‘Skill India Didn't See My Skills’

Raju Yadav, 26, picked up the skills of an electrician while working in an electric repair shop. However, Skill India centres refused to lend him certification because he did not know how to write and take notes 

I am an electrician. I can fix any wiring fault and even install solar panels. I have been doing this for the past five years. But I don’t have a degree or a certificate, I have learnt my skills through experience and no formal training. I have been pursuing a Skill India centre for getting a certificate, but in vain. 

I have been denied a certificate because my poor reading and writing skills. This is gross injustice with people like us. I learnt about Skill India Centres through a friend, who got a certification. He is now a certified electrician, but I am not. How does it matter whether I am able to write notes or not? 

The only thing that matters are my skills. And I have worked very hard to acquire them. When I first came to Delhi with my family from Uttar Pradesh, I could only find work as a daily wage labourer. I struggled to make money, as even after a day’s hard work, the money wasn’t enough to survive in Delhi. 

One day, I got an opportunity to work as a labourer at an electrification site. I stuck to that project for over a year till it was completed. Gradually after two-three years of work as an assistant to electricians, I got my first project on my own and completed it successfully. Now I am a full-fledged electrician, I just need a certification to get more jobs. 

To get a certification I need to learn to write properly. I quit studying after primary school, so writing is something that I could never perfect. With a little help I can probably learn to write too.

There are many people like me, who have learnt a vocation, on the job. It just shows that we are good learners and we don’t really need to take notes. But our fate still hangs in balance. People who have similar skills, and are able to take notes, are now certified by the government. 

I want the authorities to understand that we are equally skilled. I have spent years in perfecting my skills as an electrician. But I can only get a contract through my sources and references as I don’t have any certificate. 

Even if the government gives me a certificate of assistant or trainee electrician, it will be of great help for me. I will prove myself and will return to the centre after studying enough to get proper certification. This will help me build a career and take care of a family. 

There are thousands like me who are in dire need of certification for their skills. The government must do something for us for the sake of equal opportunity.

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