School dropouts, minor drug addicts and those involved in crime to getting vocational training in fashion designing, video editing, yoga, among others.
Skill India, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects, is being put to use to reform juvenile offenders. The move comes at a time when Delhi and other metros are witnessing a major spurt in crimes committed by minors — the number of offences rose 47%, from 22,740 cases in 2010 to 33,526 cases in 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Children involved in crime, school dropouts and the ones addicted to drugs will soon start training to become fashion designers, field technicians, salesmen, video editors, hair stylists and even yoga teachers.
The Delhi Police, in association with Skill India, an initiative under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna, have identified more than 2,100 youths in the age group of 16-25, who will undergo training in 45 different vocational courses. The government has roped in 2,269 trainers from different fields for this purpose.
The programme was inaugurated by home minister Rajnath Singh and skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy on 29 August.
“Most of the candidates we have chosen for this programme are from JJ (jhugi jhopdi) clusters. Among them are school dropouts, children whose parents are in jail, juvenile offenders and minors addicted to drugs. This training will not only divert their minds from anti-social activities, but also help them earn a livelihood and start a secure life for themselves and their families,” said Sanjay Beniwal, special commissioner of Delhi Police. “It is a step aimed to channelise the energy of these misguided youths in the right direction.”
The list of vocations for which they will be trained includes banking, computer hardware and software, data entry, English speaking, tourist guide, gym instructors, inventory clerks, mobile phone repairing, optical fibre technician, video editing, hotel management, accounts executives, customer care executives, BPO and beauty therapists.
The training, police officers said, will be held in classrooms specifically designed for the purpose in five different police stations — Lajpat Nagar, Shahdara, K.N. Katju Marg, Usmanpur and Kirti Nagar.
“We have set up classrooms in five police stations as of now where training sessions will be held by professionals. The programme will last for almost three and a half months. The youths will require finishing 350 hours of training to be eligible for a job. Many companies will then come for campus interviews and pick them for jobs,” a police officer said. “The training will be an ongoing process and will happen in phases. Once these 2,100 youths are trained, another batch will follow,” he added.