Friday, 15 November 2013

YEGN – Mainstreaming the Youth

youth
Unemployed youth are the most vulnerable lot to be misguided, exploited or lured into unlawful activities. It was to involve the youth in constructive activities, enable them to get employment that a major initiative Youth Employment and Guidance Node (YEGN) programmewas launched   a few years back in border and remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir .
The YEGN  guidance and  training to young men and women  in various skills to equip them to either get a job or start their own  enterprise ,  prepare them for recruitment in the army and other security agencies including paramilitary forces and help them  acquire some expertise for self employment .
Thanks to the YEGN  under the Sadbhawna programme  today many  a youth  have been recruited in army, paramilitary forces, railways, banks and  many trained to earn a livelihood on their own.    
The YEGN centres  have computer training facilities, facilities for training in different skills and competent personnel and expertees to guide the youth in getting gainful employment or seeking higher education or sitting for exams for recruitment in bank, railways  and other fields.
The youth that include a large number of students have also access to magazines and journals on general knowledge and competitive exams in various sectors besides Employment News magazine. 
Naresh Kumar from Deeng village took training as a plumber for a month at YEGN at the border village of Sainth. He was given a certificate of Diploma in Plumbing by MSME  aftersuccessful completion of the training. Today he is able to earn about 10,000 rupees a month   He says that sometime he is engaged on a daily basis or he gets payment for the particular job done.
Twenty years old Rohit Kumar who had taken training from a polytechnic college in Jammu in plumbing, is today an instructor and is paid 500 rupees on daily basis.
Inderjit Mahi  from Jhanghar village says that he took training in  repairing electrical gadgets like  irons, fans , motor  wiring and has been given certificate for the same. By repairing the electronic gadgets, he is able to earn some money. Inderjit wants to open his own repairing shop with the help of a loan at concessional rates.
Tenth pass Sanjeev Kumar also from Jhangar village underwent similar training but wants further training  in mechanics.
Balwinder Kumar from a border village in Jammu division is a small farmer and is not able to earn enough to make both ends meet. In his  30’s Balwinder  said at his age it is difficult for him to acquire some skill and get a job. He at the same time wants to supplement his income. The army under Sadbhawana Programme   is giving him training as a mason. He says that masons are getting 250 to 300 rupees a day and  he is hopeful  that once his training is over; he too would be able to earn around 15,000 rupees a month.
Many young men of Sainth Gram Panchayat and nearby villages have got training as a hair dresser and are now able to earn 200 to 250 rupees a day.
        Training is being provided in mechanics, welding, poultry farming, hairdressing, tailoring.  In order to expand the scope of self employment, training in nursing and fisheries is also being included.

             Vivek from Sainth village has passed the physical fitness as well as medical test. When we met him he was to appear for the written test for which he was well prepared. He says that youth were told about what all is required for recruitment in the army and other services and professions. They were also taken to the recruitment center  to give them an idea of the process involved. Today he is hopeful of joining the army and serving the nation like his father who too was in the army.
Vishal who has also cleared all the tests is waiting for an appointment letter from the BSF. He says the young men in border village are  passionate about joining the forces.
Another youth expressed similar sentiments. He says the youth from villages have the required physique and toughness to clear physical fitness tests. He said he has learnt discipline from the army and they are great source of inspiration for serving the nation . He too has cleared all other tests and would be appearing for a written test to join the Border Roads Organisation, BRO.
Rakesh Kumar took admission in BA this year. He has benefitted a lot, he says frommagazines  and books on general knowledge and the employments news provided at the YEGN centre. He also takes computer classes provided by YEGN in the evening after college hours. Rakesh Kumar like many youth in the area wants to join army.
Besides over sixty youth recruited in army, navy and other para military forces, many young men and women have acquired skills to enable them to start their own work. Many more have cleared the tests and are hopeful of being recruited soon.
Teachers and students too are benefitting from the YEGN initiative. Vishal Sharma from Government High school Khairi village is a teacher. Although an MSc, he had absolutely no knowledge of computers.  He underwent training by YEGN in Basics. He says the army provided the school with computers and then trained the teachers in using computers for about a month. They were guided about how they can make use of the computers to educate students and about related software.
This is not all. In  order to instill confidence in the youth, matches in  different games including football, basketball etc, are also organized besides competitions in debates, essay writing and other academics  and holding youth festivals to tap their talent.  Adventure tours including trekking, mountaineering, and cycling are organized .
Yet another programme that the army is conducting to expose the youth to the world outside their villages is to take them on educational tours the idea is also to broaden their vision.
Rahul Kumar studying in government high school in Siddar recalls his tour to Pathankot, Chandigarh and Shimla and other places in Himachal Pradesh. He had never been out of his village.
            The Sarpanch of Sainth Gram PanchayatSukh Dev Singh said that YEGN has been of great help in involving the youth in constructive activities as well as diverting them away from undesirable activities. He said in one year alone 15 young men from his Panchayat  have been recruited in the army and various other professions.
Nearly 2,400 youth, including 538 girls have been registered  with YEGN in  remote and border areas in Jammu Division .
The need is to channelize  the energy  of the youth  in constructive activities  and  YEGN under Sadbhawna  has played a significant role in  mainstreaming  the youth  in  remote  border areas  to quite an extent .

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