Itahari: Suraj Bishwakarma, 25, was mulling to fly abroad for a job as a migrant worker like the close friends of his neighbourhood. His decision to go abroad has ended thanks to a skill training he got free of cost a couple of years ago.
He got a three-month-long training of building an electrician. Now, this Dalit youth of Itahari-7 has a sound income of around Rs 30,000 per month utilizing his skills.
”I stopped thinking about foreign jobs in Arab and Malaysia as I can make similar income here in my hometown itself,” says elated Bishwakarma. He adds, ”My friends also do not make more than Rs 40,000 in foreign lands. I can make around Rs 30,000 per month here itself. Living with family and making a decent income is what stops me from going abroad now.”
Bishwakarma can fix any electrical problems in any building. His cell phone keeps ringing for daily demands to which he is readily available. ”I am busy almost all days. Busyness is a great thing in business,” says satisfied Bishwakarma.
Rubika Rai, 32, an inhabitant of Dharan-17 Bichghopa, has also an interesting tale about her newfound hotel skills. She obtained 3-month-long hotel and hospitality training at Dharan. The training she accomplished two years ago has boosted both her confidence and income. ”I was selling grocery items to sustain my family of three including myself, my husband and a little kid,” says Rai, ”Now, I have started a food stand just in front of my storefront. This gives me an additional income.”
New lockdown owing to the second wave of COVID-19 has troubled her business. However, her income-generating skill is not troubled. She says, ”Once everything goes normal, I can make a good comeback in my business like before.” She does not want to disclose her monthly earning. However, she says her income has increased after her hotel-related training.
Bishwakarma and Rai are just two examples out of thousands of skilled individuals financially and technically supported by Rural Enterprises and Remittance Project (SAMBRIDDHI) under the Ministry of Industry. SAMBRIDDHI has collaborated with Helvetas Nepal and FNCCI’s Agro Enterprises Center to train youths like Bishwakarma and Rai.
Afoot to empower 125 thousand households in Nepal
On December of 2015, Nepal Government and International Fund for Agricultural Development inked an agreement to run Rural Enterprises and Remittance Project (SAMBRIDDHI). This project does have two stakeholders. One is the Agro Enterprise Center of FNCCI and Helvetas Nepal.
The tenure of the project is designed to run from November 2017 to December 2022. The project area includes 16 districts of three provinces of Nepal. From Province Number 1, there are seven districts namely Morang, Sunsari, Dhankuta, Tehrathum, Bhojpur, Udayapur, Okhaldunga and Khotang. In Province Number 2, there are seven districts which include Saptari, Siraha, Sarlahi, Dhanusa, Mahottari, Rautahat and Bara. And, from Bagmati Province, Sindhuli district also falls in this project area. A total of 208 local bodies are inside the project area.
The project aims to achieve poverty alleviation and perpetual peace through decent jobs of skilled human resources. ”SAMBRIDDHI plans to benefit 125 thousand households in our project area,” says Shaiak Ram Dahal, the Project Manager at the Project Management Office based in Itahari, Sunsari. He adds, ”We are afoot to train and produce 30,000 youths with skilled jobs.”
Dahal says the target beneficiary includes 80 per cent of citizens living under the poverty line. Out of this, 33 per cent of women, 40 per cent of youths of age brackets of 18 to 40 years and 60 per cent of people of migrant workers returned from abroad or their families.
5,002 graduated and 10,702 are undertaking training: Helvetas
Out of 30,000 targets of skilled youth capable enough to generate income through decent jobs, 5,002 are already in the market. According to Sukh Bahadur Chaudhary, the provincial coordinator of Province Number 1, 5002 are now in the job market. They were graduated in the fiscal year of 2075/76 BS.
He says 10,702 are in the ongoing training session that is hampered by the pandemic.
According to Balmukunda Neupane, the Team Leader of the Decent Job section which is also referred to as Sub-component 1.3 inside Helvetas, out of targeted 30,000 skilled human resources, 24,000 belong to 3-month-long vocational training and the remaining 6,000 is of apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship is a 6-month-long on-the-job training for industries.
”Among the total figure of 10,702, apprenticeship training includes 1,300 people and 9,420 of vocational training,” says Neupane. He adds, ”Our training includes from tourism, hospitality, engineering to industrial sectors covering nine sectors and 23 subjects which is market-oriented.” Neupane says Helvetas is part of the SAMBRIDDHI as Helvetas does have is result-based financing system based on which joining a job or generating self-employment is a must to be a full-fledged beneficiary of the skill training.
”Our production would have been much bigger this year,” says Neupane, ”Pandemic has delayed our scheduled functioning.”