TISS alum works for 12 hours daily, post cesarean delivery to ensure Institute project reaches next level

Tanmay Nayak, Director, NUSSD smiles on as Jyoti is honoured by Prof S. Parasuraman

From a normal graduate girl, brought up in the city of Nanded to being a programme manager at NUSSD, TISSian Jyoti Kapale has come a long way… Jyoti's story makes an interesting read on how training at TISS has changed her life forever.

Meet Jyoti Kapale, (MA, counselling psychology, 2013) whose sheer dedication and hard work has helped NUSSD, the flagship project of TISS, earn a reputation as a creator of employability among youths in one of the most backward talukas of Maharashtra.

To the people of Ambad taluka in Jalna district, situated around 96 kilometres away from Aurangabad, she is heir own ‘Jyoti madam’, who have helped their children develop into skilled professionals armed with employable course certificate, that has helped them earn jobs with reputed banks and other financial institutions. These children are now drawing the kind of salary their family had never ever dreamt in life.

What strikes us when we meet Jyoti are her energy levels, which she is able to maintain for the entire day, till late evening. She brings immense enthusiasm and value at the table. Jyoti, as her name suggests, she has indeed lit up the lives of hundreds of families. Jyoti's relationship with NUSSD began while the project was yet to be launched, the initial work included gathering information and compiling relevant data.

Though Jyoti was confident about the potential of NUSSD which she strongly felt would make a major difference in the lives of youths and subsequently, their families too, it was the appeal made by Mr S. Ramadorai, Chairman, TISS and Prof S. Parasuraman, the then Director, TISS to ensure that the project succeeds, motivated her to take this job in a remote place, miles away from her hometown.

TISS has been a leader in social movements and social engineering. It is part of TISS larger vision to bring reformatory changes that NUSSD was launched aiming at increasing the employability of university and college students by imparting knowledge and skills, through cutting-edge teaching and learning methods as well as practical work experience by offering and community-based projects.

The programme is being implemented across 120 colleges, including Engineering and Management, with a student population of more than 20000, spread over several states in the country.

Jyoti’s dedication towards the job was spotted by the Principal of Matsyodari college, Dr Bhagwat Katare, where the NUSSD project was being implemented. Dr Katare ordered arrangements to be made for Jyoti to stay at the girls' hostel on the campus to ensure her safety and well-being.

NUSSD is TISS ambitious project, it boosted Jyoti’s confidence, who took to task. It was not looking back then for this School of Social Work student of TISS. Jyoti was on her family way when NUSSD launched its first batch in 2013-14 in Matsyodari college.

She had to face a lot of challenges adjusting to a new place, with barely any amenities available and simultaneously accepting new responsibilities. While she was pregnant with her first baby, there were days and weeks when she would be all alone in the entire two-storey girls' hostel, which has the capacity to accommodate over 150 girls. During vacations the girls would go back home, she would have to stay back to conduct special classes for those students coming from nearby villages. She would be all alone at night as well, not a single soul to even talk to or share her feelings. As her husband works in Nanded, he could not come over to stay with her.

Jyoti hails TISS as her greatest motivational, inspirational and guiding force as she feels it was the training she received at the institute which kept her going during tough times. She also credits the solid support from the NUSSD officials who cared enough and also boosted her morale during the most challenging days.

It was a crucial stage for the project, if she would have gone on maternity leave for six months, the project would have suffered consequences.

Thus considering the setback the project may receive, she resumed duty immediately within 45 days of her child's birth, though it was a C-section delivery.

Jyoti says, she has a soul connection with TISS, which drove her passion to come back to work on the project.

There were a few faculties at the college who would support her by not allowing her to do strenuous physical activity like climbing up and down the stairs.

NUSSD was in a nascent stage and so was her baby, she tried to balance family and work responsibilities, though working for 12 hours on the project.

One night it started raining heavily, followed by a storm and the power went off, the watchman of the girls' hostel had left for his hometown to attend a funeral. There was dark all over, not a single person except, her old mother and small kid were with her, she was scared for life. But she mustered courage and faced the night and subsequent next day with great courage.

Another area where she had to struggle the most was explaining and convincing the parents to allow their daughters to stay back after college to attend the special lectures by NUSSD trainers.

It was a mammoth task to break the stereotype mentality of the parents make them realise that the girls were safe in her custody and she would ensure they learn the right skills. Once with great pains, the parents were convinced looking at the results, the other doting task was to reach a level of the students who spoke a different dialect of Marathi, make them understand the topics in a language they could understand.

The course content being in English made things challenging for students who were not well versed with the language and the topics relatively new to them.

While Jyoti was facing new challenges, she received support from NUSSD officials, her family including mother, husband and father-in-law stood firmly with her. Her elder son is looked after by her mother, while the younger one is with her.

As Jyoti worked diligently towards mobilizing students and trainers, forging bridges with faculty at college and other stakeholders, she was looked with suspicion by some, who questioned her stand as to why she chose to stay away from husband and family; ignoring their taunts, Jyoti concentrated on her goal, that was taking NUSSD at a next level.

Within three years, Jyoti and her team trained more than 1000 students, out of which 256 students received job placements at reputed organizations.

Jyoti did not just help them with jobs, she also gave them a wider vision, thus helping them migrate to Metros like Mumbai, Pune and Nashik with confidence.

The credit for NUSSD's success in Ambad in transforming the lives of not just 256 students but their families as well, goes undoubtedly to Jyoti's dedication in the areas of advocacy and coordination.

Her skills at building relationships with faculty, principal and management, and creating linkages with local industry in Ambad, Jalna and Aurangabad for the students to receive sound industry exposure, internships and placements after they have completed the course has definitely paid off well.

Ambad residents were predominantly dependant on agriculture and particularly farming activities. Jyoti channelised her energy to assure maximum benefits to Ambad students with her vision to change their mindsets to accept opportunities created by NUSSD in relatively newer sectors like Banking and Finance.

Under Jyoti's stewardship, NUSSD could place more students than any other college offering regular graduate courses in Aurangabad, Jalna areas.

With her sheer dedication, she has proved those criticising her, wrong and she credits her decision to do so to her Alma Mater, the TISS.

Jyoti tried to bring in a change in thought patterns of the villagers who earlier had a narrow vision, especially regarding employment. The respect which she draws from these villagers has taken days and months of dedication and consistent efforts to make them realise that life can be successful and fruitful provided we take charge of it.

TISSAA takes great pleasure in congratulating Jyoti and team NUSSD for reaching out to thousands of students and making a lasting impact in parts of Marathwada, which have been neglected for decades together.

#NUSSD #Tanmay Nayak #Students Skills #Social Change #Women leader #Jyoti Kapale # 


  1. Jyoti madam has taken great efforts in imparting best training to student of our college.

    Thanks, to Tanmay Sir And Jyoti Madam..

    1. Jyoti mam... proud of myself because I am your students.. and trai under You... such great Teacher mam...

  2. NUSSD training is a boon for undergraduate student

  3. NUSSD has trained us so well that now we feel confident of facing job interviews and getting a job of our choice.

  4. Jyoti Kapale Madam has taken great efforts in imparting best training to students of our college.

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