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From Cleaner to Owner: Dreams Do Come True

Life changing case story of Chunna Raj Shrestha
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The Professional Cook training is a form of 1696-hour training in which the trainee will spend about half of the duration working in actual workplace.

Life was not easy for Chunna Raj Shrestha, 32, in his home in Likhu Rural Municipality, Okhaldhunga district. The second among 10 siblings, he faced numerous hardships while growing up. His family’s economic status did not allow him to pursue studies beyond SLC, which he had already completed in 2005. After SLC, he started working in his family’s agricultural farm to support the family. Shrestha never let his life’s challenges come in his way of dreaming for a better life.

He moved to Narayangadh, Chitwan, in 2015 and started working as a cleaner and a support staff at Bajeko Sekuwa, a renowned restaurant chain, located at Hulak Chok, Bharatpur. His starting salary was NPR 5,000. When his salary increased to NPR 9,000, he brought three of his family members to Narayangadh.

Working at Bajeko Sekuwa, he kept his dream for a better life alive. And when his friend informed him about the free of cost Professional Cook training, he decided to apply for it, despite his nervousness thinking about the large pool of applicants he would be competing against. It was an opportunity not to be missed - he knew that it would be very difficult to afford such a training on his own. Still nervous, he appeared for the interview, where his demonstrated keen interest convinced the selection committee that he could build a successful career in the field. Once selected, he dreamt of working as a cook in a reputed restaurant or a hotel. He was convinced that the training would help him find employment at a good place without any problem.

The Professional Cook training is a form of 1696-hour training in which the trainee will spend about half of the duration working in actual workplace. The Project covers the training cost and provides Rs 12,000 as stipend for the duration. So, while the training was free, Shrestha still had the responsibility of supporting his family, and thus could not leave his job at the restaurant despite the demanding training schedule. Thankfully, he talked about his situation with his employer, who agreed to change his work shift from early morning to noon. Shrestha was regular at the training brimming with hope and dedication.

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«I thank the entire team of Hamro Prashikshan Sewa Talim Kendra and Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment  project for providing me with an opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge, and for giving me the confidence to establish my own restaurant»

Chuna Raj Shrestha, A restaurant owner after skill training

His wife was also impressed with his training, and they planned to work together in the same sector. And as luck would have had it, during his On-the-Job Training period, the couple came to know about a free 390-hrs Commis III training. They decided that the wife should apply for the training. Luckily, she too got selected for the training. When Shrestha completed his training, he discussed about opening a restaurant with his family at an investment of NPR 200,000–300,000. He borrowed the money from his family and friends, and found a suitable location for his restaurant, which the couple have named R.S. (no specific meaning) MOMO Restaurant.

R.S. MOMO Restaurant has been operational for a year now and brings them an income of NPR 30,000 to 35,000 a month. The couple have already paid off their loan. They are now striving to upscale the décor and service of their restaurant.