About the author: Ashwini Patekar is a Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
Pithoragarh district is the easternmost Himalayan district in the state of Uttarakhand. The district shares its border with Nepal and Tibet and has a high human resource potential. Taking inspiration from the State’s Honorable Chief Minister’s dream project ‘Gram Light’, a skill training program was conducted in the Dharchula Developmental Block of the district.
A six-day skill development program in electrical equipment was organized by the district’s Rural Self-Employment Training Institute (RSETI) in collaboration with UREDA and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) department. The training focused on imparting knowledge and providing hands-on experience related to manufacturing and repairing electrical equipment such as LED bulbs, welts, LED tube light, inverter bulbs, panel lights, solar lanterns etc.
VS Energy Technology Pvt. Ltd. from Greater Noida was selected as a training partner who arranged for the required raw material, tool kits and master trainers to successfully execute the program. Twenty-nine women members associated with NRLM’s self-help groups (SHGs) participated in the program. During the training, the trainees were introduced to the LED technology concepts with focus on hands-on training on the manufacturing, repairing, marketing, and accounting systems of electrical equipment operated by LED technology. To further ensure that the trainees gain marketing experience, an exhibition-cum-sale of the products manufactured by trainees was organized at a local market at Gandhi Chowk in Dharchula town. The locals who visited the exhibition appreciated the women trainees and also bought their products. The women trainees made a total sale of Rs. 4020 by selling products.
Post-training, two growth centers have been established at Gram Panchayat Haat and Tidang (Kalika), in which women have initiated production and manufacturing of LED-based products. The growth centers have also received seed funds worth Rs. 32000 and Rs. 15000 / respectively to cover the initial expenses of the Growth Center. The amount earned through the exhibition-cum-sale has been now utilized by the SHGs in establishing the growth centers.
Read about MGNF program here – Role of IIM Bangalore in implementation of MGNF program under SANKALP – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/role-of-iim-bangalore-in-implementation-of-mgnf-program-under-sankalp/
Riding along the wave of ‘vocal for local’ campaign initiated in the country, the growth center plans to manufacture LED products and sell them in local markets of nearby Gram Panchayats and towns in Pithoragarh as well as in Nepal’s Dharchula and Jauljibi markets. This skill training program has been instrumental in three ways. Firstly, it has helped enhance the livelihood of the SHG members and increase their household income. Secondly, the training has enabled women trainees to start their entrepreneurial journey and has built immense self-confidence within them. Thirdly, this initiative successfully created awareness about energy conservation at rural levels.