Tribal girl from Wayanad scripts success story in fitness training, set to fly to Abu Dhabi

Updated - December 23, 2023 07:28 pm IST

Published - December 23, 2023 06:51 pm IST - KALPETTA

Aswani Das.

Aswani Das. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Aswani Das, a tribal girl from Kambalakkad in Wayanad district, has proved her mettle as a fitness trainer, a domain largely confined to men. She is about to fly to Abu Dhabi to take up a job as a fitness trainer.

With strong determination and perseverance, the 21-year-old girl managed to beat the odds to become a fitness trainer, perhaps the first woman fitness trainer from the tribal community in the State.

While Ms. Das was pursuing her Plus Two at Government Higher Secondary School at Kaniyampetta, she attended a district-level powerlifting competition. She was selected for a State-level completion and bagged fourth place in it. “This achievement inspired me to become a physical trainer,” says Ms. Das.

Life takes a turn

Ms. Das’s life took a turn with her enrolment in the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) fitness trainer programme at the Community Skill Park (CSP) at Mananthavady under the Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) of the State government.

She hailed from a farming family. Despite her passion for fitness, financial constraints had limited her options. The dream of becoming a certified fitness trainer seemed distant until PMKVY skill hub initiative came to her rescue.

Under the programme, Ms. Das received free training, breaking down the financial barriers between her and her aspirations. The comprehensive training not only equipped her with the essential skills required to navigate the world of fitness but also instilled confidence in her ability to excel in the fitness industry.

After completing the training programme, Ms. Das joined a fitness centre in Malappuram as a trainer. She has now been selected as a fitness trainer at the Senora Fitness Centre, Abu Dhabi. “They offered me a sum of 1,500 Dirham, apart from 750 Dirham for personal training, a month, she said. She would leave for Abu Dhabi on January 3.

“We have trained as many as 120 fitness trainees, including nearly 30 female trainees, so far but the participation from the tribal community is meagre,” says K.S. Shahana, head of CSP, Mananthavady.

The duration of the fitness course is 330 hours. Sports and Fitness Sector Skill Council certification is given to those who complete the course successfully, Ms. Shahana said. Around 700 people from across Kerala have enrolled for the course.

ASAP Kerala stands for transformative education and improved employability, says Usha Titus, Chairperson and Managing Director of ASAP Kerala. Many of our courses in various domains are developed in partnership with industry and delivered in collaboration with competent training partners, says Dr. Titus.

Becoming a certified fitness trainer through the ASAP Kerala’s Fitness Trainer programme has empowered individuals to earn a good livelihood as the demand for skilled trainers is rising across the country and be advocates for a healthier and more active Kerala, starting with themselves, she adds.

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