Bhubaneswar: After taking up its unique Socially Smart Project involving youth from 24 slums under Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD), the next phase of training more youths from 76 more slums has started today at Centre for Youth and Social Development with inclusion of 37 young leaders on the Day-1.
With the three-day training programme the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) with UNFPA 80 peer leaders (`Pragati Sathi’) will be given training on various skill development techniques. It can be mentioned here that after the stupendous success of the Phase-1 training process under the Socially Smart Project the number of slums under its ambit has been scaled up from 24 to 100 for more inclusive and holistic development of the city.
The 80 peer leaders (`Pragati Sathi’) will be provided three-phase of training in the year. However, unlike last year when separate training was organised for boys and girls, this year the training is being done with both boys and girls making it gender neutral and inculcating a more richer society with less discrimination and greater acceptability.
BSCLis working in collaboration with UNFPA through its partner NGO Humara Bachpan Trust to strengthen social components of the Smart City Proposal. One of the major components of the project is to train young boys and girls as peer leaders (`Pragati Sathi’). These young leaders are provided nine-days of life skill training in three phases.
The training comprises of themes that help them to develop their leadership skills besides inculcating confidence in them to handle social issues. During the last two years a total of 92 young peer leaders (`Pragati Sathis) where created from 24 slums of BTCD area.
In the current year there is a proposal to train 80 youngsters from 76 slums that have been taken up for community level intervention in the year. These young leaders or “Pragati Sathi’’ go back to their community to create groups of girls and boys who sit on a fortnightly basis to discuss the module on the one hand and on the other take up issues of slums as well.
These leaders have played pivotal role at community-level taking us pertinent issues involving safety and security of girls/women, cleanliness and hygiene, linking drop out girls and boys with skill training program, bring drop out children back to school etc.
The “Pragati Sathis’’ have advocated with councillors, mayor and other government officials to ensure replacing of broken street lights, making community toilets functional, creating playing spaces for children especially girls and repairing tube wells.
The ‘Pragati Sathis’ also played a crucial role during the relief and restoration work after the severe cyclonic storm Fani. They were attached to the temporary cyclone shelters wherein they provided required support to the Government officials, who were in the charge of the shelter. Their tireless efforts continued to distribute food and water to the affected, who were given shelter in those temporary shelters across the city.