“The ability to do something well” — This is the definition of the word “skill” according to the Oxford Dictionary. But, in today’s reality, how much are these skills even being valued in the Indian society? The struggle for every child is constantly toward marks, books and later, the money. Mathematics is given more preference than manners. Science is favored over skills. And, sports has become just “one hour a week” affair.
Against this backdrop, it is not uncommon to see the children of today’s generation toggling between school, homework, tuition, and classes for added activities. But, when exams are around the corner, the first part of it to take a hit is the activities. Somehow, it is never the other way around. Parents hardly ever ask the kid to take a day off from school or tuition for an activity or skill. When this is the hard-hitting reality of our society, having very little achievements outside the education arena comes as no surprise. And, as a result, real-life skills and aspirations go down a long bottomless drain.
However, with all these limitations, the kids of India have broken barriers to come to prove that life is a lot more than just books, marks, and ranks. At the WorldSkills Event, India came out with flying colors this time and came to the 13th position globally. And, here is the best part-
Shweta Ratanpura won the bronze for graphic designing. And, that makes her the first Indian female participant to win a medal at the event. From 1,350 participants coming from different countries, team India brought home 19 medals, moving from 19th position to 13th. In addition to Shweta’s bronze, India bagged one gold, one silver, one bronze, and another 15 Medallions of Excellence.
Who Is Shweta Ratanpura?
Born in 1997, Shweta hails from Pune, Maharashtra and has studied Bachelors in Design from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. The 23-year old had immense interest in creative arts from her childhood. By the time she completed her schooling in Pune, she had set her mind on graphic designing and did what it took to get into the National Institute of Design.
While most kids looked for jobs after graduating, Shweta’s eyes were set on using her skills as a stepping stone to make her country proud. She spent hours studying and analyzing different color tones, designs, and patterns as she dedicated herself to her art.
“When my country’s name came up on stage during the ceremony, the feeling was amazing. We had worn saree for the ceremony, and that did not stop me from jumping in joy when I saw the national flag on stage,” said Shweta in a video that was posted on Youtube. She added, “I had been preparing for one year for this competition. And, all the hard work landed in that one moment. I am glad I had something to take back home. My medal.”
In the competition, the gold was won by Chinese and silver by Austria and France. Although the medals seem far, the actual score difference was a mere 0.2. Looking at the road ahead, Shweta aspires to be able to guide the next competitor in the graphic design division and help them win gold. As for the aspiring competitors and graphic designers, her words were, “Put in your heart and soul. You will have a lot of fun and gain an experience that no one can give you ever.” With that, Shweta also went on to explain the emotions she underwent wearing the Indian jersey and being supported by the crowd cheering for India.
What Is WorldSkills?
Founded in 1950, WorldSkills is a not-for-profit association that has taken on itself the responsibility to promote vocational training and education in regions globally. Through a unique methodology to exchange and compare skills based on world-class standards. This proves useful for the service sectors and industrial trades of the world economy.
With competitions held once in every two years, WorldSkills sets the platform for innumerable youngsters that aim to make a profession out of their passion. In addition to the competition, the association also conducts conferences to promote skills globally. Furthermore, they also help the talent-driven individuals with access to world-class training and career opportunities. As a hub for skills globally, WorldSkills is a politically neutral association with a focus on creating a better future for talented youngsters.
Back to Shweta, this year has been one of the firsts. With Sindhu PV and Manasi Joshi setting benchmarks in sports, and women like Minty Agarwal and Shaliza Dhami soaring heights in the defense, the year is only getting better with Shweta.
This has been the year that India’s daughters have shown the country and the world what they are capable of — with brain and brawn. And, if there are still those who think a girl child is a burden on the family, we are waiting for Thanos.
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