Pranita Sardar, a young woman from rural Bengal alongwith five others, is the proud owner of a small but successful business enterprise that prints invitation cards, flyers, school notebooks, diaries, letterheads , banners , takes passport photos , touches up old photographs and so on. Their shop, has three computers, bought through government and private loans, where Pranita and her business associates and employees continuously work against deadlines to typeset the matter from many satisfied customers. It is a dream come true for this group of young girls who have had basic education only and could never have dreamt of getting formal employment, let alone learn to operate computers.
It was less than 4 years ago they joined the livelihood skills training programme ICT-LEAP being run through a local voluntary organization. This training program focused on teaching basic computer operations to rural youth, alongwith some key skills needed to utilize a computer to earn an income. Various options like setting up a Desk-Top-Publishing Unit ( as in the case above) , digital photography, running an Internet Café , repair of computers are taught as part of the programme, alongwith key marketing and administrative skills and financial support to set up a micro-enterprise. For those opting for jobs further skills training and placement assistance is also provided.
With the growing demand of low cost staffing in the booming IT enabled services industry popularly known as BPOs in India many of the rural youth now have access to jobs that they could never have aspired for without this training.