PRADHAN MANTRI KAUSHAL VIKAS YOJANA EMPOWERS AND TRANSFORMS LIVES OF MARGINALISED SEX WORKERS, PILOT PROJECT SEES SUCCESS

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New Delhi, 10th April 2018: Surrounded by the stigma of sex trade, sex workers have been vulnerable to violence, risk of health, disrespect, stress and discrimination. Aiming to end this discrimination and empower them through skill training, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), working under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), undertook a project to skill train 13 girls who were victims of trafficking. In a statement released today, NSDC announced successful completion of skill training of these girls in Unarmed Security Guard job role. 13 girls were rescued from GB Road, the infamous red-light area in Delhi, by Special Police Unit for Women and Children (SPUWAC), a special body of Delhi Police, which aims to safeguard the rights of women and children. In a Special Project, under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMVKY), the girls underwent short term skill training for a duration of one-month. Under the direction of the Juvenile Justice Committee chaired by Hon’ble Justice Ms Mukta Gupta, Delhi High Court, the objective of this Special Project was to provide support and skill training to the disadvantaged girls and find them viable, alternate professions. Post their rescue, the girls were provided shelter at Nirmal Chhaya complex, a home for destitute, where they were counselled to manage their aggression, foresee the world of freedom and seek the path towards positive development. The girls were further shifted to Dwarka Homes for Women, for their protection and avoiding threats from their agents. Commenting on the Special Project, Shri Rajesh Agrawal, Joint Secretary and CVO, MSDE said, “Exploitation of marginalised sex workers is a pitiable situation. The workers experience discrimination because of their criminalized status and stigma of their work. MSDE, through this project under PMKVY, endeavours to end the stigma through skill training of girls and empower them towards better livelihood opportunities.” Agrawal further added, “The vision of SKILL INDIA can be harnessed when the entire workforce be utilized effectively for its development. Our collaborative effort with Delhi Police aims to protect the trafficked girls at a young age and channelize their efficiencies by engaging them in productive vocations.” Shri Jayant Krishna, ED & COO, NSDC said, “NSDC is committed to extend its support to law enforcement bodies like Delhi Police and NGOs for implementing economic empowerment strategies for these sex trade survivors through skill development.” Krishna added, “NSDC also aims to give them give them access to alternative sources of income. Participation in the skill training program also helped the participants in getting rid of the stigma and helped boost their self-esteem and confidence. Through such measures, NSDC wants to inspire other agencies also to come forward and enable the seamless integration of such victims and survivors into national mainstream.” Juvenile Justice Committee, Chairman Ms. Justice Mukta Gupta said, “Human trafficking is an issue of serious concern. We believe that the special projects of National Skill Development Corporate will encourage other victims to come forward and find opportunities for better livelihood. Through this transformational program, we seek to achieve substantial impact in the lives of these girls.” NSDC’s approved training partner Olive Heritage, supported by Management and Entrepreneurship & Professional Skills Council (MEPSC), executed the skill training program through a make-shift training centre at Dwarka Homes for Women. Olive further collaborated with leading security agencies like G4S and GIS to facilitate employment opportunities post completion of the training and certification. These trafficked girls, between the age group of 15 to 18 years, are from penurious backgrounds with little or no literacy. The one-month skill training in unarmed security guard course equipped the workers with an alternative new skill to lead peaceful lives with dignity. At the onset of the training, it was a daunting task to convince them as some of these girls were addicted to alcohol, steroids, smoking and were inclined to return to the same vicious circle of sex work. But, with the passage of time, they developed an interest towards the skill training program. The counselling session ushered in the hope that there is a life beyond those dark allies and it only requires courage to leave the shackles behind and step towards a brighter future. The Special Projects component of PMKVY provisions creation of a platform that facilitates trainings in special areas and/or premises of government bodies, corporate or industry bodies, and trainings in special job roles, not defined under the available Qualification Packs (QPs)/National Occupational Standards (NOSs).

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