PARK CIRCUS, KOLKATA (C.M. Paul) – Anita Misra at 19 is already a home-maker since her father’s death. She left B.A. honours (Bengali) studies at Vivekananda College Thakurpukur to look after her asthma ridden mother and siblings. Each week Monday to Saturday she leaves her village home at 6.30 am in Maheshthala Block of South 24 Parganas district walking on dirt road for some 30 minutes to catch an auto rickshaw that takes her to Joka. From Joka she boards a bus to Majerhaat Rail station to board a train to Park Circus. On a fortunate day, Anita takes only two and half hours to reach Don Bosco Technical Institute at Park Circus to start lessons at 9.30 am.
A trainee of BASE (Bosco Academy for Skills & Employment) run jointly by Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and Don Bosco Tech India, Anita hopes to find a job after the completion of absolutely cost free three months course in ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) and get a steady job and regular salary.
Along with her, in the MoRD project first batch are some 120 rural young men and women who spend 7 hours of lessons both theory and practical in one of four trades: AC/Refrigeration (32), Welding (39), Retail Sales and Management (20) and ITES (21) offered at DB Tech Park Circus. At mid day, Anita also gets a free lunch packet of rice and curry.
After finishing her lessons at DB Tech at 4.30 pm she rushes home and arrives by 7 pm.
On arriving home after a quick bath at the hand pump Anita takes tuition classes for 12 students ranging from classes 8 to 10. She needs the Rs. 2,000 (USD 40) from the tuitions to support her ailing mother and younger sister doing college.
“Anita’s story could be the case of several of our students in the MoRD project being initiated in 12 centres in Kolkata province,” says Superintendent of DB Tech Fr Jijo.
“After 5 days of grooming under the care of five member MoRD staff here, we have seen remarkable finesse among these rural candidates. Some of them are so outstanding in their performance that they could get placement even before they complete the stipulated training period,” says Fr Jijo.
“I will have to find a place in the city, as I need to concentrate on my training… as of now I loose about six hours on travel, and I don’t have time to study,” says Anita.
DB Tech is a network of 125 Don Bosco skill training centres spread across 25 states in the country making it the largest NGO (Non Governmental Organization) engaged in livelihood training in India.
“All the centres in 10 DB Tech regions provide employment-linked, market-oriented vocational training of short duration to the economically and socially marginalized youth. In the first phase DB Tech will impart vocational training to 40,000 youngsters over the next three years,” says DB Development Office Kolkata executive director Fr Ramesh Cherian.
The Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) under MoRD aims to provide employment-linked, market oriented training to youngsters in the age group of 18-35 years from below poverty line (BPL) families across the country. The scheme provides livelihood skills to youth by mainstreaming opportunities in the sunrise sectors of the economy.
“Our Mission 2020 is to provide skills training and job placement for 2 million young people in ten years,” says DB Tech India National Coordinator Fr A.M. Jose SDB confident of DB Tech network across rural India comprising of 6,38,000 villages harbouring 72.2 per cent of the population.
Salesian provincial Fr Thomas Ellichirayil, Rector of Don Bosco Park Circus Fr Siby Vadakkel, Fr Ramesh and Br. Chandan Hansda of DB Tech along with MoRD Staff and Assistant MoRD Project Director of Kulpi Block participated at the project launch, 19 July 2010.