Ashweetha Shetty (Age 24) started "Bodhi Tree Skills"

Residence: Tirunelveli

Youth venturer since February 2016

Area of work: Education

The Problem

India is the youngest country in the world with 600 million below the age of 21. But 1 out of 3 young graduates are unemployed in India. The situation is even worse in rural areas where 60% of India’s youth resides. In India, a person in an urban area has a 93% greater chance of training than someone in rural area. Rural graduates are mostly first generation college goers who lack awareness of opportunities, cannot access resources, and do not have skills to fit into the market.

The Strategy

Ashweeta founded the Bodhi tree foundation to bridge this gap between education and the employment market. Through their professional development services program, Bodhi Tree Skills endeavours to equip rural college graduates with professional skills in order to empower them to explore and choose their best career options by either joining the workforce or pursuing higher education. Through a Fellowship program, Bodhi tree addresses the need to create young rural leaders. BTSF is a unique two-year program that brings first year graduates from rural backgrounds, and trains them to become well-rounded individuals. The fellows will be trained as English language teachers and will tutor young children in their own communities.

The Person

Ashweetha grew up in a small village in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. She enjoyed the proximity to nature, plucking Tamarind, catching fish. As she grew older, she began to realise the patriarchal nature  of the society she lived in. After reading the autobiography of Helen Keller at 13, she realised that she had the power to transform lives. She began tutoring other students, despite her illiterate parents originally not comprehending the importance of pursuing a path in education. Ashweetha previously worked as a Community Engagement Coordinator with SughaVazhvu Healthcare, which provides last-mile primary healthcare in rural India. Ashweetha is a Young Indian fellow and an Acumen India Fellow and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Manonmaniam Tirunelveli University.


Personal insight

 "With every passing day, I remind myself how fortunate I am to have a life (...) a sense of independence and freedom to spread my wings, claim my dreams and shape my world."

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