Employment scheme becomes a huge hit with Gadchiroli tribals

In Gadchiroli, where disadvantaged tribal youths have no employment opportunities other than in police and forest departments, a scheme providing assured jobs in five-star hotels and automobile and construction industries is proving to be a huge draw.

'Skills development programme' has since its launch in June last year provided jobs to over 170 youth with income ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000.

Those with a Rs-4,000 package are generally employed in five-star hotels such as The Taj Leela Kempinski and Sun n Sand in Mumbai and Aurangabad and get free food and accommodation.

In Gadchiroli, police job is the most sought after and thousands make a beeline for it braving Naxal warnings. But with limited openings, most youths return disheartened and are often exposed to questioning and torture by Naxals.

Recently, the forest department recruited tribals as guards in a big way, opening another channel of employment.

District collector Abhishek Krishna said: "Livelihood is the biggest need of tribals in Gadchiroli. So, we designed this programme where we take care of travel, accommodation and training expenses and guarantee placement." Mumbai NGO Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children is conducting the programme.

"It's a first-of-its-kind joint initiative. It has already become popular with over 5,000 forms distributed and over 3,000 filled-up ones received. We are targeting training and jobs for at least 2,500 candidates next year," Krishna said.

Five hundred and thirty candidates from BPL families, 20 per cent of them girls, are being trained in Aurangabad, Satara, Latur, Ahmednagar and Bina (Madhya Pradesh).

"Educated up to standard X, these candidates are trained in house-keeping, waiting on tables, repairing automobiles, masonry, etc. A survey by National Skills Development Corporation showed these sectors will have most employment potential in future," Krishna said.

Forms are generally distributed at Suvarna Jayanti Rajaswa Abhiyan camps, a single-window facility for tribals to avail benefit of government programmes and essential documents.

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