Here's a course that does what it says. A hospitality training venture conceptualised by the Union tourism ministry, Hunar Se Rozgar Tak, which literally means "from skills to jobs", has worked wonders for each of its 250 students so far.
Started at Hotel Ashoka in Ranchi in September last year, the courses in food and beverage (FandB) service and food production were sponsored by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILandFS).
In 12 months, the initiative has churned out as many as 250 candidates from all over Jharkhand in 13 batches of around 30 members each.
All students ' eligibility being Class VIII qualification, youngsters mostly come from needy backgrounds, though there is a sprinkling of middle class aspirants ' have bagged jobs with salaries ranging between Rs 2,500 and Rs 4,000 per month.
It is a big deal for trainees between 18 and 28 who can hardly recognise their new avatars.
Kanke Road girl Sunita Kumari (20), who completed her course in February, is now a housekeeping staff at Hotel Capitol Residency, Ranchi.
"My life has changed. It's a fairytale," smiled the girl in her smart uniform. "I am enjoying my work, meeting all kinds of people and growing professionally. The working environment is great and colleagues are cooperative," she said.
It is the same for Samita Toppo (19) and Nilima Jojo (21) from Gumla and Simdega, both FandB trainees at Green Acres, a hotel near the Birsa Munda airport.
Gumla youth Gajendra Kumar Singh (26) is already an FandB executive in Golden Tulip, Ranchi.
It is in search of similar happy endings that applicants throng Hunar Se Rozgar Tak. Right now, the 14th batch is going on, while an advertisement inviting applicants for the 15th batch, inserted on Thursday, has already garnered a good response.
The good times start as soon as candidates are selected. Those in food production get a stipend of Rs 2,000 and those in food and beverage service get Rs 1,500. It is a one-time thing, but a nice welcome.
Then come the smart uniforms, tool kits and lessons, which include soft skills. Students groomed for the hospitality industry get a complete makeover in looks and personality. An FandB student of the 14th batch, Ranju Kumari (21) of Pithoria says she can't stop pinching herself whenever she sees herself in a crisp white shirt, black trousers and black shoes.
"Now, I must learn English," she says with determination.
There are thoughtful add-ons. As classes are from 9am to 5pm, students get free lunch.
General manager of Hotel Ashoka Vikas Anand said students show immense interest. "The fact that we find them jobs in good hotels fuels their interest. So many candidates apply that we adopt a first-come, first-serve approach. Our newest batch, the 15th, will start on October 3," Anand said.
Satyajit Roy, who teaches communication and soft skills, had the final word. "This is their passport to a better life."