Youth with disability, especially in the villages, are an underserved population. Youth4Jobs has created a template for skilling youth with disability and linking them to organized sector jobs. The initiative mainstreams recruiting disabled youth by highlighting the business case of hiring these youth with special abilities. In the process, the organization has demonstrated a scalable and replicable model for the policy makers. The work is important as the “Skill for India” mission cannot be achieved unless the unreached are made employable. 2.1% of India’s population which is about 26.81 million is persons with disability (as per 2011 Census). WHO states this figure is actually 60-70 million. Among them there are 4.1 million in the employable age of 19-29.
India has 6,49,481 villages with a population of 133,00,00,000, as per the Census. 69% of our population lives in the villages. Many of them believe disability is a curse; so, children especially girls are kept hidden in the homes. Parents, as a result, feel investing in education or employment of the disabled child is a waste of their meagre resources. The Village Connect program focuses on reaching out to these households to change age-old attitudes and mindsets about disability in the villages. It is the heart of Youth4Jobs program without which enrolment in training centres does not happen.
This innovative process is a unique mix of technology and grass root approach. Using technology, all villages are mapped around each of the residential Y4J training centres. A systematic reaching out to the village opinion makers through different mediums- direct contact with opinion makers like teachers, village landlord; fliers in the bus and at village markets; getting working alumni from the village to address the community; connecting with other NGOs and government officers with a “mobilization package”. This results in youth with disabilities enrolling in Y4J training centres which equips them with market linked skills and jobs. Y4J alumni in the villages, now in organized sector jobs, become real life role models for the disabled. This results in systemic changes, with parents now investing in education and employability of their children with disability.
Rural Youth with Disability, Community
Ramakrishna Gutla (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Md. Shahed (email@example.com)
"Youth with disabilities in our tribal village have no training and don’t know how to find jobs. My dream is for every disabled youth in my mandal to join Youth4Jobs trainings, get jobs be independent, and not depend on their aged parents”
Janardhan, Lakkaramvillage, Utnoormandal, Gram Sarpanch, Adilabad district, Telangana
"I have developed a poster for disabled on government benefits and telling other unemployed youth with disabilities about Youth4Jobs and how it supported my life. I would like to work as a volunteer to actively promote Y4J trainings so that others in the village are helped”
Mohamed Yassar, Y4J alumni from Solinganallur, Chennai. He was placed at KFC with a salary of Rs.144,000 p.a.