With youths comprising 40% of India’s population, the time to invest in them for a better and secure future is here. Keeping this in mind, in 2013, as a part of the convergence the Trusts included Skills development as a part of the Education initiative (end to end approach). The Trusts and its affiliates would be exploring partnerships with like-minded institutions on skills development programs for marginalized youths.
The district of Yadgir was formed in the year 2010 (split from Gulbarga) and consists of three blocks namely Yadgir, Shahapur and Shorapur. It is one of the most backward districts in Karnataka on all development indicators. The average rate of employment of Yadgir is 51.38% and is predominantly an agricultural district. The rate of agricultural workers in the district is 18.36% for men and 25.86% for women. One of the biggest challenges in Yadgir is the dearth of industries; hence, the district witnesses a high rate of male migration into neighboring districts and cities such as Bangalore, Bombay and Hyderabad. The migration has an impact on the children enrolled at school and youths who are forced to drop out/move in case of family migration for employment opportunities; thereby, causing low rate of literacy.
The KSU Skills Development program titled DISHA is a pilot. In 2013, we carried out a Youth Aspirations Assessment to comprehend the youths hopes and objectives. Based on the findings, KSU developed a twofold approach a) Life skills for high school children (11-16) as this cohort is a critical connect between the school system and the labor force. The program design would aim at making the children confident and productive citizens; b) Vocational Training Programs with Placements for marginalized youths (18-30 years): Youths in Yadgir can be classified into a) drop youths keen to to migrate; b) literate youths keen to work in Yadgir or adjacent districts. Hence, the vocational training program would be designed to tap both groups. In the case of young girls and women, owing to the cultural context, the group is not keen to move out Yadgir; hence, programs would have to be designed to generate livelihood opportunities in the district itself or in neighboring ones such as Gulbarga or Raichur. In addition, entrepreneurship would be part of the design.
The target for the 10 years (2014-2024) is 6000 youths and 6600 high school children. KSU would be keen to collaborate and partner with like-minded institutions under a co funded model to create a better future for the children and youths in Yadgir; thereby, increasing the quality of life for the households and communities.