Shaheen Khan On How CEDP Is Transforming Lives Of Underprivileged Kids
Mumbaikar Shaheen Khan always wanted to do something for underprivileged children. In 2010, she co-founded the Council of Education & Development Program (CEDP), an NGO that imparts training to people and helps them become self-sufficient — free of cost.
While making sure that these underprivileged kids also make a good living for themselves, CEDP, which now has 4 centres in Mumbai, plans to expand to other parts of the country.
What inspired you to start up CEDP?
My parents always educated and motivated me to help those who are less fortunate and as I grew up, I observed that there were a lot of people who could not afford quality food, education and shelter like everyone else. This inspired me and hence I try to the best of my abilities to help underprivileged children and ensure they have the opportunity for a better education. If their basic education is taken care of, then tomorrow they can stand on their own feet and do things that they have always wanted to or buy things that they need.
A large number of students dropping out of the education system post HSC due to various reasons, led to a series of discussions on the possibility to start an incubation training institute. The idea was that students can acquire skills as per their area of interest, which would make them employable with a bright career of their choice.
Over the last 8 years, there have been students who are pursuing graduation or even post-graduation & are opting for CEDP courses, as this ensures they are equipped with skills that would make their chances of being employed much higher.
Explain why CEDP is so efficient compared to other skill development institutes.
At CEDP Skill Institute, we understand the competitive pressure and those rare opportunities, which many students fail to comprehend initially. With our courses, we invite young minds to find their own calling in a multitude of fields, including Finance and Accounts, Hotel Management, Automotive, Paramedical Courses, Nursing Aide, Patient Care, Industrial Safety, Operation Theatre Technician, HR, Naturopathy and beyond.
We have managed to Skill-empower over 5,000 youths since inception. CEDP is more than keen to offer counselling and advice on choice of career and course, with experienced career experts available for appointments.
With industry collaborations of over 250 clients, CEDP boasts of 100% placements that is guaranteed to its students upon successful completion of courses. Quality education linked with employment is what sets CEDP miles apart in the segment of Skill Development Training.
What is your core passion and long-term vision behind CEDP?
Over the next 3 years, we wish to have a full-fledged Skill Incubation college, where each student can equip him/herself with modern skills. Also, the industry can equip their future employees with skills required for optimum productivity before joining the organizations.
What has been the most amazing moment you’ve experienced?
There have been many such heart touching and amazing moments till date, but the one that really struck the chords of my heart was when one of the girl students whose parents always cursed her for her being a girl were beaming with pride when their daughter was selected by a leading airline as cabin crew. The determination and the grit of the girl was really commendable as she changed the views of her own parents about her being a girl child.
Do you face any struggles for sponsors?
At times yes, but so far, we have managed to provide the girls the best possible education and career.
How did you overcome the challenges that tried to stop you along way?
The most challenging part of the journey was to collaborate with industry for internships and placement. However, over a period of time, we overcame the challenge by providing the best quality skill training to the students by experts for enhanced learning experience, which eventually caught the attention of the industry.
We ensure that a child who comes to learn with us learns with lot of passion and dedication as this is what will change their life and future.
Will a day come when kids won’t be afraid anymore to choose the career of their own?
This is something that we are already doing and we are very proud of the doing this. We are one of the very few organizations who is involved with this.
How have the responses from these girls been so far?
The girls have lapped up the chances with both hands and have made a complete turnaround of their lives.
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