INDIA: Don Bosco Technical Institute is Preparing Poor Youth for the Workforce in Nagaland
(MissionNewswire) Salesian programs are making a huge difference in India, but the need is enormous. According to UNICEF, India is home to 25 percent of the world’s poor. In addition, 44 percent of its workforce is illiterate and the country has the largest number of child laborers in the world. A recent report on poverty from the Planning Commission of India has noted that poverty levels in Nagaland specifically, saw the highest rise among the states in the country, reporting at a rate of 12 percent since 2005.
In Nagaland, located in the northeast of India, Salesian programs are working to help poor youth. The Don Bosco Technical Institute there has trained 1,300 unemployed youth in vocational courses such as spa and beauty services, food and beverages service, hospitality, housekeeping and sales and marketing. The institute boasts a 77 percent placement rate in stable employment for graduates and it plans to train 15,000 more poor youth in the next 10 years.
“Successful trainees have found placements in reputed companies and groups including hotels, spas, resorts and even hospitals,” says Father AM Joseph, executive director of Don Bosco Technical Institute in a recent local Morung Express article about the school. “Earlier, we needed to seek out placements in industries and companies, but now they approach us for placement of our students. Today we have an impact and Don Bosco Technical Institute has become a brand name.”
The Salesians have been educating poor youth in Nagaland since 1969. In response to rising youth unemployment, they launched Don Bosco Technical Institute in the region in 2012. There, students focus on learning specialized skills through vocational training while also taking additional courses in grooming, social skills, computer skills and English.
Today there are four Don Bosco Technical Centers in Nagaland each with a separate focus: AIDA Don Bosco complex, Working Women Center, Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Dimapur district and the Don Bosco Youth Center in Wokha district. According to officials at the institute, there are plans to expand to ten centers by 2014.
This past summer, 90 students graduated from the AIDA Don Bosco Complex in Dimapur. With support from the Union Ministry of Rural Development, students are educated for free and are provided free accommodation and meals if they live a distance away.
Many students work hard in their programs and strive to succeed. For some it’s one of the few opportunities available to break the cycle of poverty and find employment.
“It’s a dream come true for me getting admission in this training institute,” says Miss Rongsensangla, a spa trainee interviewed in the Morung Express article. “I came here with a goal of becoming a professional beautician. After I joined the institute, I have learned how to communicate, punctuality, how to speak English, health care and cleanliness.”
Don Bosco Technical Institute has 176 educational centers across India and has trained close to 75,000 youth in vocational and technical programs. The school boasts an 80 percent placement rate into stable employment after graduation.
In the same Morung Express article, Fr. Joseph noted that the Salesians plan to substantially increase the number of technical institutes across India over the next several years with new centers already opening in Jammu and Kashmir and other northeast and Maoist controlled regions.
Don Bosco Technical Institute –India
The Morung Express – Don Bosco: Empowering unemployed youth in Nagaland
Planning Commission for India – Poverty Report
UNICEF – India Poverty