India Interior

More than technical training

Ninglun Hanghal. | Updated on April 05, 2019 Published on April 05, 2019

Youngsters are trained for employment   -  Ninglun Hanghal

To make rural youth ready for urban employment is hard work in Nagaland

At their training centre 10 km outside Dimapur in Nagaland, a group of young men and women are being awarded a certificate. They have just completed the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) programme, which equips them with employment skills.

In the 18-25 age group, they come from across the State and are mostly undergraduates. Many are dropouts or did not pursue their studies due to unavailability of higher institutions in their area, lack of financial support or for personal reasons.

Getting the unemployed to sign up for the programme was not easy. Tokato Chishi and Sashilemba Aier who run eCentric, an IT service company in Dimapur, took up the DDK-GKY project last year. Chishi, Aier and their team went from village to village, interacting with young people. Covering rural Nagaland was a challenge given the distances to be travelled and the vagaries of the weather. Also, it wasn’t easy to convince youngsters and their families that they were likely to get a placement — that too outside the State — after six months’ training.

Jobs in BPO, IT sectors

Finding jobs is part of the programme. On completion, each trainee is examined and rated, and placement is arranged accordingly. Claims Aier, “We already have 80 confirmed placements, mainly in BPO and IT, in cities across the country.”

Started in September 2018, the DDU-GKY’s six-month course on skill building includes customer relationship management (CRM), data entry operation (DEO), personality development and communication skills.

Aier, the project head, says, “The trainees are taught not only technical skills, but also personality development, public speaking, and use of English language.” The trainees mostly hail from BPL families. Of the 123 students in the batch, 40 are women. The project provides 33 per cent reservation for women and arranges hostel facilities for them.

Unemployment is rampant in Nagaland. According to the State’s Department of Labour & Employment, there were 70,422 unemployed youth registered in 2016. The actual numbers could well be much higher if those unregistered are included. There are, however, a few success stories which speak for the programme.

All set for a new start

Twenty-four-year old Kalive Yepthomi from Zunheboto, a 10-hour drive from Dimapur, is all set to take up a job in Kolkata. This is her first job and the first time she will be living and working away from home. She and 11 others will be proceeding to Kolkata. There are others like Jeilei and Asheka too waiting in the wings for job opportunities to come their way. The new recruits are not left to fend for themselves. A Standard Operating Procedure signed with the companies hiring the new recruits allows for follow-up by Aier and his team. “We verify the companies before going ahead with placements. We also ensure the new recruits have a bank account,” he says, to keep track of whether they are paid due salary. A close watch is maintained to ensure the welfare and security of the new recruits. According to Aier, the average monthly salary of the new recruits is about ₹30,000.

DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) under the Ministry of Rural Development tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth. “Our target is to train 600 youths by 2021 and get them jobs,” says Aier.

The writer is a Manipur-based journalist

Published on April 05, 2019
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