The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

February - 2011 - issue > Social Cause

2 Indians’ Sacrifice Makes Slums IT-Skilled

Eureka Bharali
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Eureka Bharali
When was the last time you heard an employee being fired due to 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 was 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. Yusuf got the basic IT flair during his days as an Accountant in an MNC in Saudi Arabia.

The Act
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. There are four courses ranging from 6 months, 8 months to 10 months which costs Rs. 6,750, Rs. 15, 000 and Rs. 22, 500 per student respectively. Today all these courses come to the students through Yusuf’s newly constituted Synolog Foundation.

“The IT field has numerous job oriented courses, however we couldn’t manage all. Resources were limited hence, to include all the programs free were not feasible. Yet, whatever we could we did. We are mainly focused on school students from Std. VIII, school dropped out and those who fail or pass with very lower grades. In short, this effort to help a few to overcome the poverty line, reduce unemployment, develop literacy, uplifting society and preventing them from the world of crime,” says Prof. Yusuf Attar. The society’s normal trait is to appreciate and pat the back of the toppers and also helps to guide them for a successful future. But when one drops out, scores lower grades and even fails, the only popular reaction normally noticed is to ignore them without any care to understand the reasons behind. This is where the foundation wanted to make a difference.

The duo took notice of the crucial problems. “Each of them came to school with a breakfast that consists just a cup of tea and sometimes nothing at all. How would a child study when a hungry stomach screams out? The hunger is quite disturbing for anyone to concentrate; irrespective of how polite would you really be while teaching them. The student will either indulge in more mischiefs to kill the hunger or keep mum. Teachers and parents can easily blame a child’s weakness, but it is not so. On the other hand, just think if you put five spoons of sugar in a cup of tea, you wouldn’t be able to drink it. Similarly, unnecessary and unwanted love and care spoils the career of a child and then even if one wishes, one cannot change the child’s attitude when he grow up and goes out of control,” says Imran Salim. He further adds on to illustrate their action towards the issues. “Meals were arranged to calm the hunger and the next step was to bring them into confidence. We have to bend down and be at par with their level to extend a warm hand of friendship. Little talks with emotions helps them to open up and give out the reasons of their treatment. Also don’t leave their elders, they need more counseling than a child.” The parents are helpless, they want to give everything out of their way to their child but their income never permits them. Ultimately frustration gulps both parent and child, which is easily seen in the society in different faces. Hence, the foundation even indulged in counseling each one.

Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Share on facebook