Affirmative action for youth
Taking off from the Child Rights portfolio (hyperlink)that covers
children's health, nutrition and education right until high
school, and looping it to a comprehensive, life improving cycle
Naandi felt the next step to take would be one that ensured
capacity building and employability of adolescents and youth
during high school and after.
Given the fact that in the higher grades the
rate of drop outs is higher largely because young boys and girls
start earning for their families early mostly through menial
jobs, it is planned that attendance in school would be linked
with a system of evening courses for vocational skill building
to give high school students better employability preparedness
by training them in a variety of skills such as computer literacy
and so on. It is hoped that since only ‘in school’ children
would be entitled to these courses free of cost, it would bring
down the drop out rates in schools and ensure more children
complete formal schooling.
But given that India’s demographic bulge is on the side of the
youth, the task of equipping them, especially after they complete
high school, with market ready employable skills appears to
be a task too wide and deep for any one organisation to tackle.
Therefore, as a first step, it is planned
to provide employability training support presently to those
sections of youth that are the most disadvantaged, namely the
scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) communities. This
support Naandi hopes to provide by roping in companies from
the private sector as investors for Livelihood Training Schools
to champion a new wave of affirmative action that has been long
overdue, to pave the way for being a more ‘equal opportunities’
Modelled on the lines of conventional business
schools, these institutions or training schools will have ‘smart
and dynamic’ curriculum customised to meet the emerging employment
opportunities in the region where the institution is located.
The schools will also have mandatory courses on spoken English,
basic computer literacy, personality development, communication
skills and confidence building as part of mainstreaming these
youth and helping them access sustainable livelihood options
in the emerging markets.
As a beginning, Naandi could inspire Mahindra
& Mahindra Ltd to entirely support the setting up of the
first of such a Training School in Pune, Maharashtra. Christened
Mahindra Pride School, this institution commences its courses
with the first batch of enrolled SC and ST students in March
After training, these students will be placed
in jobs relating to infrastructure, marketing, retail, hospitality
and the ITeS sectors where the need for trained staff is immense.
This has been proven by the recruitment offers Mahindra Pride
School has already received for every one of the students it
trained in the first batch.
The setting up of the livelihood training
schools in various regions in partnership with various proactive
corporates as part of the sector’s affirmative action plan for
the youth is yet another example of a public private pluralistic
partnership that Naandi champions, which completes the life
cycle approach in Naandi’s Child Rights portfolio that spans
the life of a child right from her birth till she gets her first