Sitaram Singh, son of a farmer from this small town who is currently undergoing a 75-day training programme on a general accounting system, is quite upbeat about his job prospects.
Singh, a class 12 passout, is among the 20 students from poor families who are being imparted training on the system — which includes financial accounting, voucher maintenance and Tally software, besides a basic course in English language — at the Skill and Entrepreneurship Development Institute (SEDI) located here.
Most of these youths are set to get jobs as accountant in companies operating in Rajasthan. “As my father can’t sustain a family of seven people through earnings from agriculture, I decided to undergo this training for better job prospects,” Singh told FE.
Similarly, Puja Goswain, a second year BA student, is undergoing a 67-day training programme at SEDI in retail management where she, along with 19 others, is provided with training on handling consumers, payment counter handling, bill making besides a basic course on English and computer. Those trained earlier at SEDI have got placements with various retail outlets such as Big Bazaar, Café Coffee Day (CCD) and hotels.
SEDI was established in 2006 as a joint initiative between Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) and State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur under the rural development ministry’s programme where a training institute was set up in each district of the country for imparting skill enhancement training to the rural youth. ACF has been running the institute on its own for the last couple of years.
“As Pali district gets only about 400 millimetres of rains annually, making agriculture not that remunerative, our focus has been on training the youth in this region so that they can get better job opportunities,” ACF director Pearl Tiwari said. Ambuja Cement has a factory at village Rabriyawas located close to SEDI.
The institute has already trained more than 6,000 youths and majority of them have been placed in various companies and businesses.
(Travel for this report was sponsored by Ambuja Cement Foundation)