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Skills training is crucial to enable people earning a decent livelihood, whether through wage or self employment. Recognising this, the Government of India is working closely with the ILO for the development of both an employment and skills development policy for the country in agriculture in South Asia, access to quality education, skills training and entrepreneurship development tools not only represents a way out of poverty, but also provides them with opportunities of empowerment in the world of technology, as an ILO Online report from central India shows. As a child, Shantabai dreamt of becoming a professional photographer. However, given that her family was poor and illiterate, she thought this would remain a distant dream. Born in a large family of marginal farmers, Shantabai only had elementary education in her village school before she was married off at the age of 13. Besides working on her husband’s family’s small piece of land, she had to care for her children and her husband’s elderly parents. But one day the dream came true although Shantabai had to go a long way from being a purdah, a poor farmer’s wife who is expected to cover her face behind a veil, to becoming a successful photographer. What is more, through the process, Shantabai has become an inspiration for many 16

women in Palda and the neighbouring villages. She enrolled in several training courses with Srujan, a partner organisation of the ILO’s Workers Activities programme (ACTRAV). These training courses not only provided her with new skills but also motivated her to seek new opportunities to enhance her income. One such training course Shantabai participated in was on photography skills and she decided to make it her profession. Taking a small loan of INR 5,000 (about US$ 125) she managed to purchase a second-hand camera to embark on her journey as a professional photographer. Like her, most other participants of the ILO/ACTRAV training courses are gainfully employed or self-employed, using their skills to enhance their income. So far, the programme has trained nearly 2040 people, many of them from groups in vulnerable situations, who had not been reached

before. One of the key objectives of the programme is to empower women in all phases of life through skills training thus building self-confidence and developing leadership. Financed by the government of Norway, the ILO/ACTRAV Norway Workers’ Education Programme offers 32 skills and vocational training courses, in collaboration with partner organisations in rural districts in south and central India. The courses offered include desktop publishing, photography, maintenance and service of three and four-wheel vehicles, beautician, toy making, among many others. The duration of the courses ranges from 5 days to 6 months. The story of Shantabai reflects a double divide in the access to quality education, training, and technology between the formal and the informal economy, but also between women and men.<< Courtesy: International Labour Organisation, New Delhi

March 2009 | www.digitalLearning.in

Skills Connect - from policy to practice : March 2009 Issue  

[www.digitallearning.in] With the aim of promoting and aiding the use of ICT in education, Digital Learning education magazine focuses on th...

Skills Connect - from policy to practice : March 2009 Issue  

[www.digitallearning.in] With the aim of promoting and aiding the use of ICT in education, Digital Learning education magazine focuses on th...

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