Skill development: a multi target tool to hit drug addiction, unemployment and economic development: Dr Heptulla

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has entire focus on development. “This is the reason why the budget for my ministry has been hiked from Rs 2,101 crores to Rs 3,873 crores besides a $50 million World Bank loan for skill development programmes for different states across the country.” said Minister Najma Heptulla.Heptulla said that the new skill development centres have been set up with an aim to go towards betterment. She saidLet’s think positive, write positive and only the positive will take place. At least we have taken an initiative to start something for a change.”

She further shared her observations after her first visit to Punjab saying that Punjab’s economy is based on agriculture and nothing can be achieved without developing the agriculture sector. A lot has been done but there is still a long way to go. The backwardness in this part of Punjab is upsetting, which can be removed only with awareness and education.

The children of below poverty line (BPL) families would learn a lot at these centres and if they yield results, we would soon open more such centres and will launch more funds. Beauty and wellness skills, data entry operating, operating sewing machines, mobile repair and phulkari (embroidery) skills would be taught at these centres by using modern technology through the internet. This will help to reduce unemployment. Children won’t have to sit idle without work which will lead their way away from drugs and they will not think of drugs and violence, as the accidents are increasing under “drink-n-drive”.

Launched in 2013, the scheme is aimed at bringing down unemployment by conserving traditional skills of the communities and connecting them with markets. Earlier, in January, similar centres were set up in Guwahati (Assam). There is no dearth of money for spending on such projects and we are eager to start more such centres in the coming months, she added.

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