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Why am I Looking Forward to ASER 2023
In the heart of Jaipur, ASER 2023 National Workshop took us from academia to villages. Three stories unfold:
Kankrel: A shy girl's aspiration amidst laughter, revealing the pressure of youth.
Saypura: Sibling dynamics and family support influence youth's aspirations.
Narampura: The village's role in nurturing youth's potential. ASER 2023 promises a comprehensive view of today's youth, but it's up to us to make a difference in their lives.
A journey of empowerment - Me, My fellows and my Community!
The Starling India Collective introduces a transformative learning space for grassroots leaders, fostering collective growth, not just individual success. Twelve grassroots women leaders in India embark on a seven-month fellowship to drive systemic change in their communities. The unique aspects include continuous learning, collaborative opportunities, culturally tailored modules, and a redefined concept of success. The initiative is a collaboration of six partner organizations, aimed at empowering changemakers for long-term impact.
Reaching the Last Mile: Tilonia Home of the Barefoot College
A Pratham employee shares her experience of visiting Tilonia's Barefoot College situated in Ajmer. During her trip to Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan, she witnessed the remarkable work of founder Bunker Roy and his community. The visit showcased diverse programs, emphasizing education and solar initiatives. Notably, the empowerment of women, despite illiteracy, highlighted a shift in societal attitudes, fostering unity and change within the community.
4 of the most multidimensionally poor states get less than 10% of CSR
Since April 2014, Indian companies with certain turnover must allocate 2% of net profit for social welfare (CSR). Maharashtra led 2021-22 CSR spending at INR 5229 CR, quadrupling since 2014. High-economic-activity states show most CSR contributions. Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) indicates improved poverty metrics in 5 years, but Bihar, Jharkhand, UP remain challenged. They need holistic interventions, including CSR focus.
Empowering Rural Livelihoods: A Closer Look at Barefoot College
Barefoot College, located in Tilonia, Rajasthan, empowers marginalized communities since 1972. Founded by Bunker Roy, its focus on rural strength and self-sufficiency is evident. Through courses like solar training, women defy norms. Inclusive education, diverse programs, recycling, and puppetry reveal societal struggles. A visit that has inspired and uplifted my thinking and understanding of the community.
Data Dive: Rural and Urban Unemployment Diverge
In June 2023, rural unemployment in India exceeded urban unemployment for the first time in the year, with 5.5 million rural youth unemployed compared to 1.7 million gaining employment in urban areas. This shift may encourage more rural youth to migrate to cities, as agriculture struggles to provide sufficient jobs. Additionally, despite the rise in unemployment, the number of unemployed individuals has not increased significantly, suggesting a decline in labor force participation, particularly among females.
Data Dive: Mind the Gap: India’s Falling FLFPR
The puzzling tale of India's falling FLPR invites us to delve deeper into its underlying complexities. The FLPR in India stands at 24% for the year 2022, significantly lower than men, which is at 74%. Despite advancements in income, education, and declining fertility level, the FLPR has exhibited a declining trend since 2000. Many women, though unpaid and unseen, contribute to the workforce by shouldering domestic and caregiver responsibilities.
Data Dive: Decoding the Gig Economy in India
The gig economy in India has brought about a transformative change in the employment scenario, marked by flexible work hours, on-demand service, but also limited social protection. India's gig economy employed 7.7 million workers in 2020-23 and is expected to reach 23.5 million by 2029-30, as per NITI Aayog. It is crucial for policymakers to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the gig economy, particularly for those in the low-skilled sectors.
Fieldwork | Shades of Blue in the Green Tea Gardens
Our team visited tea gardens in the three districts of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling and had the opportunity to hear diverse human stories with challenges that are so unique yet binds all the youth of the country. These stories serve as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the youth who continue to strive towards a better future.
India's Union Budget was presented on Feb 01, 2023 by the Minister of Finance. The budget prioritizes inclusive development, infrastructure & investment, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector among other things. In this section, we take you through the highlights of the budget allocated towards 'Youth and Skill Development'.
The role of digital learning platforms in addressing complex problems.
The Pratham team recently piloted a learning platform that focused on upskilling and accessing employment opportunities, etc. Close to 400 students across four different states engaged in the pilot. In this edition of our newsletter, we reflect on our experience with piloting the platform and share some recommendations on how technology and learning can be integrated to make learning more inclusive and accessible!
Focus-Group Discussions | Barriers Affecting FLPR
We organized a focus group discussion with four groups of women across various locations in India, including Hyderabad, Lucknow, Dhamtari, Bhopal and Ahmednagar. The discussion was held virtually, with the goal of understanding the factors that drive the employment decisions of these women.
Fieldwork | Alumni Stories from Ramoji Film-City
Pratham's team member has expressed about her first time visit to the city of pearls and the magic of the electrified Ramoji. She delighted shares her experiences of meeting our Pratham alumni’s (PAL) gems at the film city. She shares how our little gems were acing in work at almost every department at Ramoji, from kitchen to servicing to admin and accounts.
Fieldwork | Learning to Read, One Madrassa at a Time
In an obscure village of Aranga in Gaya, a member of our team discovers an unsung hero and a religious institution, who are at the foreground of the initiatives taken by Pratham. Mr. Sakeel, a paternal figure in the village laments “Almost no household in this village has a male head of the family. They have all gone to Delhi to weave garments”. In their absence, he encourages the youth to train in vocational skilling and facilitates the reading and math camp housed by Madrassa.
Fieldwork | Youth's Readiness for Digital Learning
Pratham observes the availability of digital devices & its awareness amongst the rural youth. Its English Pilot Program which is in practice in three districts of Maharashtra targets to improve students’ communication skill & confidence which will help them get better placement opportunities.
Survey | Understanding Job Placements
In order to better understand impact of the placement support system, the team has been conducting rigorous post-placement tracking of youth who graduate from theprogram. Youth receive calls from a central tele-calling team every 3 months, during which time they are asked about the status of their employment, any challenges they might be facing, and additional support required from Pratham. This exercise has provided insights which will shape future upgrades to the Hybrid Skilling program.
Survey | Understanding Rural Plastic Waste
The Rural Plastic Waste Management Survey was conducted in May 2022 where we covered 710 villages pan India to understand their waste management process, segregation & disposal of the plastic waste that is generated. It also studied the facilities available for the disposal by village panchayat & government for the same.This report talks about experience of a team member for the survey.
Survey | Understanding Youth Experiences in 2020
In April 2020, when the lockdowns began across the country, Pratham reached out to its alumni. Through remote surveys conducted at intervals of 3 months from till December 2020, the team tracked the employment trajectory of youth engaged in blue-collar jobs. The study analyses the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 on these youth and their employment.
Analysis | Industry Watch 2020
As industries began to re-open after the lockdowns lifted in July 2020, Pratham conducted surveys with employers from its placement partner network to analyze the changing nature of jobs. These included companies in healthcare, manufacturing and service sectors. The report highlights how the ecosystem for entry-level recruitment has evolved as a result of the pandemic.
Analysis | Union Budget 2021-22
The Union Budget 2021-22 made proposals for six pillars — health & well-being, physical & financial capital, infrastructure, inclusive development for aspirational India, reinvigorating human capital, R&D, and 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance'. Pratham has compiled industry briefs for Beauty, Healthcare, Hospitality & Tourism, Entrepreneur & Construction.
Analysis | Safety & Health at the Workplace
Hardly recognised on par with other healthcare workers, ASHAs are often devoid of proper safety structures and protective measures that can safeguard their rights to a safe and healthy working place environment. Similarly, They are especially vulnerable to hostility, are underpaid and overworked, adding to their physical and mental stress. The Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated their challenges.
Analysis | Support Informal Workers
Laborers are marginalised groups within the Indian community, excluded from several national policies and schemes. They are extremely vulnerable to the irregularities of the labour market, poverty traps and risk severe discrimination and violence. Pratham dedicated Labor Day 2021 to understanding the various labor groups that exist in the country. Explore the different themes below.
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