Children in 7,000 child care institutions to be provided skill training: Smriti Zubin Irani
Parveen suffered domestic violence and abuse during her short marriage.
NEW DELHI: About 7,000 childcare institutions housing boys and girls will now run skill development programmes to make them financially independent when they leave the government facility, said Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani on Tuesday.
Her announcement came after 18-year-old Gulabshah Parveen, who at the age of 15 years married off by her family to a 55-year-old man, who already had children, in Bihar, made the suggestion that she had no skill training when she lived in the institution for three years and thus had no means to earn a living when she attained adulthood and had to leave the institution.
Her heart-wrenching story moved everyone at the national seminar on skilling on non-traditional livelihood for girls - Betiyan Bane Kushal - an inter-ministerial conference on the International Day of the Girl Child, prompting the minister to announce that they would launch the initiative next month immediately.
Parveen suffered domestic violence and abuse during her short marriage. She sought help from NGOs, was rescued and was housed in a childcare institution (CCI). As she had nowhere to go after leaving the institution, she returned home, where she met more harassment and torture.
As she had no formal training, she could not be financially independent. Again with the help of NGOs, she took training and today manages accounts at Shakti Café, a recently opened outlet of Monginis bakery managed by the girls run by CCI.
On Tuesday, she was among the few girls who narrated their ordeals and how skilling helped them overcome their hardships and enabled them to be financially independent.
As she stood up to narrate her story, she choked up and couldn’t continue, prompting Irani to get up from her seat on the dais. She asked the diminutive girl to come onto the stage and made her stand next to her, constantly holding her, comforting and encouraging her to continue her story of harassment and torture, and how she overcame her turbulent past and has now become an example for other girls, facing the same systematic harassment and torture.
Her request to Irani was that children staying at the childcare institutions till the age of 18 years should be given skill sets as they are not able to cope with the outside world when they leave when they become adults.
Irani, at the conference organised by the Women and Child Development ministry in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Ministry of Minority Affairs, immediately announced that her ministry would take it up so that children – both girls and boys – can get jobs.
She also announced that her ministry would work on how it can help in providing counselling to the girls for choosing the suitable academic streams after 17-year-old Manya Mishra from Delhi said that girls are not able to make a wise career choice in the absence of a career counsellor.
Impressed by the story of Suprava Behera, 15, from Phulbani, Odisha, who the district administration helped from getting married and is now getting training as an electrician, Irani said that for the non-traditional life skill the ministry could facilitate help from banks so that women pursuing such unusual trades can start their own business under Mission Shakti scheme.
“The country cannot progress if girls and women are not empowered. The government has always encouraged and empowered girls to pursue vocations of their choice irrespective of gender stereotypes,” she said.
The conference was held to give a fillip to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, a component of skilling in Non-traditional Livelihood (NTL), which has been introduced as part of the programme. Through this initiative, girls will be given skill training in non-traditional vocations, thereby making them torchbearers of women-led Atma Nirbhar Bharat, the ministry said.