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  • Writer's pictureAnuj Singhal

Inclusive Skilling

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Can Skill development help them regain their confidence, access their full potential leading to gainful and sustainable employment?

The SKILL INDIA campaign was launched in July, 2015 with the aim of training 400 million people across the country in different skills by 2022. The formation of key players like the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), National Skill Development Fund (NSDF), and the Sector Skill Councils, as well as the rollout of flagship programs PMKVY, PMKK and others have lead to an increased access of skills for youth across India, through the removal of disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building the vocational and technical training framework, skill up-gradation, building of new skills, and innovative thinking for existing jobs and the creation of new jobs.

However, there are multiple marginalised communities who have been devoid and don’t fit in the larger skill development programs ecosystem.

Today, Let’s talk about them:

  • India contribute to almost half (18.3 million slaves (Global Slavery Index 2016)) of the global number of trafficked individuals – (40 million people worldwide (International Labour Organization Report 2017)) Victims of trafficking – often sold or abducted when they are children – have little to no education, speak varied languages and struggle to reintegrate after the abuse and trauma they go through. Can Skill development help them regain their confidence, access their full potential leading to gainful and sustainable employment?

  • As per 2011 census data, India’s trans community consist of 490,000 people, with begging, launda-dancing, prostitution and occasionally gracing auspicious occasions for blessings being their primary means to earn livelihood. Social distancing could be the new buzz word for us, but the trans community has been living this in its true sense, ever since its inception. Even thou the transgender persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 encompasses provisions about the employment opportunities, its hasn’t translated in action. According to the National Human rights commission study, about 92 percent of transgenders are deprived of the right to participate in any form of economic activity in the country, with even qualified ones refused jobs. Can Skill development focus on sensitizing the market on the sexual minorities and break the stigma around it?

  • Census 2001 also revealed that persons with disabilities comprises 2.21% of the population i.e. over 26.8 million people, and are more likely to be unemployed and earn less than people without disabilities. Can Skill development strive to overcome exclusion and break the vicious cycle of disability, unemployment and poverty?

  • Even though in 2013, the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act had put an end to the practice of any form of manual cleaning, carrying, disposing or handling of human waste, the number of people killed while cleaning sewers and septic tanks has increased over the last few years. According to a national survey conducted in 18 States, a total of 48,345 manual scavengers have been identified till January 31, 2020. Can Skill development help them with a more dignified means of livelihood?

In the roughly 2050 skill training programs across 38 sectors – roughly 10% are for those who have studied till a minimum of 5th grade, 10% are for those who have studied till a minimum of 8th grade and 0 are for those who are illiterate. Victims of human trafficking, the trans community, PwD and manuals scavengers- all of them have been excluded from reaping the benefits and enhancing their human capital. This heterogeneity of survivors and homogeneity of programs has created a barrier for them from accessing the skilling ecosystem for learning, earning and creating an agency of their own.

Under our Back 2 Roots project, in collaboration with Seehreti, our focus is to address these pitfalls and develop innovative and pioneering initiatives that lead to the linking of marginalized communities to the larger skill development programs ecosystem. The robust intervention will amplify both the quality and the quantity of the skilling philosophy and help it become inclusive in the true sense.

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