With an aim to empower women from the lower economic strata in Pune, the Pune division of the Department of Vocational Education and Training is planning to impart skill-based training to women in tailoring, driving and developing mobile-based applications. This first-of-its-kind initiative, which is in the final stages of planning, will soon take off within a couple of months.
Special short-term courses are being chalked out for women, including domestic helps, workers in beedi factories and others who are involved in unorganised sector of works.
“While we have been focusing on fresh students over the years, a need was felt to impart some skills to women, who otherwise remain deprived of training or education like their male counterparts, thus rendering them unfit for employment,” stated a senior member from the Pune region of vocational education and training department, who is involved in the programme.
The department has tied up with a few NGOs in the city and also one in Bengaluru to reach out to the maximum number of women, ahead of the commencement of the programme. While tailoring skills will be mainly imparted to helps and their daughters, who are of employable age, officials also state that they will be supporting them even after the course. Sharing details about the programme, Chandrakant Ninale, joint director (Pune ), said, “Once we identify deserving candidates, we are planning two batches of parallel training to be held at two centres in the city. Each batch will have a capacity of 40 women.”
The two centres where the maiden training will be held are Shree Manilal Nanavati Vocational Institute for Women and Renuka Swarup Memorial High School, Sadashiv Peth. Not only will the training programme impart necessary skills to these women, the officials have also confirmed that they are mulling over providing sewing machines to these women so they can set up a business of their own. “We are collaborating with numerous NGOs and other agencies and aim to supply at least 8,500 sewing machines in phases to these women,” added the official. With the smartphone industry now growing at an unbelievable rate and fast catching up with more users, the demand for mobile application developers is too being felt.
“Identifying this trend, we also plan to begin android application training for young girls and women, who can then get better employment opportunities,” stated the official. Another area that the vocational training school is also considering is giving driving lessons to women and promote them as women school van drivers. “We will be imparting driving skills, particularly aimed at women who can be potential school-van drivers. With safety concerns of school students rising ever day, we hope to address the matter and also rope-in some women members,” said Ninale. The NGOs are tying up with banks so that the women will be in a better position to own vehicles and be self-employed, the officials said.