Socially Smart Bhubaneswar initiative helps skilling 25 slum youths, mostly girls

Bhubaneswar: At a time when the focus of the youth is turning towards enhanced skill sets and self-employment, the efforts by Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) to provide proper counselling to the youth in slums and linking them to skill education programmes has come as a boon for the 25 young girls and women, who are residing in slums under Bhubaneswar Town centre District (BTCD) area.
Under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar initiative, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and BSCL in association with UNFPA and implementing partner Humara Bachpan has been conducting orientation and capacity building programes for youth especially young girls and women in the slums under BTCD area.
Following the counselling sessions conducted by experts under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar initiative, six girls Kamini Soren, S.Tarini, Puja Bisoi, Puja Das, Gouri Hemram from Shanti Nagar FCI Colony slum and Deepshikha Swain from Jagannath Basti near press colony recently took admission in city based ICICI Skill Academy to undertake three-month skill training on office administrative work. Post training, the academy will also facilitate their employment in prospective offices.
Similarly, after few counselling sessions and two exposure visits to skill development facilities organised under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar initiative, nine other girls and young women took admission for skill development on beauty and wellbeing at the Urban Micro Business Centre (UMBC) of Centurion University in the city. Among these nine girls were Geetanjali Muduli, Pratima Samal, Sulachana Mohanty, Smita Sahoo, Nisipadma Bhatta and Madhusmita Muduli from Triranga basti, Mamuni Nayak and Monalisa Ram from Kedalpalli basti and Chhabirani Nayak from Bapuji Nagar Railway Colony basti.
Two other girls Deepanjali Swain and Pinky Sahoo from Jagannath basti near Press Colony are now undertaking training on stitching and tailoring at Master Fashion Design Centre of Centurion University.
Simran Nayak from Kedarpalli basti and Rubi das from Shantipalli basti took admission for skill training in Food Processing sector at Government ITI Bhubaneswar.
Apart from these girls and young women, to 18 year old boys P Suryanarayan Rao from Jagannath basti and Manguli Nayak from Shantipalli basti have enrolled themselves for training at Government ITI Bhubaneswar for skill training in AC & Refrigerator Repairing and Welding respectively.
It may be noted here that counselled and facilitated under Socially Smart Bhubaneswar initiative, four girls Subhashree Pattnaik, Purnima Swain, Anjana Sarkar and Samina Nayak from different slums in BTCD area had enrolled at state driving training institute for the two month driving training few months ago which involved theory as well as practical sessions.
It can be mentioned here that Bhubaneswar is the first city in the country to go with such a unique partnership with a UN organisation to make the citizens socially smart. After months of continuous interactive sessions and training programmes, the results have been quite encouraging in many of the BTCD slums.
Under the socially smart Bhubaneswar initiative boys and girls groups have been formed in different slums of the city to conduct safety audits, identifying unsafe areas in their respective slums and making suggestions for improvement. Two stages of training programmes for 30 girls and 30 boys of these slums, who are designated as peer leaders or ‘Pragati Sathi’ have been conducted for capacity building and involving them for betterment of the slums in terms of safety, cleanliness and maintain a peaceful environment. The “Peer Leaders’’’ conduct a series of meetings and transact learning in the community and family-level to create awareness on gender-based discrimination, child marriage, menstrual hygiene and management etc. This will ensure social changes, which, in long run would help to ensure healthy and smart society.
The main objective of this project is to develop a youth-centric and youth-led integrated social intervention model to support Citizen Connect Initiative and promote safety and security of girls and women in Bhubaneswar with specific focus on urban slums, through community partnerships.

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