500 placements in rural parts of Bihar, supporting self-employment of female students and training 75 recruits in Jammu and Kashmir is no easy task when the institute is on wheels.
However, Ashutosh Kumar is determined to continue his services and bring vocational service at doorsteps of students.
As urban spaces in India keep growing, some remote areas are often skipped unnoticed. It is especially challenging for children in such areas to venture out and pursue courses that provide them with vocational and academic training.
When children in remote areas need to travel to neighbouring cities for educational opportunities, connectivity acts as a major obstacle.
The long travelling hours also means that the children abandon their household duties.
These are just some of the factors that keep these children from exploring opportunities in urban areas. It takes a keen eye to create prospects out of problems.
And since the children could not travel to training institutions, Ashutosh Kumar decided to bring institutions to their doorsteps.
‘Skills on Wheels’ is the brainchild of Ashutosh that allows youngsters to get vocational IT training right at their doorstep. Under the project, the material required for a proper IT vocational training is carried to remote villages in different parts of India.
According to a report on Milaap, the service vehicle will spend approximately two hours in each village, depending upon the connectivity and distance of the village as well as the number of enrolled students.
It aims to travel to four villages and teach 160 students in just one day!
Ashutosh is a 29-year-old social entrepreneur from Daudnagar, Bihar. He completed his engineering from Lancaster University in England. He worked for Citizens for Accountable Governance in India for a year before starting his work in the rural areas of India.
His aim in working in these areas was to lessen migration to metropolitan cities. “My aim is to promote the concept of Rural Sourcing in India,” he says.
Skills on Wheels (SoW) currently focuses on IT training of the youth living in remote parts of India. The pilot project began in 2015 in Bihar where they trained more than 500 students. These students have now been placed in various organizations.
After their success in Bihar, SoW then shifted to the hilly areas of Meghalaya and Jammu & Kashmir.
“[Our] impact can be seen in the Bhanderwah [town] of Jammu and Kashmir where we have trained the students and provided jobs to 75 youths in our rural BPO which was started with the help of Software Technology Parks of India,” Kumar told TBI.
Software Technology Parks of India is an autonomous body of the Government of India. “Very soon the number [of placed students] is going to increase to 150” he adds.
Currently, the project is working in two villages near Tura, under West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya in association with NERCORMP(an organisation under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region).
Speaking about this campaign, Kumar says “Impact can be clearly seen in Tura where a number of female candidates are more and they are doing wonderful[ly]. By the end of December, they will job [a] job [or] self-employment. Married women are more interested in self-employment, so we also provide them the support in starting their own business.”
The impact of SoW goes beyond just training. In Bihar, for example, SoW has helped their students set up customer service points for banks, cyber cafes, common service centre close to their villages.
This has controlled their migration to urban areas.
Kumar plans on taking Skills on Wheels beyond IT training. “We are working for a tie-up with NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation), and we will start the training of Medical Representative, Tailoring & Stitching, Retail etc. at the doorstep of rural youths and provide them employment. My vision is to make them independent and competitive” he says.
If you want to support Skills on Wheels, you can find out more and make a donation here.