Team India recently participated in the 44th World Skills Olympics 2017 held at Abu Dhabi, UAE and bagged 11 Medals and Medallions including a silver, bronze and nine Medallions of Excellence across skills, making it India’s best performance since the year 2007.
Of a population of 1.3 crores, a team of 28 participants in 26 skill categories represented India this year, led by The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the guidance of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
More than 1300 candidates participated, from 59 countries to compete across 51 skills.
Making a mark at the Skills Olympics, four young Puneites won laurels at this meet.
Amongst this talented lot, was Karishma Gupta who was conferred with a Medallion of Excellence in Beauty Therapy.
Widely and informally regarded as the Skills Olympics, WorldSkills Competitions are held in different countries every two years and brings together over 1,000 participants, below 23 years, from across the world to compete in more than 46 skills.
The competition is organized by an Amsterdam based not-for-profit organization, WorldSkills International.
Karishma who has worked under some of the best trainers and beauty experts in India, scored above France, Switzerland, Singapore, Germany and Japan.
She is one among the nine Indian participants who was conferred with this honour at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
“My journey from being a common Indian to winning the Medallion of Excellence has not been easy,” says Gupta.
“In India even today, the beauty sector has not been extensively recognized. There are only a handful of people who want to make it a career. When I trained for the Skill Olympics, there were people who were judgmental. They often asked me what will I get by rigorously training in this field of beauty.
“According to them, people who don’t want or cannot do much in life, opt for a career in beauty therapy. Not only that, they were skeptical on how much one can earn by being a beautician or just working at a salon. Thankfully, such comments never demotivated me.
“Also, convincing my father at the early stages was difficult as he was a bit worried as to what scope lies in the field of beauty,” she adds.
As part of Skill India mission, WorldSkills India is an initiative of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India. NSDC, through its WorldSkills India initiative, has been leading the country’s participation at WorldSkills International competitions since 2011.
After attaining her basic education, Karishma completed her 18 months diploma in beauty therapy from LTA School of Beauty Pune. She also represented India at WorldSkills UK 2015 and further, undertook specialized training in Singapore.
“At the age of 18, I represented India in UK Skills (2015) after which my preparations for the Skills Olympics at Abu Dhabi started. I used to practice for 8-10 hours every day under the guidance of Vaishali Shah (Director LTA). And at the age of 20, I participated in the Abu Dhabi event this year.
“For the two years I was in Mumbai to get trained under some of the best minds in the field. It was really tough to manage everything on my own, in a different city. I didn’t have anything else to do apart from training myself for World Skills Olympics.
“After taking on talented competitors from across India, I was informed that I was the only candidate shortlisted to represent India at The World Skills Olympics 2017 in Beauty Therapy.
Talking about the hardships she faced, Karishma says, “The pressure started getting to me from the time I was shortlisted, because everyone expects you to come back with a medal. But none realise, that working and practicing here and then competing with equally talented people at an international platform are two very different things.
“Their techniques, attitude, hard work, dedication is also at par.
“The sheer realisation of the fact that lakhs of people are keeping a track on how India is performing, makes us shiver. We are no more recognized by our names. Just Indians who are competing against the world, to prove their prowess and make our country proud.
“There were times when it was hard to cope-up with the training schedules. There were no weekends, no holidays, nothing. But nothing came in my path of becoming a proud Indian. The mere thought of holding the ‘Tiranga’ in another country was something that always kept me motivated.
“The atmosphere there gave me the adrenaline rush. When people across the stadium cheered for you, our solitary goal is to make them proud. Winning for our country is the most beautiful feeling in the world,” she says.
“The satisfaction of feeling, that yes, I have given something to my country can’t be explained. I would always dedicate a part of my success to my family, mentors and the entire LTA family who have seen me through.”
Now, she wants to complete her graduation whilst training fresh talent that will be participating in the next Skills Olympics (Russia) and help them in any way possible with her knowledge and experience.
Reach her at email@example.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
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