In an endeavour to aid the rural folk in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, a 28-year old woman is stitching masks for free and distributing them free of cost in her village. Hailing from Mavli village in the Panchwati circle of Udaipur, 28-year-old Sonu Gurjar had received training under the Initiative for Livelihood Education and Development (iLEAD) programme conducted by Aide et Action.
Her initiative has been appreciated by Mr. Bhupendra Singh Gurjar, Vice Sarpanch, Mavli Village, who is now helping her to procure cloth to be used in the making of masks.
“There is a shortage of masks in our village. It is indeed commendable that the daughter of the village and the members of her family have come forward to support us and tackle the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Bhupendra Singh Gurjar, Vice Sarpanch, Mavli Village.
Sonu is also getting full support from her family in this initiative. Her mother Kesar Devi Gurjar and sister-in-law Poornima Badgurjar have lent her a helping hand. They are also distributing the masks in the nearby residential areas and at check posts.
“I found that there is a shortage of masks in our neighbourhood. Since I know how to stitch, I thought to overcome this problem by making masks at home and distributing them free of cost among the needy. I am thankful to iLEAD programme of Aide et Action for honing my stitching skills as well as my village sarpanch who arranged cloth for making masks,” Sonu Gurjar said.
Sonu makes 50 masks daily and is targeting to make 2500 masks for free distribution in her village and surrounding areas.
“Sonu has undertaken a noble initiative. We are witnessing a testing time and only collaborative efforts can help us win the battle against Covid-19. Sonu’s example wills inspiration to youth to do their bit in tackling Covid-19. It is heartening that ILEAD trainees are giving back to the society. iLEAD is our flagship initiative that focuses on the livelihood generation for youth from the underprivileged section of the society. It is a holistic programme imparting not only skill development training but also soft skills, counselling, which has instilled immense confidence among the trainees.” said Dr. Aishwarya Mahajan, Director, Livelihood Education, South Asia, Aide et Action International.
Daughter of Babulalji Gurjar and Kesar Devi, Sonu has completed Class 12 from Rajasthan State Open School. Her father runs a paan kiosk in the village.
Initiative for Livelihood Education and Development (iLEAD) is a flagship program of Aide et Action that focuses on promoting livelihood education among the youth from underprivileged families and those with low educational qualifications through short term training. The training curriculum is designed in consultation with local enterprises. This not only ensures a match between the market or industry expectations and the skills of the trainee but also helps in getting them entry-level jobs easily. The programme offers a total of 42 vocational courses such as fashion designing, Customer retail and much more. The trainees are provided regular interface with industries, local businesses, potential employers and offered assistance with pre and post-placement support. Currently, there are 46 centers across India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Philippines. The programme has a placement rate of 74%.
iLEAD has so far trained 2,44,749 youths across the globe of which 46% include women and 76% are working in the organized sector. In Udaipur alone, the programme has trained 2436 youth so far. Unique innovations such as Entrepreneurship and Employability Potential Assessment (EEPA), Gossip Circle for Empowerment (GCE) and the Enterprise Development Model are taking the programme to new heights.