By Prajanma Das
Enrolled candidates are led through a process of blended learning, mentoring using innovative methods of teaching and it’s also assured that they get placed and perform well at their job
Information and technology is the future — the only sector that seems to be booming even when the economy is at its lowest low. Dipak Basu, with a group of social entrepreneurs, set up Anudip in 2006 to help talented but deprived rural and urban Indian youth by bringing information and technology to them and helping them realise their potential.
Anudip is not working with just the youth anymore but is also helping victims of human trafficking get back on their feet and training specially-abled individuals acquire skills to make them more employable. “SAVE (Specially Abled Vocational Education) offers IT-based vocational skills and mainstream employment access equipping them with confidence and courage to emerge from societal stigma and enter the workforce without discrimination. A SAVE training centre is operated in partnership, with a local NGO working in the field of disabilities, and has access facilities for beneficiaries,” says Dipak, an IT veteran who has worked with giants like Cisco and has served as a consultant to the Government of India.
Tushar Saha from Kirnahar in Birbhum, West Bengal, is a 26-year-old who holds Certificate in Office Automation and Digital Education under SAVE, “At a young age I was diagnosed with a disability in my left arm which limited my regular activities and I faced difficulty grasping objects with my hand. My friend introduced me to Anudip where I came to know about SAVE. I enrolled at the nearby SAVE centre at Kirnahar to learn IT skills and English Communication. I was the first among my batch mates to be shortlisted for an interview with Bravery Insurance as a Telesales Representative with a decent package.”
Helping the marginalised: Anudip’s geographical focus has been in underdeveloped locations of the country where underemployed or unemployed youth have limited access to quality education, skills, and employability
BEST (Building Entrepreneurs to Stop Trafficking) is their latest programme aimed at rehabilitating survivors of trafficking (women and children) who have faced the stigma of sex trade and travails of bonded labor, discrimination and social taboo, “This pioneering programme directs disadvantaged women and girls toward respectable professions through entrepreneurship and IT skills training.”
Kalai Arasi, 22, works at Sunmix Network Private Limited. She was a student at Anudip’s Chennai centre, “A few months ago I attended a free demo class on communicative English conducted by Anudip and decided to join the course. The interactive audio lessons, group activities, reading exercises and quizzes made learning a fun experience. During the class, I was always encouraged to speak in English. By the end of the course, they helped me get placed as a Human Resource Executive with Sunmix Network Private Limited, with a salary of Rs 10,000 per month.”
The foundation began by establishing training centres at three locations in the Sundarbans.
These first centres were learning prototypes launched in partnership with community NGOs, with Anudip providing faculty, training equipment, student mobilization, training and placement services. Anudip, now, runs its own centres in eight Indian states and also in New Orleans, USA, offering impactful technology-driven programs in urban, peri-urban and rural locations; skilled more than 85,000 underserved youth and successfully placed 75 per cent of them in leading sectors
Dipak Basu, Founder, Anudip Foundation
Anudip’s geographical focus has been in underdeveloped locations of the country where underemployed or unemployed youth have limited access to quality education, skills, and employability. “After a stringent viability process, which includes a job market scan and sources of supply of students, we established Digital Learning Centers, that offer market-aligned skill and, through strategic employer relationships, provide access to sustainable careers for its youth-aspirants,” Dipak explains the procedure. “We partner with employers from multiple sectors who tell us their hiring and talent needs defining their workforce requirements.” Anudip offers skilling courseware in digital and financial literacy, basic and advanced IT and internet services, spoken English and English comprehension, workplace readiness, entrepreneurship, resume writing, and job interviewing, tailored to employer-defined goals.
Enrolled candidates are led through a process of continuous improvement, blended learning, mentoring using innovative methods of teaching and it’s also assured that they get placed and perform well at their job. “The digitisation of our curriculum with customised content, interactive multimedia and games, help us design an immersive professional development program for creating a digital-age learning experience,” says Dipak.
The digitally-skilled aspirants are then referred formally to targeted employers after their training, assessment and certification are completed, through interviews and job fairs. “Anudip’s successful placement record stems from its curriculum being customized to actual needs of employers from sectors such as e-Commerce, Retail, IT/ITeS, Accounting, Microfinance and Process Automation,” adds Dipak.
Anudip partners with Accenture, American India Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Omidyar Network, Cisco, eBay, the Tata Group, ITC, ICRA, Capgemini, HSBC, mJunction and other institutions to offer digital livelihood programs for youth from low-income family groups.
“Our sponsors support us not only with grants but also through knowledge and technology volunteering and mentoring. We are also a partner of National Skills Development Corporation of India under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship,” adds Dipak. Anudip is associated with Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Mahavir Seva Sadan to develop cost-effective control systems for functional and robust prosthetics for upper body amputation of needy-patients.