Starting young

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A college initiative in Delhi, which has come up with innovative interventions to help the poor and underprivileged, shows how far small steps can go, says Chhavi Arora. Indeed, India’s youth has its heart and intellect, in the right place.

“One person, one minute, an action each day. The possibility of change is limitless.”

Firmly believing in this adage, the young and enthusiastic college students from Enactus Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC) have taken the onus to help resolve society’s predicaments using self-sustaining business models. Realising this potential of entrepreneurial action, the Enactus DCAC team has been running multiple projects with the vision of self reliance, poverty eradication, women empowerment, skill development and overall growth of the underprivileged.

Project Adhikaar and e-rickshaws
With their Project Adhikaar, they aim to solve the problem of last mile connectivity while using an eco-friendly mode of transport – e-rickshaw. Their first pilot batch in Mayur Vihar consisted of all women drivers. This acted as a revolutionary step in the commutation sector, which has traditionally been male dominated, and they also received the benedictions of our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Stand Up India event. With the subsequent batches, they replicated the model with different underprivileged communities like safai karmacharis, drug addicts, physically disabled people and more. Thus, instilling in them a new zeal towards life, and also empowering them financially with an income of upto INR 30,000. Further, to ensure the sustainability of the project, they aim to establish a driving school and set up solar charging stations.

Many underprivileged communities have benefitted from Enactus DCAC projects

Many underprivileged communities have benefitted from Enactus DCAC projects

Project Kaushal
In their next initiative, Project Kaushal, the team realised that the employability of the growing young demography is an important factor in the economic development of the country, and the crisis of skill development has to be turned into an opportunity for growth. The magnitude of the problem has been analysed by numerous experts; for a country that adds 12 million people to its workforce every year, less than four per cent have ever received any formal training. Efforts have been made under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna by bringing government and private partners together, but the impact doesn’t reach the target audience as they hardly get to know about these initiatives. To solve this problem, Enactus DCAC came up with an innovative model of setting a Skill Incubation Centre, run by an entrepreneur, in villages and backward areas. The role of entrepreneurs will be to conduct various tests and awareness initiatives and send the people to relevant skills centres as per their interest and qualification. Thus acting as a regulator of the entire initiative. These people will then get trained and will be placed at various jobs.

Project Adarsh Gram and change in the villages
With their third project, Project Adarsh Gram, they are keen to become a successful catalyst for change in the villages in far corners of Delhi-NCR. Enactus DCAC under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna and in collaboration with Member of Parliament Dr. Udit Raj has adopted a village, Khampur in GT Karnal Road, New Delhi. After conducting various need assessment surveys, they have derived multiple models for transforming the village into a model village. These include distribution of clean water through installing a purifier, establishing a skill incubation centre for training and employment of rural youth, digitalisation of the village by training everyone to use e-wallets like Paytm and Bhim App etc., and setting up of cultural and activity resource centres to bring the people of the village together. The issue of waste management and sanitation was also tackled with innovative and low cost models like segregating and creating manure out of the waste, setting up of bio toilets or eco-san toilets, which in turn also recharge groundwater, and the village is all set to become a tourist spot with its very own website under construction. This will also help in providing an income and boosting the morale of the people residing there.

In these socially backward areas where the underprivileged lead an undignified existence, surviving on the crumbs and leftovers, entrepreneurship can become a force of social transformation by making them economically independent and enabling them to lead respectful lives. Partnering with NGOs, corporates and government, the Enactus DCAC team has shown how society at large can benefit from the use of entrepreneurial action as a mode of development and self reliance.


Chhavi-Arora

Chhavi Arora

Chhavi Arora is a student from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce. She, as part of Enactus DCAC, firmly believes in the power of social and collective work for bringing about change and development.

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