‘Project PREMA’ is an innovative programme of skill training and entrepreneurship development focused on marginalised sections of the society, mostly women of scheduled tribe, scheduled caste and fisher folk. It is a joint venture of Peoples Rural Education Movement (PREM), a non-governmental organisation active in rural development in Odisha and its neighbouring states during past three decades and AXIS Bank Foundation, a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of AXIS Bank, one of the leading private banking organisations of India.
The five year long developmental programme, started in 2011, which is in its 5th Year of operation by 2015, is being implemented in 17 Blocks of 5 Districts in Odisha State to reach 10,000 beneficiaries. Efforts are being undertaken to empower young women to achieve sustainable income by adoption of business plans through the programme. The operational area of the project include comparatively underdeveloped 515 villages of 171 Gram Panchyats in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kondhamal and Puri Districts of Odisha.
Grihini involves an innovative training module. The beneficiaries undergo a short term of two day long exposure training followed by handhold support in implementing business plans, both at individual or group level. The Community Resource Persons not only disseminate useful business related information, impart training, but also attempt to solve all type of problems the entrepreneur faces in course of operation of business plan in day to day basis. Adoption of scientific methods, availability of expert’s advice and timely monitoring results in success of almost all such ventures.
Grihini Training enables the trainees for resource creation from 4 different sources. While the trainees are encouraged to adopt business plans for income generation through individual entrepreneurship, they are also trained to gather benefit through participating in group or community level programmes such as SHG, plantation, fishery, grain bank etc. They are exposed to various welfare schemes run by the government such as BPL status, employment through MGNREGA, support for agriculture, education and health care, loan facilities from banks and food security law etc. They are also encouraged to gather benefits provided by the government by allocation of land under FRA, individual housing under IAY, recovery of mortgaged land and purchase of land for asset creation. Grihini Training aim at creating opportunities for beneficiaries sustainable annual income up to Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per family.
The main objective of Grihini Training is focused at economic development of families and communities in the project area. Economic empowerment helps the families to invest in education, health care and other better lifestyle options.
‘Project PREMA’ implements vocation training for adolescent girls through AshaJyoti. Coaching facilities are being offered for school drop-out girls to appear secondary school examination and opportunities for employment, such as Industrial Sewing machine Operation at textile firms outside the state are being facilitated for interested girls. Over 400 girls have availed such benefits during past 4 years and during FY 2014-15, 19 beneficiaries were enrolled in the programme.
Advanced Agriculture Training
Advanced Agriculture Training opportunities are offered to young farmers with leadership qualities. A total number of 150 beneficiaries have been trained from programme villages during last 3 years and 80 beneficiaries are trained during FY 2014-15. While the training was conducted at Trisure in association with Kerala Agriculture University earlier, during FY 2014-15 such training was conducted at Bhanja Nagar of Ganjam District in association with Krushi Vigyan Kendra and Odisha University of Agricultural Technology. The trainees learn improved agriculture practise and demonstrate the same in their native villages after completion of the course to attract the attention of the local farmers.
Majority of its target population, about 7,800 young women are covered under Grihini Training. The training strives to encourage and develop entrepreneurship sprit among the rural women to adopt small business such as backyard poultry, goat rearing, diary, and kitchen garden in the individual level or trading locally available produce, management of cottage industries in group level. Such entrepreneurs are motivated to act as change agents to create clean environment, send children to schools, adopt health care practices, operate savings bank accounts and participate in local governance etc. Their collective efforts translate into building-up ‘Model Villages’.
‘Project PREMA’ Model Village fixes 8 criterias for development of a village, which include (i) supply of safe drinking water and availability of toilet, (ii) construction of well ventilated kitchen and use of smokeless Chulla, (iii) complete immunisation of the children, (iv) admission and retention of all children in the schools, (v) avoidance of labour related migration, (vi) alcohol-free environment, (vii) litigation free community and (viii) adoption of sustainable income generation activities by every women in the village.
Other Vocational Trainings
Through ‘Project PREMA’, the beneficiaries of the programme population are also provided skill training in Computer (Hardware & Software), Electronics, Nursing, Hotel Management, Driving and Handicrafts. Eligible young men and women are also provided training in advanced agriculture practices and tutorial facilities for students to appear secondary school examination. During past 4 years of operation, 142 candidates in Computer Hardware and 348 candidates in Computer Software have been admitted into six-month long diploma course in computer application. Similarly 28 candidates have been enrolled in three-year long diploma course in Electronics. In Hotel Management 16 candidates have been enrolled in degree course of three years duration and 145 candidates have been enrolled in diploma course of one year duration. In Nursing 50 candidates have been enrolled for three year long degree course and in Driving 142 candidates have been enrolled for 6 months long certificate course. Training in Handicrafts using dried Kewada leave has been provided to 10 young ladies.
‘Project PREMA’ Team
‘Project PREMA’ is managed by a group of Ten member strong officials and an Advisory Body. A total number of 40 Community Resource Persons are engaged in successful implementation of the programme. External Consultants also offer specialised services. Beneficiaries are selected through screening camps organised at programme villages and review meeting are held periodically to monitor the progress. ‘Project PREMA’ endeavours to serve the poorest of the poor in most inaccessible regions of Odisha State through imparting skill training to earn sustainable livelihood and build-up a feature.
Skill and entrepreneurship development through training and its support services for rural development have added a new chapter in the history of development initiatives of Peoples Rural Education Movement.
Life style management training for women
Training Youth on Computer Application
Grihini Trainee equipped with tailoring
Agriculture Activist sharing his learnings on horticulture