Riding On The Strength Of Women: Six Women Contestants Represent India At Worldskills Competition, Kazan

BW Education interacted with the six women representatives who travelled to Kazan to make their country proud. They shared their journey about their struggles, challenges, and achievements and about making it big at this international platform after clearing many levels of India Skills at the district, state, regional and national levels.

Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey with the India candidates for WorldSkills Kazan 2019.

This year, the biggest competition for vocational skills, 45th WorldSkills Competition brought together participants from 63 countries to compete in 56 skills. The biennial event which has become the biggest championship of vocational skills around the globe promoted world-class standards in technical education and training.

The competition this year is being held in Kazan from August 22nd till 27th in the presence of more than 1,300 young professionals who represented 63 countries and competed in 56 skills. KAZAN EXPO International Exhibition Centre was the main arena for the event and up to 1,300 experts evaluated the competitors.

A 48-member contingent was India’s ambassador at the biggest event for skill excellence globally and participated in 44 skills which included mobile robotics, prototype modelling, hairdressing, baking, confectionery and patisserie, welding, bricklaying, car painting, floristry among others.

This contingent was the sixth-largest team at the event and this was made possible by the opportunities provided by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to empower the youth of the country to choose the right skill set and to achieve their vision of 'Skilled India'.

An integral part of this initiative is to increase women participation and help them build careers of their choice. Today, women are becoming global champions and changing age-old perceptions in many fields. India Skills as a platform has helped women to emerge as professionals and further supported them to display their skills with utmost perfection at the biggest vocational training platform, WorldSkills.

The platform has been a common stage for the governments, industries, and education leaders from around the globe to network, share information and refine best practices targeted towards professional education and the industry.

BW Education interacted with the six women representatives who travelled to Kazan to make their country proud. They shared their journey about their struggles, challenges, and achievements and about making it big at this international platform after clearing many levels of India Skills at the district, state, regional and national levels. Let’s read more about them, hoping to inspire many others to believe in their dreams.   

Medha Devgan, a 22-year-old champion was born and raised in Ludhiana, Punjab. She recently finished her graduation in fashion designing from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Patna and contested for Fashion and Technology skill. She was in the third year when she got to know about the competition through a boot camp organized by NSDC at her college. Medha got excited at this opportunity and applied for the competition at the district level, she cleared all the levels and also won at the nationals. Medha is now excited about her performance at WorldSkills and contested in the category for sketching, pattern making, draping and then dress construction. She created an overcoat in the competition under the theme Royal Russia and is proud of her creation. After returning Medha is keen to join the league of young entrepreneurs in designing.

Medha shared her joy and said, “I will continue polishing my skill by taking another professional course and would like to train more people in Fashion Technology. I feel, that this skill-set has a global appeal and will aspire many others. I cannot thank everyone enough who were behind me to support me throughout this journey which lead to making me a global mark.”

Shweta Ratanpur, who belongs to Maharashtra is a 22-year-old known for her passion from her childhood for art. She wanted to study at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad since she was eight years old. Shweta considers herself lucky as she has found her true calling and passion. She is now following her dreams and contested in Graphic Designing and Technology Skill at Worldskills competition. Shweta also won a silver medal at the national competition and got the opportunity to represent India in various competitions in Abu Dhabi, Russia, and Italy. She made the nation proud as she stood 1st in Italy and landed in receiving a job that she dreamt of by Samsung.

“The governments' support has been tremendous and they have supported us in every leg of this journey. We had to only focus on training and winning the competition as every small detail like our accommodations, food and other expenses were taken care of by the Indian Government. They also focused on the development of our holistic health by introducing yoga which helped us mentally, physically and emotionally”, shared Shweta.

Another inspiring story is of Divya Umesh Godse, a 22-year-old from Maharashtra, who contested in Information Network Cabling trade. Divya is known for her disciplined way of living and shares a strong love for her country. Divya belongs to an army background and sees her participation in WorldSkills as her way of fulfilling her commitment towards the nation. Divya is extremely passionate about electronics and telecommunication and is presently pursuing her Bachelor's degree from MIT Academy of Engineering, Pune. Despite being at the beginner level, she managed to beat several experienced professional and became the finalist for WorldSkills Kazan. Divya also had the privilege of getting trained in Russia and then in Mumbai to polish her skills for WorldSkills.

“Information Network Cabling is a challenging field that requires a lot of physical strength. It’s a matter of pride to represent India in this unconventional skill and make a roadmap for future participants,” said Divya.

Thasleem Mohideen, a 20-year-old hailing from Tamil Nadu, has been passionate about improving the health and social care conditions in India. Having heard several instances of poor health conditions, she was determined to contribute to this field. Working towards contributing to affordable healthcare in the country, she completed her Diploma in Dialysis Technology from Apollo Medskills, Chennai and contested in Health and Social care trade. She also went to the World Skills Asia (Abu Dhabi) and won a gold medal in the regional round of the national competition. She is participating in Worldskills with the aim of learning and honing her skills in the process, while not forgetting her ultimate vision: making India proud.

“NSDC has supported me throughout and also provided us with psychological support that is an integral part of the training for a competition. The workshop they organised helped me overcome all the stress to work in the direction for achieving my goal to prove that India has the best in the healthcare sector. I wanted to become the pride of the nation by winning gold medal at WorldSkills. It feels great to represent India,” said Thasleem.

Mahima Gandhi, 20-year-old from Uttarakhand grew up experimenting with her mother's beauty products and is contesting in Beauty Therapy skill. Gradually, her interest grew into a passion and now she hopes to become a world-renowned beauty therapist. Currently, Mahima is undergoing training at LTA Institute of Beauty and believes representing her country at WorldSkills Kazan is a step towards achieving her dream.

Likewise, 19-year-old Vaidehi Pant from Uttarakhand is contesting in Restaurant Service skill. As a child, Vaidehi's family relocated a lot, exposing her to a multitude of cultures like those from Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar. While her father is a hotelier, her mother works at the British Council. Following her father's footsteps, she is pursuing her graduation from Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa. On a regular day, Vaidehi hits the gym early in the morning followed by meticulous training by her trainer at the restaurant; observing, absorbing and focusing on every little detail are Vaidehi’s key traits. At Kazan, Vaidehi’s dream was to resonate the Indian anthem in the halls of Kazan and she made it come true.

“For the challenges that came my way, I got support from my expert, family, and friends. In our case, challenges become technical as we work with food but since we are provided with the best quality ingredients to practice, our skill-set polishes further. I am extremely proud to represent my country and when I was given the jersey with India written on the back, I was overwhelmed and felt a lot of pride. I wish to inspire others and to showcase India on the global map,” said Vaidehi.

During the last edition at Abu Dhabi in 2017, India won a silver, a bronze and nine medallions of excellence. India also finished 19th out of 56 countries which participated at this event, making it India’s best performance since its participation in the event.  

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