Forty-year-old K. Srivani of Ajit Singh Nagar in the city has to take care of her three children after her husband passed away recently. While working in a private hospital as an assistant, she has come to know of a free training programme that will help her secure a better job.

Now, thanks to the pilot project of ‘certified housekeeper course’ launched by the Department of Employment and Training under Rajiv Udyoga Sri programme, Ms. Srivani and 85 other women from the relatively poor financial background are able to get trained in the nitty-gritty of housekeeping for a month. “This course will fetch me a job with a minimum pay of Rs. 3,000 a month, which is a decent income for somebody like me who doesn’t have any special qualification,” says Ms. Srivani, who sports a new look with a properly combed hair and an apron around her neck.

The objective of the certificate course is to make women self-reliable, besides helping them improve their personal health, hygiene and communication skills. The department has chosen city-based Westin College of Hotel Management for training women in the age group of 18-40 years hailing from different slums in the city.

“Initially I was confused about the rules and regulations like removing my bangles and wearing a knot instead of plait.

But now I am comfortable with this uniform and the training as well,” says Ch. Rajani Kumari, a homemaker of Gunadala. “I am using my house as a laboratory to practise the lessons in housekeeping. As a result of this training my house is looking more clean and decent now,” says A. Soujanya of Gunadala, who is also pursuing graduation in distance mode.

Training is imparted to them in telephone etiquette, body language, handling of different types of equipment, cleaning of interiors, kitchenware and bed making.

“At the end of the course, these women can get job opportunities in India and abroad too, as there is a lot of demand for trained housekeepers everywhere,” says K. Durga Prasad Naidu, director of the Westin College. A few candidates who are undergoing training are willing to go abroad. “My father agreed to send me abroad,” says T. Divya Jyothi of Singh Nagar.

Based on the success of the pilot project, the department plans to conduct similar programmes across the State. “Our aim is to provide training in job-oriented courses to the unemployed. Housekeeping is one trade where there is a need to bridge the gap between demand and supply by providing adequate training to the available manpower,” says V. Himabindu, Regional Employment Officer and Rajiv Udyoga Sri coordinator.

“Plans are afoot to provide training in car driving to select women at the end of this training, so that they can get jobs as housekeeper-cum-car driver,” Ms. Himabindu says.