MGNFs from IIM-Udaipur under the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) are striving to strengthen and promote skill-based entrepreneurship in several districts of Telangana, including Medak, Sangareddy, Kamareddy, Medchal-Malkajgiri, Siddipet, and Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri. Focusing on skill enhancement and entrepreneurship support projects undertaken by the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) in Telangana is being mentored by Dr. Madhuri Dubey, PhD, Founder of NSN.
Nasreen Sony from Medak, Mudawath Srinivas from Sangareddy, Aindla Pradhyumna Reddy from Kamareddy, Guguloth Sunil from Medchal-Malkajgiri, Kamal Deep Ranghu from Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri, and Muddam Vijay Dixit Reddy from Siddipet are currently working with the district administration to understand the skill requirements and meet the local skill demand, as well as provide support and build the necessary network for the entrepreneurs.
Let us take a look at some of the innovative projects and works carried out by the fellows in their designated districts.
Projects undertaken by the MGNF Fellows from Telangana
Aindla Pradhyumna Reddy, MGNF, Kamareddy District
Bio-Floc Fish Cultivation
Nizamsagar Mandal in Kamareddy district saw the implementation of Dalit Bandhu, the state of Telangana’s flagship program. With the help of Uday Aqua Connects, a private company with experience exporting fish meat to numerous nations, it has become easier for farmers participating in the Dalit Bandhu Scheme to set up BioFloc units. Around nine farmers placed these units, which costed about five lakh rupees, in the program’s initial phase.
After the initial visit, some of the key observations are:
- The quantity of fish that can be cultivated per square metre is higher than in traditional fishing.
- The amount of water required is low compared to traditional fishing.
Following the installation of the first nine units, Uday Aqua Connects, which has a farm in Magi Village, Nizamsagar Mandal, provided a one-day Bio Floc Cultivation training to over 400 farmers.
Vijay Dixit Reddy, MGNF, Siddipet District
Vijay Dixit Reddy said, “The first year of this fellowship is a mix of learning and unlearning. I was able to focus on a few issues that affected the district’s economy.”
Here are the main activities and projects undertaken in the district:
It was vital to connect with the youth directly to comprehend the skill gaps among them, and the youths who needed counseling were invited. These are private sessions that last at least 30 minutes each. It required comprehending their prior academic qualifications, inspiring them to enrol in courses (online and offline) to learn new skills, introducing them to various businesses, and assisting them in creating a resume that would land them a job.
“I was able to identify the primary flaws with the district’s flagship plantation scheme through extensive fieldwork and desk research that lasted more than six months. I then created a thorough strategy to improve the scheme’s floral density through the training of NREGA workers. This was presented to the Additional Collector”, as shared by M. Vijay Dixit Reddy.
The district administration wants to move away from the vast paddy cultivation in the area and diversify the district’s crops. The government is currently encouraging large mono-cultures of oil palm and mulberry, which could end up hurting local agroecology. It was necessary to understand the problem at its core in order to avoid ad hoc measures that will exacerbate the problem. Researchers have discovered a great deal of potential to return to dry land crops by educating farmers through their study of historical dry land crops and dietary patterns.
Vijay Dixit Reddy said, “This year, I got in touch with the implementing bodies of the Tholimettu Community Project by the Telangana Education Department to increase school enrollment and focus on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in primary schools. Currently, a major component of the program is not being implemented in Siddipet District, which involves a selection of community volunteers and their training to work in the primary schools. So, I’m looking forward to initiating those activities in the district with the support of the district administration. In addition, I will continue with career counseling for youth, with a particular emphasis on those who are physically and mentally challenged.”
Kamal Deep Ranghu, MGNF, Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri District
Vyapana Agarbatti business strategy support
Vyapana FPO was founded by marginal farmers who wished to make a difference in society through empowerment, entrepreneurship, and environmental protection. The floral waste from Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri District is used to make Vyapana Agarbattis. Vyapana FPO (Farmers Producer Company Limited) came up with the notion in March 2022. The project’s proposal was presented in start-up hubs like T-Hub, a-IDEA, and We-Hub. Additionally, the notion has been successful in TSIC’s flagship program, “Intinta Innovator.”
Kamal Deep Ranghu emphasised that “I have given Vyapana FPO leads and groomed them for the TSIC “Intinta Innovator” program and I worked towards facilitating market linkages for them by linking them with organic retail stores in Hyderabad. Further, concerning the product development of incense sticks, I have been closely monitoring their product packaging and design. Apart from the above, I have been extending handholding support to them in the form of business awareness, market strategies, and assistance or recognition from the district administration.”
Nasreen Sony, MGNF, Medak District
Credit linkage and loans for skilled youth
According to Nasreen Sony, “There is a need to train participants to be aware of credit linkage facilities by introducing them to various bank officials. Appropriate measures will be taken to assimilate the trainees into credit linkage projects and set up exclusive short-term programs for them. According to the discussion at the district’s first District Skill Committee (DSC) meeting, giving skilled youth loans and aiding in the launch of their enterprises will be beneficial to them”. She added, “The district’s MGNF worked with the Lead Bank Manager and the DRDA department (for SHG loans) to coordinate the various steps in the loan application process”.
In October, the first batch was completed at the skill development centre. The loan process will begin after the certificate distribution. Fashion design, maggam works (or Zardozi), CCTV installation, AC and refrigerator repair, and beautician were among the courses taken by youth.
Mudawath Srinivas, MGNF, Sangareddy District
Introduction of Drones for Rural Entrepreneurship
At the 2nd DSC meeting, it was discussed implementing new, developing technologies as a rural entrepreneurship intervention to implement drone technology in agriculture. For this pilot project, beneficiaries of the Telangana state flagship program, “Dalit Bandhu,” will be mapped over a few mandals and provided drones, training, and certificates.
Drone use in Sangareddy fosters rural entrepreneurship and assists farmers on the field, including the improvement of livelihoods, in ways like using less water, the time factor, no contact with harmful chemicals, zero waste, and the use of image processing to help farmers reduce the targeted areas for extra care.
Guguloth Sunil, MGNF, Medchal-Malkajgiri District
ITI – Industry connects with the apparel sector
Industry connections provide job seekers with a higher chance of getting any kind of employment in the sector of their interests, and they also help industry employers find the best candidates with extensive knowledge. The district with the most industry, Medchal-Malkajgiri, faces challenges in locating skilled workers.
During one of his field visits, the MGN Fellow observed that the management of the Government ITI Old Alwal College was experiencing issues with the lack of placement opportunities for students pursuing the tailoring trade. However, after visiting Shahi Exports and Imports, a medium-scale industry that works on garment stitching, they were experiencing a major problem with a lack of tailoring workforce, so they are bringing in tailors who operate Juki machines from Odisha.
Also Read: MGNF – Decoding district level skilling and entrepreneurship https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/mgnf-decoding-district-level-skilling-and-entrepreneurship/
“After knowing both situations,” Guguloth Sunil stated, “I connected both the ITI College management and the industry management, which eventually employed the 15 students from the ITI College in the tailoring trade. This is how industrial relations help in getting opportunities for the job seekers, and it also fills the gap between the employers and the job seekers.”