make a better future. From there I can know that computers make our life interesting.
I am very very much appreciate about Uddami, what they have done totally changed my life. If they didn’t give the job and computer skill I would have not [be] here where I am now.
…here in Uddami I have got not only the computer training but also how to communicate with others and how to speak in English. Uddami has shown me the way to earn money, and taught me how to be independent. So I am really very much thankful to Uddami.
This center …has good thinking for the poor who doesn’t get any opportunity. …they inspire us to build our career and give us open path to success.
Before coming here I could not find the answer to “What do I do?” or “What is my future?” But now I am satisfied about my future.
* In 2012, the Indian government stated that 22% of its population is below its official poverty limit. Based on 2005’s PPPs International Comparison Program, in 2011, the World Bank estimated that 23.6% of Indian population, or about 276 million people, lived below $1.25 per day on purchasing power parity. (Wikipedia)