In a small town like Rajam, there is hardly any culture of using a library and absolutely no access to career counseling facilities. Youth are often hampered in their preparations for competitive exams because books are expensive and they cannot individually buy all of them. There are no avenues for interacting with peers or with mentors so that there is some competition, motivation or guidance.
It was to fill this gap that the Prathiba Library and Counseling Centre was started in 2005 at Rajam town with 360 books and subscription of five periodicals. Now, the Centre has about 666 books and it subscribes to 17 periodicals. The objective of the Centre is to provide a learning environment, career and higher education guidance, and helping youth to prepare for the future.
The Centre has served about 1145 members so far. Presently 287 (Female-68, Male-219) candidates are using the services. Students come here to study and refer; to interact with peers; get necessary inputs from external resource persons; and to avail counseling services to build up their confidence and capacities. The Centre also prepares youth for competitive exams like RRB, DSC, bank examinations etc. through classes, practice tests and mock interviews. It also guides the members towards suitable employment and higher education opportunities.
- More than 151 members have gained employment at different job levels of public and private sectors with assistance and guidance from the centre. (Defence-23, Teachers-40, Bank jobs-21, other Government jobs-10, Private Jobs-57)
- Various mock-examinations and programmes are conducted to enable members to effectively participate in competitive examinations.
- The centre has also helped several youth to get good ranks in various University entrance exams.
- The Centre has started providing Computer training on MS-office. Office assistant training is also provided to the aspiring candidates.
- The counseling support provided to the members is very effective in guiding them towards appropriate careers and higher degrees.
Bringing Out the Talent
Krishnam Raju hails from a poor family in Bodduru village near Rajam. His father runs a petty shop and mother prepares and sells ‘vadiyalu’ (rice papad). After schooling at Bodduru, Krishnam Raju joined the Govt. Junior College, Rajam to pursue intermediate. Later he joined SGCSR College to pursue B.Sc. He was supported with a scholarship from GMRVF. After this, he also completed B.Ed. from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. Raju was worried about his future because of the intense competition in the job market. Due to his poor financial situation, it was difficult for him to appear for coaching for D.S.C. (District Selection Committee) examination for recruitment of teachers in Govt. schools. It was at this time he came to know about Pratibha Library cum Counseling Center run by GMRVF at Rajam and he immediately became a member. At Pratibha he started utilizing the available books on competitive examinations besides taking counseling services. He attended free coaching classes at Pratibha for D.S.C. exam. With this support, he confidently appeared for the exam and secured Secondary Grade Teacher post. Now, Krishnam Raju is working as a School Assistant and attributes his success to Pratibha for providing excellent support in his onward march.