Project Abhyudaya: skill development for young people trains youth in Delhi
New Delhi,July31:Four friends, 20 volunteers, and 300 beneficiaries who received an opportunity to grow and develop their skills to succeed in life — this, in a nutshell, is the story of Project Abhyudaya, an initiative specializing in skill development for young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Started by four friends of varied professional backgrounds, Abhinav, Mrinal, Priyanka, and Aditi, Project Abhyudaya works in association with Empower Pragati, a partner company of the National Skill Development Corporation of India. The initiative focuses on improving the standards of vocational training by conducting weekly sessions that help build self-confidence, communication skills, coping mechanisms and prepare students for placement interviews.
It all started with Mrinal telling Abhinav about a skilling centre that he had recently visited and the kind of interactions he had with the students.
“The conversation led to the thought and realisation that most young people in India never interact with the many others who work for them on a daily basis — like the courier guys, guards, domestic helpers, etc. Most of us don’t know anything about their situation as well as we should. But since our country has so many young people, the youth should help the youth grow,” says Abhinav.
This was the motivation with which they went to one of Empower Pragati’s skilling centres to try and understand the students and trainers there, the kind of jobs they needed, and the problems in general. “We felt that their was a gap when it came to what was being taught and what the students needed the most. Training is a big issue in the skilling space and a voluntary initiative run by the youth can lead to huge change. This was how Project Abhyudaya was born,” he adds.
Getting together in February 2015, the team created a curriculum based on what they had learned in their respective companies and colleges, and started the first centre in Dwarka. “It led to great response, especially from the girls. There were a few of the them who couldn’t have found a job or their families wouldn’t have allowed them to work, but they ended up working after our counselling sessions. And this motivated us to keep moving forward,” says Abhinav.
Gradually, they developed a model wherein each volunteer trains students for three hours every saturday for a period of two months.
Today, Project Abhyudaya has a team of 20 volunteers running five centres across Delhi.
As for the training, the current curriculum is focussed around soft skills to train people working in sales. “Employability index is built on factors affecting motivation and pre-requisite soft skills required for the job. We recognised that 50% of the role of a retail associate is related to soft skills, communication, confidence, knowing how to behave in what situations, etc.
But right now, the trainers at many skilling centres are not well-equipped to be able to talk about specific solutions. Vocational training is still not very aspirational in our country, therefore finding a quality trainer is even harder, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. They lack not only teaching skills but also, most importantly, the ability to motivate the student to work, talk to his/her parents effectively, build his/her confidence using better teaching techniques,” says Abhinav.
The team also partnered with Boston University, Abhinav’s alma mater, to organise detailed sessions on financial literacy, email writing, and women empowerment and more, which were conducted by experts.
The story first appeared in The better Indian