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Melghat Tiger Reserve and Skill India Join Hands to Empower Tribal Youth

Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has tied up with Skill India Portal of Goverenment of India. The objective is to reduce local people’s dependency on forests through skill training and providing livelihood opportunities. The tie-up with Skill India will provide sustained grants and enable uninterrupted training programmesfor tribal youth to get employment.
Indian Masterminds Stories

To generate employment opportunities for the tribal youth living in and around the protected sanctuary, Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra has tied up with Skill India Portal of Government of India. The main objective behind this tie-up is to reduce local people’s dependency on forests through training in new skills, upskill, and creating livelihoods.

The Melghat Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation, which imparts free-of-cost skill development training, has registered with the Skill India Portal. A lot of local youths stand to gain from this tie-up as Melghat Tiger Reserve covers a total of 131 villages in the core and buffer zones. In addition, there are 20 resettled villages. So, a total of 151 villages are under the Melghat Tiger Project.

India Masterminds interacted with forest officials from Melghat Tiger Reserve to know more about this initiative.

PARTNERING WITH SKILL INDIA

2003-batch IFS officer and Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Melghat Tiger Reserve, Jayoti Banerjee told media, “This tie up with Skill India will provide the foundation sustained grants and enable it to continue training programme uninterruptedly, helping the youths get employment. Skill development centres set up at various places by Melghat Tiger Project will boost employment generation.These centres will be linked withSkill India for continuous training.”

Speaking to Indian Masterminds, Range Officer Dinesh Walke said, “Providing sustainable livelihood to local communities is a very important initiative by us.  To overcome the job opportunity challenges and reduce youth’s dependency on forests, the Melghat Tiger Conservation Foundation has set up computer centres in villages under MTR. We have started adventure activity though which many people are getting job opprtunities. We have provided tailoring unit, where people learn and then work. We have provided incense stick training and now people are making it. We have also given training to local farmers for bee farming and soon they are going to start it on theit own.”

Mr. Walke also added that they have also introduced English speaking course for tribal youths. “This tie-up with Skill India portal will enhance our capability and capacity in a good way, so that we can impart skills and training to youth in a better way.”

SKILL TRAINING TO TRIBAL YOUTH

CCF Jayoti Banerjee had also said, “Over 300 tribal girls and boys from over 36 villages have completed computer skill training courses. Of them, over 75 have cleared MS-CIT certification course. Now that Melghat Tiger Conservation Foundation has been registered with Skill India Portal, Melghat youths will benefit in a big way.”

A skill development training centre was opened in Paratwada of Melghat Tiger Reserve to train local youths as assistant electricians in December 2020. Under the project, 35 youths were trained between January-March 2021. These youths got various employment opportunities and some even took to self-employment. However, due to the Covid pandemic, the project was temporarily discontinued for two years,but has restarted now.

FOREST DEPENDENCY REDUCED

The Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR) is geographically spread over 2,768 sq km. The core area consists of 1,500 sq km and the buffer zone of 1,268 sq km with 131 villages and 20 relocated villages with infrastructural limitations. Farming is the main occupation of the people in the area. People who don’t have lands work in other’s farms.

Now that the tiger reserve has opened skill development centres and are helping in providing employment opportunities, the local youth will benefit a lot and the tribal people’s dependence on the forest will reduce.


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