PLAN 100 was launched in August 2005 to equip youth in India's rural areas with job and life skills. This initiative creates Basic Rural Technology Centers in 100 high schools to reach a student population of over 20,000 young boys and girls.
This unique time tested model of vocational training has evolved after 12 years of sustained grassroots efforts by the NGO Vigyan Ashram located at Pabal, near Pune in Maharashtra.
The Diploma in Basic Rural Technology (DBRT) program has produced 800 rural entrepreneurs to date and is now ready for replication. The program has also received wide acclaim nationally and internationally. The Open School (Distance Education University) system has adopted the DBRT Program; the Government of Maharashtra has also recognized the course as a complementary program in high schools; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has selected Vigyan Ashram as one of the six centers around the world for collaboration.
The DBRT training is based on a natural system of learning i.e. Learning by doing in Real-Life situation. The Program equips high school students in basic technology skills in engineering, energy and environment, agriculture and animal husbandry, and home and health. About 40 different skill sets, suitable for use in rural environments, are acquired. They include construction, fabrication, electrical maintenance, solar and biogas technologies, motor rewinding, nursery techniques, poultry and goat farming, compost making, soil testing, water analysis, blood and urine testing, knitting, stitching and food preservation, among others.
All the research, experience and success indicate that the time has come to scale up the DBRT Program, by making it available in more high schools reaching many more students. This means thousands of more aspiring young men and women will obtain the necessary tools to make positive changes in their lives.
To address the growing need of job and life skill oriented education, Lend-A-Hand India has taken up this ambitious project of scaling up of DBRT program which envisages to change the landscape of rural as well as urban India.
Our Support Lend-A-Hand Indias support to the high schools includes training of teachers, capital investments, operational support, monitoring, and financial assistance. As a partnership to ensure sustainability of the program each school is expected to raise at least 20% of the total budget from local resources. This promotes local participation and entrenches a sense of ownership.
How does the program work? A memorandum of understanding is signed with the high school management which lists the responsibilities of the partners. The Head of the school is in charge of the management and implementation of the programs. The school is responsible for providing suitable place for establishing the workshop and related infrastructure.
Four trained instructors, who are guided and supervised regularly for quality assurance, by the Vigyan Ashram representative, impart the training. During the first year students from 8th class (age group 13 14 years) are enrolled. The average size of each class is 60 70 students. The students learn the skills in groups of 20/25 each.
As the students graduate through 8th, 9th and 10th class, they simultaneously complete the DBRT curriculum and are qualified to receive the Diploma in Basic Rural Technology. Following graduation, students are assisted in securing employment, starting their own small enterprise, or in pursuing further specialized training in a particular trade.
The school assists the graduates in choosing appropriate career through campus interviews as well as through a mentorship program under which the student is paired with an experienced master craftsman, business owner, farmer, or teacher.
The Cost The one time cost of establishing a DBRT Center in a high school is $ 4,000 which includes the cost of infrastructure development, the purchase of machinery, and installation of equipments.
The cost of running the program for per year is $ 4,000. This includes teachers salaries, consumables, coordination, and monitoring.
The total cost of offering DBRT program for approximately 200 students is: First Year - $ 8,000; Subsequent two years - $ 4,000 each.
How can you help? Please click here to to know how can you contribute to the PLAN 100.
Khemchand Arodkar, son of poor parents living on daily wages with income of less than $20 a month, finished the vocational training course in April 2005.