IIT Alumni have been actively contributing to the development agenda in India through many initiatives. In the field of skill development and vocational training, PanIIT Alumni Reach for India Foundation (PARFI) is making rapid strides through the Gurukul concept of holistic skilling. In this Skill Talk, T. Kalyan Chakravarthy, Founding Sevak and Executive Director, PARFI, tells us more about how PARFI Gurukul model has established itself as a sustainable way to skill the students by helping them financially through bank loans and placing them on jobs.
Pan IIT Alumni Reach for India Foundation (PARFI) was founded with a vision inspired by our former President Shri APJ Abdul Kalam to become job creators and not remain job seekers. To this end, PARFI set up Blue Collar Technical Skill Training Centers called Gurukuls to support the underprivileged and under-educated youth of the country. The strong alumni network with exceptional diversity and a huge range of skills, interests and experience leadership positively responded to come forward and give back to the economically and educationally weaker sections of society.
How PARFI Gurukul accomplishes holistic skill development
Gurukul is a residential setup to implement short-term vocational skill training models that enhance incomes of the underprivileged youth and help get them placed in reputed company in blue collar jobs. The Gurukuls are run by ex-servicemen who continue their service to the country by shaping youth into skilled personnel with patriotic values and work ethics. Specialized skill trainers are brought in from Industry or transferred from clients.
How it works
- At PARFI, the starting point is establishing a contact with an organization in need of semi-skilled and skilled candidates for their blue collar workforce.
- This is done to ensure 100% placements. Later, NABFINS (the NBFC arm of NABARD) finances the candidates sourced by PARFI from the weaker section of the society and disburses loan for their enrolment into the Gurukul.
- Post training, the candidates joins the employer either in India or abroad based on the already sourced placement opportunity.
- Post-employment, candidates pay a nominal monthly EMI through standard deductions from their monthly salary.
- This cycle creates a revolving fund for training newer candidates. It also helps us to create a model of sustainable holistic skill development program.
The CII – NABARD – PARFI framework
The idea behind PanIIT Alumni Reach for India Foundation (PARFI) came with the concept that if an IIT’ian can get a loan for his IIT education then why not poorest of the poor?
The framework of PARFI is to create partnerships with industry bodies through a structured process to facilitate co-creation of skill eco-system. PARFI also partners with state governments to provide local infrastructure to run and operate rural skill Gurukuls. Industry bodies such as CII helps with employer connect (typically CII members) for technically skilled jobs to assure 100% placements in India and abroad and for CSR partnerships, NABFINS acts as a social investor and strategic partner for loan financing and other banking partnerships helps PARFI to ensure financial inclusion. This entire eco-system helps in running a social enterprise in the country that implements and scales a self-sustainable model to enhance incomes of the underprivileged.
PARFI would like to urge Corporates to come forward and help scale this social enterprise to a PAN India level as this model works towards a sustainable social enterprise. PARFI has also seen positive referrals amongst parents of disadvantaged youth, both boys and girls to send their children to Gurukul for training, as success stories of candidates who have been through the Gurukul system is helping convince people to be part of the movement.
The Kalyan Gurukul initiative in Jharkhand
Kalyan Gurukul is proposed as a multi-trade skill development centre to facilitate skilling and increase opportunities for employment for the economically backward youth. These skill training centres in Jharkhand make youth industry ready and link them to assured placement opportunities. The Gurukuls are run by PReJHA Foundation – a joint initiative by Corporations of the Department of Welfare, Government of Jharkhand and PARFI with an objective to enable skill development and entrepreneurship to underprivileged sections. Our aim to set up one Gurukul in each district of Jharkhand as its initial mandate. As on date there are 23 Gurukuls set up by PARFI across India in10 States.
Challenges in mobilising youth and ensuring completion of the program
Parents of the youth and the youth themselves need to fully understand the benefits of the Gurukul program, with a proper awareness campaign and demonstration of past success, spread through word of mouth and peer reviews. PARFI does face some challenges in terms of funds and resources to create awareness campaign. The support of both, the Government and industry is needed to come forward and help in creating co-sponsored awareness programs. PARFI would like the corporates and banks to fund and participate in supporting the awareness campaign and mobilise the youth accordingly.
How PARFI is linking knowledge, skills and employment with particular reference to rural areas
PARFI’s rural skill Gurukuls are open for admission only to Below Poverty Line (BPL) students who are unskilled and typically have not passed the upper cut-off of class X. Technical skills are taught to dropouts and uneducated illiterates in job roles such as, construction, construction services (mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades), manufacturing trades (welding, fitting, assembly) logistics, including commercial and industrial vehicle driving and maintenance, textiles etc. This demand led technical training is imparted using the latest technology such as simulators and augmented technology along with work site like infrastructure.
This is done with a view to make such training industry relevant. Candidates finance their own training, with seamless facilitation by PARFI – which gives the candidates the added confidence and commitment in their professional life. PARFI would like Industry, Government and individual corporate houses to continue to commit and co-create the model with PARFI for successful social impact into rural areas.