Presenting Three-Part Series of our Success Story in creating employment and improving the quality of life of youth at the #BottomOfThePyramid (especially girls) from the #LeftWingExtremist (#LWE) district through skills training.

Today, presenting the 1st part of this series: The #SamajSarkarBazaar-#PartnershipModel:
#Samaj’’ - Society, ‘#Sarkar’’ - The Government and ‘#Bazaar’’ - The Industry Model (‘#SSBMODEL) worked in realizing ‘#GirlPower’
Story of “#GirlPower”
ACHIEVEMENT AS ON 30TH DECEMBER 2020: Under the DDUGKY- Balaghat Project, ‘We The People’ has so far trained 330 girls as on date with a placement record of 93%, the highest percentage of placement made by any #ProjectImplementingAgency (#PIA) associated with #MadhyaPradeshStateRuralLivelihoodsMission (#MPSRLM) under the said scheme in the state. These figures are being audited by the authorities.
The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) is part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), a flagship Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Govt of India for employment linked skills training of the youth at the bottom of the pyramid (#BoP). DDU-GKY’s primary objective is to augment the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth.
To summarise the project in brief:
‘We The People-NGO’ was the first and the only organization that started DDUGKY skills training programme in Balaghat District in 2018. Till that time, even though there were more than 40 #ProjectImplementingAgencies (PIAs) were working in the state but no one had started the

DDUGKY-Roshni project in Balaghat district for 2-reasons. Firstly, Balaghat being the LWE district falls under the #DDUGKYRoshni Scheme, a special scheme meant to be implemented only in LWE districts of India with very stringent monitoring mechanisms from the Sarkar (centre and state govt.) and require special efforts from Samaj, Sarkar and Bazaar to ensure training and placements of at least 70% of the certified candidates with a 3-month retention guarantee. Secondly, it’s mandatory to train and place a minimum of 40% of girls under the DDUGKY-Roshni scheme.
We could able to succeed in the first litmus test offering residential training covering 100% girls essentially from the BPL families including SCs, STs, and minorities, beyond Sarkar’s mandatory guidelines of achieving 40%.
Out of 40-PIAs, we were only 4 who received 2nd installment at the initial phase, after 9-months of rigorous financial and performance audits of We The People by multiple agencies of the state including #MadhyaPradeshStateRuralLivelihoodsMission (#MPSRLM), State Technical Support Agency (#STSA)- #NABCONS, and Central Technical Support Agency (#CTSA)- NABCONS. #LWE district falls under #DDUGKYRoshni Scheme, a special scheme of MoRD, GoI meant to be implemented only in LWE districts of India with very stringent monitoring mechanisms of the Sarkar that require special efforts from Samaj, Sarkar, and Bazaar to ensure that training and placements of at least 70% of the certified candidates with a 3-month retention guarantee must be achieved. Secondly, it’s mandatory to train and place a minimum of 40% of girls under the DDUGKY-Roshni scheme.
We achieved a placement record of 93%.
The placed candidates were verified at their residence and employer sites through GPS enabled due diligence process set-up through random sampling methods by #STSA, #CTSA, and MPSRLM.
On top of that three months’ salary slips, ESI and PF accounts of candidates were verified by STSA.
When the country was struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic and there was the mass exodus of migrant labourers to their native places, we could able to retain 77% placement during these hard times, as our entire team stood with the candidates by ensuring their safety, security, food, and shelter, besides, prolonged mentoring and counselling of the candidates like family members.
We were asked to share our experience and the success story in a Review Meeting represented by the senior bureaucrats and officials of MPSRLM, and representatives of STSA and 40 PIAs including Apollo Medskills, Quess Crop, AISECT, Teamlease, to name a few who’s who of the skill industry.
This has happened due to the synergy between Samaj, Sarkar, and Bazaar who worked in close coordination and with mutual trust.
Even though, the initial days were tough for our team, when our colleagues during mobilisation drives in the remote and far-flung villages of Balaghat District had to face the extremist groups for questioning and were detained for hours to know our motives. However, with lots of persuasions, our team was able to convince these groups about the purpose of the project and later never faced any such challenges after those initial days, when these groups got to know the noble work being undertaken by us.
We also demonstrated to the samaj, i.e., gram panchayats, villagers, and most importantly, parents of the trainees that if we work together, our larger goal of transforming the lives of the poor families through ‘#GirlPower’ can be achieved.
Even though samaj (gram panchayats, villagers, and most importantly, parents of the trainees) was initially hesitant to send their wards (young girls) for residential training for four months, miles away from home, followed by placements at Ahmedabad, Indore, or other major cities, but sarkar (the district, block and gram panchayat officials) played a pivotal role in motivating samaj and assuring Sarkar’s adequate support to the project. Thus, Sarkar’s role was immensely valuable for ‘We The People’, and Sarkar became the bridge between Samaj and another important constituent of Samaj – the civil society/ the NGO- We The People.
Sarkar ensured stringent monitoring of our training at Balaghat, often through weekly surprise visits by the district administration including District Collector, CEO, Zilla Parishad, District Programme Manager (DPM-Skills), and BPM (Skills), as our training centre is less than a kilometer from the district headquarter. Besides, MPSRLM, STSA and CTSA also carried out quarterly surprise visits to our training centre. As Kendra (Centre) and Rajya (State) Sarkar’s stake was high due to the special character of the project, hence, Sarkar made every possible effort to ensure that the project must succeed. This has also made our team more accountable.
The ‘Bazaar’- the industry or the employers, in this case, who were keen to hire our trained candidates from the project since finding the right kind of blue-collar workforce was a real challenge for these employers. As the attrition rate was very high for the blue-collar workforce, hence, they were looking for organisations who could provide them candidates with basic domain and work preparedness skills and ensure retention of placed candidates at least for a period of 6-months and assist them to have access to a ready resource pool for selection and hiring, as and when required. At the same time, Samaj (parents of the candidates, the villagers, the gram panchayats, and the civil society) was looking for employers who would assure safety and security of the placed candidates especially girls at the workplace and during their stay, moreover, ensuring social safety nets (ESI & PF) for the placed candidates and minimum wage for the skilled labour.
It’s proven to be an ideal business model and win-win business proposition for the Samaj, Sarkar, and Bazaar to work in tandem and to do their bit for achieving the larger goal of ensuring skill and employment for the girls at the #BoP for augmenting the family income and at the same time, benefiting out of it.
Samaj benefited as many of the under-educated and under-skilled youth especially girls from their society were skill trained and got employment, which led to improvement in the quality of lives of the girls and their families with augmented income. Sarkar benefited by fulfilling its mandate of creating employment for the people at the BoP from the LWE district and Bazaar benefitted from getting assured retention and a ready resource pool for selection and hiring.
Most importantly, this partnership model of Samaj, Sarkar, and Baazar has also proved that given a chance, the youth from the LWE districts can perform much better as compared to their counterparts from other districts, which has been demonstrated by the young girls from Balaghat, who are become role models for inspiring others to join the movement.
In recent times, our work has been covered by the print and electronic media, vindicating our stand that there is a greater need for the Samaj, Sarkar, and Bazaar to work in close collaboration.
Even though the journey was really tough, however, it's truly satisfying. No amount of money can bring such happiness to life when you see many of those young faces have become the sole breadwinner of the family.