Business, Kerala

CM Oommen Chandy launches Sandesh One a platform for women entrepreneurs

chandyThiruvananthapuram: India aims to create a resource pool of 50 crore skilled workers by 2022, but the biggest challenge in attaining the goal is a dearth of trainers and poor infrastructure, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy said today.

He was speaking at the launch of Sandesh One, the country’s biggest platform for  women social entrepreneurs, which was described as a “revolutionary movement” by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy who formally inaugurated the project.

Sandesh One, an first of its kind public-private partnership (PPP) initiative of the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation (KSWDC), in partnership with IL&FS Skills and Alterneit, will train women entrepreneurs and help them set up microenterprises offering technologies and solutions at the grassroots level.

Shri Rudy said despite the increase in the size of the labour force in India over the years, only 2% have undergone any skills training. He noted that while target in the 12th five-year plan was to train five crore workers by 2016, and an additional 45 crore between 2017 and 2022; since 2011 only 1.6 crore people have been given skills training primarily because of a lack of good trainers and inadequate training infrastructure.

Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy
Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy

“India has a great opportunity to meet the future demands of the world and become a global sourcing hub for skilled workforce,” he said while lauding Kerala for setting up entrepreneurship models for other states to replicate.

Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy said pioneering women-centred initiatives ranging from Kudumbashree to She Taxi have brought Kerala laurels both nationally and internationally and Sandesh One promises to join the ranks of these life-changing programmes.

The project intends to create Sandesh One centres in the 1,000 plus local bodies of the state, managed by women trained under an IIM Ahmedabad certification programme in entrepreneurship with a curriculum custom developed by IL&FS Skills.

“This is a project that can revolutionise the status of women by turning them into resourceful, knowledgeable and successful individuals,” he said. “The fact that it is going to be built upwards from the panchayat level makes it an even more powerful tool for women’s empowerment,” he added.

In his presidential address Dr M K Muneer, Minister for Panchayats and Social Justice, said that the quality technology interventions proposed through Sandesh One will help raise the quality of life all round.

Shri Dilip H Chenoy, CEO and MD, National Skill Development Corporation, noted that India has the lowest women workforce participation rate among the BRICS countries. In partnering with projects like Sandesh One and Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) and institutions such as the Kerala Academy of Skill Excellence, the NSDC aims at empowering women and youth in the country.

“More than ten unique and innovative projects capable of transforming the society have been proposed in the first phase of the project,” Dr PTM Sunish, Managing Director, KSWDC said.

Adv P Kulsu, Chairperson, KSWDC, presented a memento to Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

Sandesh One will offer selected women a six-month long residential training programme focused on developing and improving entrepreneurial skills and knowledge management. The individuals will additionally go through a product orientation programme to get familiarised with the products and services offered by the Sandesh One network.

Sandesh Centres will promote environment friendly projects, products and solutions to reach the grassroots level. They will help citizens access innovations capable of contributing to the socio-economic development of the state.

Some of the innovative solutions are in precision farming, advanced fish breeding, high density plantation, renewable energy, preventive health care applications, clinics, and programmes for promoting activity based life etc.  All this projects are capable of bringing in generating massive employment, fostering socio economic development etc.

In the first phase, the project will be launched in Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts.

Shri Arun Varma, Vice President IL & FS Skills; Smt P K Sreemathi, MP; Shri Shajahan IAS, Special Secretary Social Justice Department; Shri Kishore Kumar, Deputy General Manager, Canara Bank and Smt Shanti Joseph, Director, Alterneit spoke.

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