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LAHI kids playing a role in Indian Elections

Imagine young high school children from a remote village in India not only playing an important part in the elections held by the world�s largest democracy India but also getting paid for it and learning some valuable life lessons along the way.

Yes, it has been made possible by a unique public-private partnership between Lend-A-Hand India (LAHI) and Desi-Crew, a Chennai based start up. The recent change in the rules for the candidates in the Indian elections required all of the candidates to make their personal records (personal assets, liabilities, criminal charges if any) available to voters and media; and Desi-Crew got a contract to execute part of this huge undertaking.

LAHI has been working with the young boys and girls from Alfa Byte Training Institute in Indapur (located in western state of Maharashtra) for the last two years, providing them with vocational training and career counseling. Thus when Desi-Crew needed skilled manpower to digitize the personal records of the election candidates, LAHI was able connect the group with the students from Alfa Byte. The students are now busy compiling personal data from affidavits filed by candidates and disseminating that information to voters, civil society, and media. Later as election results start coming in, they will also track news published in local print and electronic media, and submit those reports for further analysis. Each student is expected to earn at least Rs. 5,000 ($ 110 approx.) per month for this work, very comparable to an average monthly income of an Indian.

Apart from earning money, these young boys and girls are learning to manage their time effectively, as well as how to satisfy a demanding client and participate in the civic process that is so important to the existence of a dynamic country like India.

It�s a unique model that extends the logic of outsourcing to rural India, creating sustainable livelihoods while delivering valuable services to affluent urban areas. Desi Crew is a rural BPO company while LAHI is non-profit organization that provides vocational training and career development opportunities to boys and girls in rural areas.

This is only the beginning of this social venture and we will be bringing you many more stories from the field as this collaboration develops further.

 

Participants of the Community Leadership Development Program listening to a guest lecturer.

 

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