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2 Indians' sacrifice makes slums IT-Skilled
By Eureka Bharali, SiliconIndia
Bangalore: When was the last time you heard an employee being fired because of non-performance? It's an everyday issue. Now, when was the last time you heard an employer selling his own property to ensure that the employees he fired are empowered with the skills they lack? That's exactly what Mohammed Yusuf Attar did. Commonly known as 'Prof. Yusuf Attar' of Synolog Systems, a distributor and supplier of computer electronics, today, Yusuf selects and enrolls slum people to make them IT skilled - a skill which has become the new norm for any career.

The real phase behind this generous act dates back to 2002, when Prof. Yusuf and his partner Shaikh Imran Salim established Synolog Systems. "After a point of time, we went hunting for professionals in the IT institutes and found a bunch of them to work for us. All of them had Diploma Certificates of IT courses ranging from 12 to 18 months. Gradually, we realized their performance is unsatisfactory and even the feedbacks from clients began to deteriorate. That was the time when we thought of firing all of them and shut the company for some time," says Prof. Yusuf. The decision did not satisfy them. "It's an increase in unemployment. How would this bunch of kids really make it to other companies?" is the only thought that disturbed the two partners. And right at the next moment, they were up with an audio-visual tool to ensure their ex-employees are in the industry with the right skills.

The unskilled employees were roped in, Diploma courses in Computer Engineering and in Basic computer application were introduced - all for free under the banner of SIIT (Synolog Institute of Information Technology). Gradually, they expanded their reach to under-privileged slum-kids in schools and orphanages. Though it's free for the society, but the two partners did have to bear the cost, which went upto Rs. 22,500 per student for a single 10-month course. It took a toll on Yusuf and Shaikh to an extent that they had to invest their own savings and even put across their properties on sale. Did this deter them? No. Infact, they expanded it to educate more from the masses. They explored 10 schools, wherein they scanned 2893 students and finalized on 223 pupils. "Not everyone has a poor background and our course is meant to uplift the underprivileged," says Yusuf. Till date approximately 925 students had benefited from their free computer education program and many among them are employed with companies like SkyTronics, Sai Sales Infotech, QLC, Accura Infotech, Radiant Technologies, Printrade Issues, Abhinav Technical Institute, Entrosys Computers, SHN Solutions, YAS Technologies and ICON System.

But such societal acts, unless is all the time boasted with different marketing tactics, hardly gets noticed. And only after six years of continuous struggle, Yusuf and his team has finally got the attention of Aishabai & Haji Abdul Latif Charitable Trust and South Bombay Charitable Trust, who helped them with a better premise and some amount of monetary support. Yusuf is quite clear on his intentions - to make all the slum kids of Mumbai IT skilled. "In India, the highest number of slums exist in Mumbai, but there's hardly any interest on this part of the society. We are primarily concentrated on the slums in Govandi, Colaba, Wadala, Bandra, Khar, Jogeshwari and Worli," Yusuf maintains. He concludes with a remark that guides every humble man - "Just do your work without any expectations, as God sees it all".
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