Bhubaneswar: The social interventions of the city authorities in the slums and informal settlements in the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD) has received good response from the residents, especially youth in these communities.
Sustained efforts as part of the Socially Smart Bhubaneswar Initiative of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has resulted in nearly 150 young boys and girls from these slums in the smart district enrolling themselves for various skill development training programmes of both state and central Government institutions.
While 24 youth from the slums of BTCD have enrolled at Government ITIs for skill development programmes such as food processing, electronics (AC / fridge) repairing, basic computer training etc., 120 youths have been linked with various skill programmes of National Skill Development Corporation for trades such as General duty assistant, Assistant beautician, Sewing machine operator, Self-employment tailoring training etc.
Several rounds of interactions, capacity building sessions and exposure visits to various skill development institutions helped in generating interest among the young girls and boys to opt for various skilling programmes of their choice. Also, a line listing of youths done in the 1st year of the intervention helped the authorities to identify the educational competencies of youth and their key interest areas. This was followed by meetings, exposure visits and interactions organised for the youths of slums with various agencies including Govt. ITI, UMBC managed by Centurion University, UBER office, Government driving training school etc.
Most of the linkages with skill development programmes have been done in the 12 slums of Kedarpalli, Railway colony basti, Telugu basti, Shantipalli, Ashoknagar Phalika basti, Janata Lodge basti, Shantinagar, Kanjiahuda, Press colony and Tiranga basti, in BTCD area. The implementing partner of Socially Smart Bhubaneswar programme Humara Bachpan Trust has played a key role in facilitating the capacity building programmes for the youth in these slums. Peer leaders, volunteers of the implementing partner also work at the slum level to ensure least drop out from amongst the enrolled candidates.
It may be noted that the socially smart initiative focussed on giving primacy to the needs of young people, while promoting safety and security of girls and women, especially in urban slums through safety audits, community engagement as well as capacity building programmes. As part of this programme nearly 300 girls from the slums of BTCD have been provided self-defence training by BSCL in collaboration with city based Utkal Karate School. Previously the interventions under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar initiative had helped 25 youths, mostly girls from BTCD for enrolling themselves in various skill development programmes.