Innovation:To help adolescent girls become financially independent through skill development using locally available resources
Location: Nicobar District, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Key Stakeholders: District Administration, Andaman & Nicobar Social Welfare Board, Adolescent Girls.
With a 70 percent aboriginal tribal population, Nicobaris geographically scattered with pockets of islands. Under BBBP, in order to accomplish the scheme’s objective, the District Administration has introduced activities that promote the Girl Child’s financial independence. Given the poor means of earning as well job opportunities in a remote District like Nicobar, the Administration decided to identify the specific needs that adolescent girls have and provide corresponding opportunities to them. The Administration initiated an activity to enhance entrepreneurship and cultivate skills for adolescent girls. Under this programme, participants were provided with training in handicrafts using coconut shells and designing and creating Nicobarie mats. Girls who have expressed interest to develop their skills in the District are being selected.
The objective of this initiative is to improve the socio-economic condition of the community by marketing and selling products that are made. With the aim of training 400 adolescent girls and women ultimately, the District has implemented this initiative in a phased manner. In the first phase of the training programme 20 girls were identified and sent to Port Blair to be trained by master trainers for 30 days in their respective fields and subsequently become master trainers themselves. In the second phase, each trained participant from the first phase was directed to train an additional 20 girls in their locality.
The District Administration of Nicobar in coordination with the Andaman and Nicobar State Social Welfare Board conducted the training programmes at Port Blair for 30 days. The safety and security of the trainees was looked into as the District Administration provided free accommodation, food and escorts for the participants.
Limited cost involved in providing free training to adolescent girls was a factor that has contributed to the success of this activity. Moreover, the fact that locally available resources were used to promote indigenous skills was equally important. The support of the District Administration and other Departments were helpful. Moreover, every woman was provided an opportunity as skill development is a key need in this District;hence, educational qualifications were not taken into consideration as the programme addresses a content specific need (financial independents and skill development).
Due to the number of scattered Islands in Nicobar, it was challenging to accumulate a minimum of 20 participants at one training centre. Transportation, co-ordination and communication in remote areas of the District were also extremely challenging. Difficulties were also faced in identifying training centres in areas that Anganwadi Centres were not functional. In the future, the District Administration is planning to diversify into similar types of skill development programmes for the manufacturing of organic as well as normal sanitary pads. To induce the training centers to adopt such kind of Skill Development programme with a course tenure of minimum six months with bonafide certificates, so the beneficiaries can acquire loans from financial institutions for setting their business entities.