Mumbai, July, 2020: YourDOST, a leading online counselling and emotional wellness services platform, has witnessed a significant positive impact in 8,000+ young migrant workers and health workers who have undergone its series of emotional counselling sessions conducted during the lockdown period. During the lockdown phase, 1,000 young workers, half of them women, who were otherwise experiencing a highly challenging time due to the impact of the pandemic outbreak in the country on their jobs and lives, received emotional counselling to overcome their anxiety and manage the situation and future more effectively. YourDOST has offered its emotional counselling sessions in Medinipur (West Bengal), Kalimpong (West Bengal), Delhi, Dehradun, Kaithal, Erode, Namakkal, Coimbatore, Amaravati, Khandwa, Dhar, Barrackpore, Howrah, Sambalpur.
Speaking on the emotional counselling program held during the lockdown, Ms. Richa Singh, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, YourDOST, said, “After providing extensive emotional counselling to the young migrant workers and health workers, we could see a tremendous improvement in their positive approach towards their lives and careers. We have so far provided counselling to over 8,000 workers of which 1,000 workers took counselling during the COVID-19 lockdown period. We have provided at least 5 sessions for each of them”.
Trained at different institutions across the country by NSDC, young migrant and health workers are getting employment opportunities in diverse sectors in key metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune etc. However, they have been finding it difficult to select the right option amid COVID-19 spread in India and especially in the metro cities when the situation has been particularly serious. However, after undergoing regular emotional counselling sessions by YourDOST, over a 120-day period, they have developed a positive approach towards their career opportunities and are making appropriate decisions.
Most of them have overcome several hurdles such as family restrictions, adjusting to life in another city, pre-marital issues faced by women, insufficient resources to move out of their place, not having a growth mindset, reluctance towards going to work in odd hours and accepting offers from the employers, amongst others. After the successful completion of emotional counselling, they are now able to convince their parents and elders by explaining the benefits of accepting better jobs, irrespective of the location, which can provide a bright future for them in the long run. These jobs will offer them at least 3-4 times additional income compared to the local opportunities. More importantly, they will provide them with an opportunity to become a part of a structured workforce and build a great career.
“YourDOST provides emotional support to the migrant and health workers and empowers them and helps them build their decision- making skills. All this helps them in taking the right decisions for themselves and grow in their life. It is a free service for individuals. Our counsellors give them some learning exercises, using the appropriate techniques to make them feel better, and help them build the ability to make better decisions for themselves”, added Ms. Richa Singh.
Youngsters who have completed their 8th to 10th are undergoing vocational training by NSDC in various states of the country. Various training institutes and foundations like Generation India provide 45-60 days of training for them in various courses like carpentry, plumbing, and nursing assistant, etc. After the successful completion of training, all these youngsters with an average age of 21 years, are getting good employment opportunities with large corporates, hospitals, hotel chains, etc. However, after the recruitment, most of them tend to leave their jobs due to the erratic work conditions, jobs in non-local areas, and difficulty in dealing with challenging behaviors of their managers. Due to these reasons, the employee retention rate is seen at 40 to 45% across the industries.
Realizing the fact that these youngsters require proper guidance or counselling, various foundations like Generation India sought help from YourDOST. After the regular emotional counselling, the employee retention rate has gone up significantly to 70 to 75%. Hence, the government and the employers are happy while the employees are feeling better and adapting to the new work environment and new weather, culture, etc.
As a part of this program, YourDOST’s Experts reached out to the young migrant workers and health workers and provide them the appropriate guidance by understanding their real problems through counseling sessions. Each individual session lasts a minimum of 30 minutes.
Commenting on the initiative, Mr Puneet Manuja, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, YourDOST, said, “It is very difficult for anybody to identify the gravity of emotions that will make them depressed and therefore, most of the people who are under extreme stress do not approach any counsellor or a coach for appropriate guidance. For migrant workers, reaching out to a psychologist or a psychotherapist has never been an option. That is where we have stepped into action and tried to make them aware of the importance of being fit mentally and emotionally just like maintaining physical fitness. Encouragingly, we have started receiving positive responses from them which have given us some confidence to further enhance the program from hundreds initially to over 1,000 now”.
Sharing his experience with the YourDOST sessions, Mr Shantanu Nag, Mednipur (Health Worker), who now works as a general duty assistant in a hospital, said, “It was such a nice gesture from the expert when she called me and inquired about my wellbeing in the midst of this natural disaster. I am grateful that she cared about us”.
Expressing a similar experience, Nishal Raut, Kalimpong (Migrant worker), who is now employed in the food and beverage industry, said, “The expert is the best. She guides us towards our better future, and she cares about us. In this whole situation, she still calls us, texts us which is really helpful. She is always curious about what problems we're facing and tries to guide us. We are being respected and feel loved.”