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DDU-GKY and RSETI ka Hunarbaaz Awards: MoRD and NIRDPR felicitate Divyangjan Rural Youth

On the occasion of Azaadi ka Amrut Mahotsav India@75, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad under the auspices of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India instituted DDU-GKY and RSETI kaHunarbaaz Awards for 75 differently-abled candidates who were trained through DDU-GKY and RSETI flagship schemes of the Ministry in various trades, subsequently got placed and worked in the organizations for more than one year or were successfully settled in the trade of their choice as self-employed.

On 25 September 2021 on the occasion of AntyodayaDiwas that marks the birth Anniversary of Pandit DeenDayal Upadhyaya, these 75 diyangjancandidates from 15 states received the Hunarbaaz Awards at a virtual event organised by NIRDPR with MoRD, in association with State Rural Livelihood Missions and Rural Self-employment Training Institutes. CEOs of SRLMs and Directors of RSETIs handed over the awards at the respective states to the specially-abled achievers.

The award event was virtually graced by Shri Nagaendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India; Dr G Narendra Kumar, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR; Smt Alka Upadhyaya, Addl Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development Government of India, and Shri Amit Kataria IAS, Joint Secretary (Skills), Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, along with CEOs of State Rural Livelihood Missions and Directors of RSETIs.

Shri Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India addressing the audience as the Chief Guest on this event paying tributes to Pandit DeenDayal Upadhyaya said that his philosophy of Integral Humanism and Antyoday, the “rise of the last person”is deeply connected with this event.Given the right opportunity for divyangjan, they can fly higher and that is what our divyangjan sportspersons demonstrated to India and the world in the Paralympics of 2021.

Shri Sinha addressing the Hunarbaaz awardees mentioned that in the same vein, their life is a model to others on how to overcome challenges and be self-reliant.A round table is desired to be conducted with employers who are currently employing DDU-GKY trained candidates and who proactively drive inclusion in their workforce, as well as those national and multi-national organisations that are working towards the diversity and inclusion agenda. This will further expand the scope and choices for divyangjan youth of rural India to get appropriate skilling, placement and patronage of such organisations through DDU-GKY and RSETI, Secretary RD, added.

Delivering the key note on the occasion, Dr G Narendra Kumar IAS, Director General, NIRDPR pointed out that about 69% of the differently-abled persons are in rural India according to 2011 census. Studies prove that productivity of differently-abled workers is 15 percent higher than others.

Also, attrition rate of differently-abled workforce is much lower than others; and this is certainly an attractive proposition for employers. The Director General also highlighted the need to strengthen the ties with PwD Sector Skill Council in order to explore more possibilities and also to train the trainers of Divyangjan candidates and also to focus on recognition of prior learning (RPL) of those differently abled engaged in agri-sectors in rural India.

Smt Alka Upadhyaya, IAS, Additional Secretary, MoRD addressing the audience mentioned that the awardees are an inspiration to all of us, and they should continue to do so. Recounting success stories of several candidates who were trained and placed in DDU-GKY programme, Smt Upadhyaya mentioned that every candidate associated with DDU-GKY has a journey and a story of success to tell.DDU-GKY is implemented differently from other skilling programmes and has robust standard operating procedures.

Smt Upadhyaya mentioned that it is important to focus on good mobilisation practices without a commercial mindset. It has been proven through a study conducted that if the mobilisation practices are correct, then their placement, retention and career progression will also be effective.

Shri Amit Kataria, IAS, Joint Secretary (Skills), MoRD speaking on the occasion reminded that both training agencies and employers have to be sensitive to and aware of the challenges our PwD youth faces in terms of barriers that exist in terms of their accessibility to quality education and training programs.

A more coherent, and empathetic approach is required to mainstream the requirements of PwD youth and robust processes are to be put in place wherein they become part of skilling ecosystem and find a way for themselves keeping their self-esteem intact thereby enhancing decision-making abilities.Ministry’s aim is to encourage and promote inclusivity wherein youth from all sections of society can come forward and participate in this process of making India a “Skilling Hub” of the world, he added.

This event is an opportunity not only to felicitate the candidates who have overcome challenges in life to carve out a successful career for themselves, but also to reiterate the commitment of the Ministry towards Divyanagjan, he said.

Some of the candidates who received the awards addressed the audience and recounted their life journey and the difference that skill training brought to their lives. Employers and training partners also shared their experiences of skilling and employing the candidates and also put forth suggestions to explore newer directions in the journey of inclusion.

Shri KV Satyanarayana, Executive Director, DDU-GKY and RSETI NIRDPR welcomed the audience and Shri Virendra Sharma, Director (Skills) MoRD delivered the closing remarks.

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