The guiding thought behind this initiative, is the lack of opportunity for young people at the village level, to gain skills, the training for which is only available at urban centres, at a high cost. Our intent is to go beyond academics towards imparting and polishing of practical skills to open up wider career opportunities, and economic empowerment.
The operational structure will be set up in such a way, that the trainees will be supported financially for their training.
The starting point —
English Conversation, Comprehension, and Diction
This is one area which cuts off a lot of young people from rural areas from opportunities. The aim is for them to be able to interact within and outside the country with a degree of fluency and confidence. To bolster up communication skills they would be taught how to use create presentations using different mediums.
Public Speaking and Dramatics
The next step would be to enable them to participate in public debates or address meetings and gatherings.
An extension of public speaking, dramatics, an ability to communicate to a group, as a group, and develop self-confidence. Would be of help to anyone aspiring to be an actor, presenter, or wishing to have a public persona.
Sound Recording and Film Making
Taking the acquisition of skills further, the Skills Centre would have its own fully equipped sound recording and video studios, as well as equipment for outdoor shooting.
The objective is to nurture creative talent, by making the best equipment available, at no cost to the trainees. They would produce music albums, documentaries, and short films as a part of their training.
Dress designing is a skill that would be required for creating costumes and dresses in-house for dramatic performances, and later for video and film shoots. It is a skill usable by anyone wishing to take up a career as a couturier. It is proposed that trainees will be exposed to various aspects of dress designing by interaction with professionals in the field of fashion and dress designing.
They will also be able acquire skills in weaving, dyeing, and printing of textiles, at the small textile processing unit of SIFP.
Other areas of skill development
Basics of Business and Home Economics
Since each of the areas of skill development would enable the trainees to launch independent careers, a knowledge of finance and economics would be an essential requirement, whether running a household, farm, or a business.
Soilless Farming, Food Processing, Essential Oils, Perfumes
The skills centre would use the facilities of the SIFP’s soilless horticultural and floricultural complex for practical hands-on skill development in this area.
Since there will be a facility for the extraction of essential oils from flowers, trainees will be able to pick up this skill as well. There will also be a studio for development of perfumes.
Hands-on experience for processing of the produce grown, to utilise it in all ways so that there is no wastage, would be at the food processing facility of SIFP.
Baking & Confectionery
Baking and Confectionery is an allied area. Trainees would get skill training in the arts of creating confectionery and baking.
Their skill level would enable them to take up jobs, or run a confectionery independently.
We have chosen an area in Punjab, a sub-district, which has 62,016 households, a population of 3,15,930 of which 1,72,905 are males and 1,43,025 are females. The total literacy rate is 62.72%. The male literacy rate is 61.96% and the female literacy rate is 49.36%. There are 87 villages and 3 towns in the sub-district.
The area is served by a fair amount of educational institutions, like schools, colleges, and three universities. While these provide a formal academic base, there still remains a need for skill training.
The group of young people we are looking at, are those who would not be able to continue with further studies at the college and university level, mainly because of the economic conditions of their households, but still possess a degree of latent talent. The idea is to provide these youngsters, (particularly women), with the skills, tools and financial support, to enable them to either take up jobs in the areas of their choice, or to launch independent careers.
While there will be a regular faculty, there would be professionals from each field who would be invited regularly as guest faculty.
This is an outline of the proposed project and does not define details, which would added on as the situation demands.