English with Dehati Madam

Ownership and accountability is an oft repeated corporate mantra. Recently came across this story in the TOI that embodies these principles. Not set in corporate corridors, it’s the story of 29 year old Yashoda Lodhi, a Youtuber with nearly 2.9 lakh subscribers and 2.6 crore views.

Her USP: Teaching spoken English

Her Background: A resident of Sirathu Kaushambi in rural Uttar Pradesh. Broken education till class 12, married to a daily wage earner, who was robbed temporarily of his earning capacity by an accident, family saddled with a bank loan that paid for her husband’s medical care.

Her Skills: No English speaking that a city private school would hire her for

Her earnings today: Rs. 25,000 a month (which is a large sum in her village)

How she did it:
A great sense of branding. Embracing her social reality and using it as a pull, she calls her YouTube channel “EnglishwithdehatiMadam ”.

Madam has a key understanding of pedagogic fundamentals. Her videos have titles like “how to create an English speaking environment ”, “is grammar important?”, mistake-having a fear of making mistakes. Often her lessons are from a slice of life-conversation between 2 neighbours.

Her journey:
She started with the channels on desi cooking, embroidery and decoration. None worked out. Next, she spent hours on the Internet learning about content creation video editing and ways to gain online traction.

After listening to several motivational speakers fluent in English, she decided to become a motivational dehati speaker who can communicate in English, in May 2022. She says, “I taught herself English and used my dehati identity to gain viewership.”