State wants tribal girls in customer care, travel biz

Move comes after plan to train tribal girls as airhostesses failed.

After its attempts to groom tribal girls into airhostesses failed, the state is revisiting the scheme and this time has included plans to train 500 tribal girls as travel consultants and customer care representatives.

"We are now planning to train tribal girls as customer care representatives and travel consultants. The earlier module of airhostess training and hotel management training will also remain in the scheme," a senior Tribal Development Corporation official said. The state government plans to train nearly 500 tribal through privately-run institutes as air hostesses, cabin crew, hospitality managers, travel consultants and so on.

The state is expecting to spend around Rs 1 lakh on each student and the training will take place through private centres in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur. Each of the centres will train nearly 100 students and the state is hoping that the estimated cost will be around Rs 5 crore.

In 2007, the state government, replicating a central government scheme, had decided to train tribal girls as airhostesses.

Nearly 100 tribal girls from across the state were trained under the scheme. However, few of them managed to get jobs in the airline industry as air hostesses.

A miniscule number were, however, absorbed as ground handlers. Many of them had also got jobs as receptionists.

However, with the downturn in the aviation sector, the state is hoping that it makes sense to impart training in the field of hospitality as well as service sectors such as call centres.

"We are hopeful that the training will open avenues in the hospitality business as well as jobs in the numerous call centres that have sprouted across the country," the official added.

As per the 2011 Census, Maharashtra has a huge tribal population of nearly one crore. The Tribal Development Department spends nearly Rs 1,100 crore under the Tribal Sub-Plan for the development of tribals in the state.

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