Polishing The Raw Human Resource Gems In Sundargarh

Setting an example for other mining regions of the country, Odisha’s Sundargarh district has started polishing its hidden gems of human resource. Sundargarh district administration’s innovative ‘Sudakshya’ program is enhancing skills, enabling knowledge and boosting confidence of the underprivileged youths. It sets out to help them achieve a career of their dream through required competitive coaching, skilling and handholding thus ensuring their employment and economic development.

Infrastructure in the three ‘Sudakshya’ coaching centres developed in the district is at par with any upmarket coaching facility. They have hostels, computer labs, conventional and digital libraries. But in terms of service ‘Sudakshya’ centres are far ahead as each facility here is provided for free to the beneficiaries.

Tapping the Raw Resource

Like raw ores, with proper grooming the youths of Sundargarh have the guts to excel. They have already made Sundargarh a major cradle of Hockey in the world. The Odisha Government has acknowledged this feat of Sundargarh youths by deciding to establish the largest Hockey stadium of the country in Rourkela to host the Mens’ Hockey World Cup 2023.

To add wings to the indomitable spirit of local youths to excel in various service sectors of the country, Sundargarh administration, with support of the District Mineral Foundation (DMF), has launched the ‘Sudakshya’ initiative. Niyatee Foundation, a non-profit is entrusted with the management of the program. It is a major skill development initiative of this tribal dominated district.

This program aims to support potential educated youths from Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Economically Weaker Section families with a focus on the mines affected blocks. Three dedicated centres of ‘Sudakshya’ are functional at Sundargarh, Rourkela and Bonai, planned strategically to reach out the population.

Cradle of Care

“The youths who are aspiring to crack various competitive examinations for jobs after completion of their +2 or +3 courses are being provided required coaching and training. District administration is providing all support for the purpose. It will be especially helpful for the talented students from SC, ST and BPL families of six mining affected blocks of the district”, said Sundargarh collector, Mr. Nikhil Pavan Kalyan. It is to provide a new dawn of hope to the youths from downtrodden families from mining affected Koira, Rajgangpur, Kutra, Lahunipara, Hemgir and Kuarmunda blocks.

Interested candidates are screened prior to enrolment in the programme. As per their aim and requirement, youths are getting three months long intensive coaching which includes classroom teaching, soft skills and physical training. They are prepared to excel in the selection procedure for employment in Banking & Insurance, Staff Selection, Railways, Army, Air Force, Navy, Odisha Police, Central Para-Military Forces etc. To be part of this program one has to be a Higher Secondary or Degree course pass out between 17 to 28 years of age.

“After graduation I desired to join the police force. But I was totally ignorant about the process and requirements to get selected. After joining ‘Sudakshya’, my worries have vanished adding to my hopes and confidence”, said Mr. Tanu Kisan, a tribal youth of Bonai ‘Sudakshya’ centre.

Apart from free coaching and study materials the beneficiaries are provided with free hostel facilities, food and uniform at the ‘Sudakshya’ centres. Competent faculties groom knowledge and mental skills of these students. Special instructors look after the physical ability and skills of candidates interested to join defence, police or paramilitary forces. All the three centres have round the clock digital library facility. Weekly tests and mock interviews help assess the progress of candidates during the three month course. They are also provided previous question papers of competitive examinations for practice.

‘Sudakshya’ centres also serve as communication hubs for the youths. These centres regularly provide information about vacancies in different sectors throughout the country to the interested youths having required qualification and ability.

Materializing Dreams

“I am now confident that my dream to join the armed forces will become a reality. Because of ‘Sudakshya’ I am getting required coaching and physical training which I had missed. I thus thank the Administration for helping many youths like me,” said Ms. Jajnaseni Barik of Sundargarh centre. Although from an extreme traditional family, she had always aspired to don the uniform of defence services.

Family’s financial constraints had become a stumbling block before the aspirations of Mr. Prabin Kumar Sahu to clear the Staff Selection examination. After graduation he wanted to appear for the said test but did not have enough money to join any coaching centre for proper preparation. “Now I have availed free coaching facility of Rourkela ‘Sudakshya’ centre with satisfaction that I am getting all guidance that I was longing”, he expressed.

Born in a downtrodden agrarian family of Balisankara block, 25 year old Mr. Subas Barik has returned back to the arena of employment oriented competitive exams with new vigour because of the ‘Sudakshya’. After completing Bachelors’ degree four years back, he had appeared in several competitive examinations without success. He had felt the need of professional coaching to crack these exams, for which he did not have the financial capacity. “For me the news of free coaching and other facilities at ‘Sudakshya’ centres was god sent. The quality coaching I am getting in the Sundargarh centre will surely make me fit to grab my dream job”, he hopes.

Empowering Youth for Livelihoods

Apart from ‘Sudakshya’, the District Administration has taken up other skilling initiatives. It aims to support the youth, returnees and rural women for enhancing their livelihoods in various sectors.

To tap the rising need of trained manpower in the hospitality industry, the district administration has provided scope of free hotel management education to the capable needy youths. Through it educated youths of downtrodden families are sponsored for degree, diploma and certificate courses in hotel management and food production in the Odisha Government managed ‘State Institute of Hotel Management’ in Balangir.

During the current academic year, 30 students of Sundargarh district have got admitted in these courses. Supported by DMF, Sundargarh, the total cost of admission, course fee and hostel charges of these beneficiaries is borne by the district. These youths are also entitled to get extra financial assistance of 5,000 rupees per year.


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