Skip to main content

A model NGO for skill development and livelihood generation


By Moin Qazi*
Historians will tell you that a burst of creativity occurs when we start believing that the search for solutions to complex problems has come to an end. This explosion is fate’s way of reminding us that there is always something just over the curve of innovation.
As the country continues to face mounting challenges, social entrepreneurs are pairing their ingenuity and knowledge with their passion for bringing lasting solutions to society to create a sustainable and more equitable world.
Unemployment rates in India continue to rise, with youth unemployment registering the greatest increase. The unemployment rate among youth is almost 13% (4.9% overall), making unemployment one of the most challenging issues. Several civil society players are supplementing their efforts to address the problem, including an enterprising couple from Mumbai, Kishor Kher and his wife Mrinalini, founders of Yuva Parivartan. The couple is working with school and college dropouts, in both villages and urban slums, to train them in vocational skills, thus, enabling them to gain employment. However, the Khers’ impact is not limited to the youth they are training, in fact, in the process of doing so, they are nurturing grass-roots social entrepreneurship so that these barefoot professionals take control of their own lives and steer their path out of poverty and hopelessness.
Yuva Parivartan (YP) was started by the couple as they wanted to establish an exclusive organisation that focused on helping the youth attain the skills required to gain employment, thus making sure their financial futures were secure. The movement was formally launched in February 2003 by former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
However, the Khers have a long history of volunteerism in their blood. In 1928, Kishor Kher’s grandfather, BG Kher, the first Premier of the Bombay Province formed a voluntary group called the Kherwadi Social Welfare Association aimed to address the appalling living conditions of families in what is now Bandra East.
In the early 90s, Kishor’s social chromosomes fired his imagination to do something useful. That vision had been years in the making and when his own enterprising wife Mrinalini, herself finely honed in the asocial mould and an academically trained sociologist, nudged him to follow his heart. Kishor, an alumnus of IIM Ahmadabad, turned his back on a well-paying corporate job to pursue his passion: empowering the youth.
A search for real-world solutions is an unending quest for the Khers and their endeavour has touched the lives of hundreds of people. Yuva Parivartan has helped trained over 7 lakh people and aims to create livelihoods for millions more by covering about 4000 villages every year. Generations of benefactors in the past believe that social service either required only saintly virtues or financial means.However, modern social innovation and entrepreneurship requires the devotion of people like the Khers’ who have a combination of businesses acumen and social spirit.
Kishor’s corporate stint and his family’s social outlook marked him outas an ideal candidate for the role. It was doubled up by the rare organisational skills of Mrinalini who is the now backbone of the whole administrative apparatus. She is a thoughtful campaigner who works methodically to drive change without seeking the limelight. Both Khers are practical people who wear their values on their sleeves.
Yuva Parivartan has played a prime role in shaping the ecosystem for skill development and has been an active supporting associate of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The organisation has a flexible and innovative model with a motivated learning environment that has been appreciated by the Planning Commission.
The philosophy and economics behind skill development at the organisation are driven by four critical factors. Firstly, they believe investment for skilling needs to be comprehensive, covering not only the training itself but also screening, matching, and mentoring. Secondly, programmes need to have measurable outcomes for the person seeking a job that will encourage other young people to get involved. Thirdly, there should be a close link between skill development and business profitability that will stimulate employers to hire skilled people. Lastly, but most importantly, society should shift the measure for the efficacy of skilling from cost to a broader metric which measures social return on this investment.
In India, professional and vocational training for traditional skills like carpentry and weaving are usually acquired within the family milieu which in turn restricts social mobility and access to modern technology. Yuva Parivartan aims to change this and aims to hone such skills through modern methods. The organisation has its own centres called LDCs – Livelihood Development Centres across various cities throughout the country where they have a classroom setup. They also organize various MLDCs –Mobile Livelihood Development Centres for rural areas where they temporarily conduct their camps for a month. The teaching model incorporates innovative teaching methods along with exercises, role plays and media tools, thereby, ensuring high rates of youth engagement.
Yuva Parivartan conducts 54 approved courses in 17 sectors. It also designs and develops industry relevant courses within the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), best-suited for industry-relevant employment. To ensure quality, YP keeps abreast with best practices that include modern teaching aids and stringent assessment assurance checks that include centralized examination and certification. In addition to this, the Examination & Certification process functions on the standardized guidelines laid down by Quality Control of India (QCI), International Organisation for Standardisation and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
Most importantly, on-the-job training for the members of the organisation is offered in partnership with the industry. Some of its industry partners include Blue Star for air conditioning, Larsen & Toubro for masonry and Marriot, Taj, Oberoi and Hyatt for catering. Yuva Parivartan has slowly grown into one of India’s largest NGOs in skill development and livelihood generation and won countless awards for social entrepreneurship.
Apart from endowing physical skills, YP tries to bring about attitudinal changes so that the youth are motivated and become local change-makers who transform their surrounding ecosystem. It does this via Sochka Parivartan (SKP), a behavioural module, which is central to all training programmes. SKP is a proprietary program for attitudinal change and imparting life skills such as decision-making, time management, money management, values and perception, and health and hygiene.
Yuva Parivartan’s Impact Assessment Programme aims at evaluating and measuring the quantitative and qualitative impact of programmes across multiple geographies and the learnings are incorporated in the centralized modules to improve their quality and have better outcomes.Having created a scalable and replicable model, YP is helping smaller and like-minded NGOs build a similar model.
Currently, the biggest challenge that the organization faces is to get the students continue their jobs after placement, as students often leave jobs only months after joining due to low motivation levels. The organisation has been creatively designing strategies to make its programme more enriching and improve retention rates.
It has been a long, arduous trek for the Khers whose small sapling has grown into a banyan tree. They have encountered several challenges, but their determination has sustained them. It doesn’t require a genius to change the story line. We have the tools, but we need to muster the will the way the Khers have done.
*Development expert

Comments

TRENDING

CAG’s audit report creates a case for dismantling of UIDAI, scrapping Aadhaar

By Gopal Krishna  The total estimated budget of the biometric UID/Aadhaar number project and its cost: benefit analysis has not been disclosed till date. Unless the total estimated budget of the project is revealed, all claims of benefits are suspect and untrustworthy. How can one know about total savings unless the total cost is disclosed? Can limited audit of continuing expenditure of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), an instrumentality of Union of India be deemed a substitute for total estimated budget of the biometric UID/Aadhaar number project of UIDAI? It has been admitted by CAG that the audit of functioning of the UIDAI is partial because of non-transparency. The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India arising from performance audit of functioning of the UIDAI for the period from 2014-15 to 2018-19 is incomplete because it is based on statistical information “to the extent as furnished by UIDAI” upto March 2021. There is also a need to compa

Women for Water: WICCI resource council for empowering women entrepreneurs, leaders

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The Water Resources Council of the Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry is formed for 2022-24. A National Business Chamber for Women, the Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry ( WICCI ) is a premier association empowering women entrepreneurs and leaders in all walks of life through advocacy, pro-active representations to government, implementing projects for women via funds allocated by various government agencies and corporates, plus bringing awareness on all issues that concern women. WICCI boosts and builds women’s entrepreneurship and businesses through greater engagement with government, institutions, global trade and networks. WICCI enables fundamental changes in governmental policies, laws, incentives and sanctions through proper channel, with a view to robustly encourage and empower women in business, industry and commerce across all sectors. WICCI is supported by the massive global networks of ALL Ladies League (ALL), Women Eco

75 yrs of water in India: whither decentralised governance to sustain the precious resource?

By Shubhangi Rai, Megha Gupta, Fawzia Tarannum, Mansee Bal Bhargava Looking into the last century, water resources management have come a long way from the living with water in the villages to the nimbyism and capitalism in the cities to coming full cycle with room for water in the villages. With the climate change induced water crisis, the focus on conservation and management of water resources if furthered in both national and local agenda. The Water management 2021 report by NITI Aayog acknowledges that water and sustainability are of immense importance for the sustenance of life on earth. Water is intricately linked to the health, food security and livelihood. With business as usual, India’s water availability will only be enough to meet 50% of its total demand and 40% of the population in India will have no access to drinking water and sanitation by 2030 . Its Composite Water Management Index 2021 states that ‘India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and mil

Grassroot innovations in water management: Policy challenges amidst climate change

By Shubhangi Rai[1], Megha Gupta[2], Mansee Bal Bhargava[3] India despite of having a vast traditional water management history continue to struggle with water crisis from disasters like floods and droughts but more with social distress leading to asymmetric access to water goods and services. The rising water crisis in a country that is abundant in water resources and wisdom is worth questioning and resolving. The knowledge that was passed on by our ancestors who used a diverse range of structures that helped harvest rainwater locally besides replenish and recharge the groundwater along the way. Formal and informal rules were locally crafted by the community on who to use the water, how much to use, when to use, how to penalise for misuse, how to resolve conflicts and many more. As a nation, we need to revive our dying wisdom of the traditional water management systems and as water commons, enable the governing mechanisms towards sustainability. In the session on ‘ Grassroot Innovatio

Need to destroy dowry, annihilate greed and toxic patriarchy in India

By IMPRI Team Talking about an evil ever-persistent in our society and highlighting the presence of toxic patriarchy, #IMPRI Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on Destroy Dowry: Annihilation of Greed and Toxic Patriarchy in India under the series The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps on May 4, 2022. The chair for the event was Prof Vibhuti Patel, Former Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai and a Visiting Professor, IMPRI. The distinguished panel included – Asha Kulkarni, General Secretary at Anti Dowry Movement, Mumbai ; Kamal Thakar, Sahiyar Stree Sangathan ; Adv Celin Thomas, Advocate at Celin Thomas and Associates, Bengaluru; Shalini Mathur, Honorary Secretary, Suraksha Dahej Maang Virodhi Sanstha Tatha Parivar Paraamarsh Kendra, Lucknow and Secretary, Nav Kalyani Foundation, Gender Resource and Training Centre; and Dr Bharti Sharma, Honorary Secretary, Shakti Shalini

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Implications for India and emerging geopolitics

By IMPRI Team In the backdrop of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, #IMPRI Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi hosted a panel discussion on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Implications for India and Emerging Geopolitics. The event was chaired by Ambassador Anil Trigunayat (IFS Retd.), Former Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Libya, and Malta; Former Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Moscow. The panelists of the event were Prof Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu, Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs, New York University; H.E. Freddy Svane, Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy, New Delhi; Maj. Gen. (Dr) P. K. Chakravorty, Strategic Thinker on Security Issues; and T. K. Arun, Senior Journalist, and Columnist. Ambassador Anil Trigunayat commenced the discussion by stating the fact that wars are evil. He opines that no war has ever brought peace and prosperity to any country and

Impact of climate change on Gujarat pastoralists' traditional livelihood

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Karen Pinerio* We are sharing a study[1] based learning on climate resilience and adaptation strategies of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat. There are two objectives of the study: (i) to examine the impact of climate on traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Gujarat state; and (ii) to explore and document the adaptation strategies of pastoralists in mitigating climate adversities, with a focus on the role of women in it. In order to meet these objectives, the research inquiries focused on how pastoralists perceive climate change, how climate change has impacted their traditional livelihood, i.e., pastoralism in drylands (Krätli 2015), and how these pastoral families have evolved adaptation strategies that address climate change (CC)/ variabilities, i.e., traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat state. Pastoralism is more than 5,000 years old land-use strategy in India; it is practised by nomadic (their entire livelihood r

Making Indian cities disaster, climate resilient: Towards actionable urban planning

By IMPRI Team  Three-Day Online Certificate Training Programme on “Making Indian Cities Disaster and Climate Change Resilient: Towards Responsive and Actionable Urban Planning, Policy and Development”: Day 1 A three day Online Certificate Training Programme on the theme “Making Indian Cities Disaster and Climate Change Resilient: Towards Responsive and Actionable Urban Planning, Policy and Development”, a joint initiative of the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) , Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, was held at the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies at IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi. Inaugurating the session Ms. Karnika Arun, Researcher at IMPRI, welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with an introduction to the eminent panellists. Day 1 of the program included Prof Anil K Gupta, Head ECDRM, NIDM, New Delhi and Mr Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor, Shimla; Visiting Senior Fellow, IMPRI as conveners, an

Gender gap: Women face disproportionate barriers in accessing finance

By IMPRI Team Women worldwide disproportionately face barriers to financial access that prevents them from participating in the economy and improving their lives. Providing access to finance for women is crucial for financial inclusion and, consequently, inclusive growth. To deliberate and encourage dialogue and discussion for growth, the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) of IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, organized a web policy talk by Mr S. S. Bhat, Chief Executive Officer Friends of Women’s World Banking India, Ahmedabad on ‘Access to Finance for Women’ as a part of its series The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps. The session was started by the moderator, Chavi Jain, by introducing the speaker and the discussants and inviting Prof. Vibhuti Patel to start the deliberation. Importance of access to finance for women Prof. Vibhuti Patel, Visiting Professor, IMPRI, New Delhi; Former Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, began by expre

Environment governance in small cities: Need for external intervention, capacity building

By IMPRI Team  The debate over environmental degradation has acquired substantial traction in recent years. Governments, civil communities and international organisations are all working to mitigate the environmental costs of economic expansion and growth. These reforms have also brought to light the concept of environmental governance in emerging towns, which refers to political changes aimed at influencing environmental activities and outcomes. It is under this backdrop that the #IMPRI Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi hosted a talk on Small Cities and Environmental Governance in Gujarat and West Bengal: Need for External Intervention or Capacity Building? as a part of #WebPolicyTalk series- The State of Cities – #CityConversations on January 28, 2022. The talk was chaired by Dr Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, an Associate Professor, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan and a Visiting Senior Fellow, IMPRI, New Delhi. The