On the Ground in Gulbarga & Other Places

Outreach Programs

Unfiltered reflections in a 2017 blog post on outreach in select communities…

The HHH team has been making serious attempts to have fun and achieve all stated goals for this FY 2017. We brought in the new year with couple of events, meetings with board of trustees and the most memorable leadership training program at Bangalore in the first week

I had a great 2-hour one-on-one meeting with Sri Basavaraj Patil Sedam, MP, Gulbarga. This was a very productive discussion to progress on the capability building platform for school drop outs. We intend to partner and start 60 new centres this year in entire north Karnataka. This will roll out from June 2017 in Kalyan Karnataka region, new name for the erstwhile Nizam parts. Challenges in execution, focus on self-employment, finding motivated trainers in each village were key considerations. We are now getting interested partners from Bijapur and Hospet districts in this cluster

A short trip to Nagpur to seed more partnerships was done in Jan 2017. I had a chance to visit the older parts of Nagpur, to taste food influenced by Muslim brethren. This cluster holds great promise in terms of addressing migrants and youth in urban slums through new partners. I met one very uninspiring, self-serving and typical state govt officer. Govt of Maharashtra and Nagpur municipal corp has no data, focus or a serious plan on increasing employment. Govt wants NGOs to work for free and give real time data on drop outs, slums to them. Our reward? They will thank us officially on the govt website. Really? Wake up and smell the coffee, I said and left the place.

Yashodhara is an interesting NGO at Nagpur. Working on training village youth on organic farming, compost making, pumpset repairs, thrashing, cross cropping etc. They don’t want to speak too much of jobs but more about villages based self employment. Way to go.

Jaipur Rugs Foundation is a complex, new project that will be attempted soon. We are working on getting the village data collected on target segment persons, through a survey. This will be a very rewarding project for 3000+ trainees spread across many villages in 6 states

Rajasthan has been a big revelation. A rich state with very nice towns. But we cannot get English speaking, reasonable human beings as trainers, who can work in villages. It is a big struggle to hire even one trainer. Another statistic: women are never allowed to venture beyond their villages after class 10th, many of them “buy proxy attendance” at colleges, acquire fake/dumb/useless degrees sitting at home and they need lot of help in basic speaking itself. Yet they are not interested in any new skill development program [free]. Local buses are few and far in between in rural Jaipur. NGOs use their own vehicles for pick-up and drop of trainees. Each lady trainee must be accompanied by other girls/women from same village, to be “allowed by their village committee” to reach the NGO training centre. Funny. I think this state still is in a time warp of the 18th century.

National Crime records bureau lists Jaipur as the 3rd most unsafe city in India for women. Very high statistics of rape and atrocities against women in Rajasthan. A huge paradox and a problem for state govt that has to be addressed at all levels. How about starting with educating boys? Gender sensitization anyone?


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