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CSR programmes successfully addressing mobilisation

Disha Skill Sakhis
Mobilisation entails not only getting people to enrol, but also ensuring that the right people, in terms of ability, interests and expectations, participate in programmes. For both companies and NGOs, an inability to mobilise properly results in a failure to meet targets and, more importantly, excludes potential beneficiaries who would be in need of jobs.

Don Bosco Tech Society

With 412 skill development centres spread over 29 states, Don Bosco Tech Society is one of the largest skill training organisations in India. It imparts a combination of vocational and soft skills through its centres and typically trains 45,000 youth every year.
Recognising the challenges of mobilisation and retention for vocational skill training, DB Tech uses a village saturation model. Operating in some of the most under-developed and conflict-prone regions of India, DB Tech essentially focuses all its mobilisation efforts in one village, creating acceptance and enrolling all eligible youth in the community, before moving to a different location.
The advantage of “saturating” a village through mobilisation is that a large section of the village community—parents, spouses, friends of all the trainees—automatically become invested in the programme; thereby ensuring trainees regularly attend classes, complete the course and value the employment opportunities they obtain.

Disha ‘Skill Sakhis’

Disha is a three-year partnership programme between the India Development Foundation, UNDP and Xyntéo, and supported by the IKEA Foundation, to positively impact the lives of one million women in India through training, entrepreneurial skill development and employment.
As part of its operations in the state of Maharashtra, Disha has created a cadre of “Skill Sakhis” or skill champions to effectively mobilise girls and women from local communities and slums. Skill Sakhis are generally members of local self help groups who get trained and paid by Disha for raising awareness regarding vocational skills and opportunities among girls and women in their own communities.

A Skill Sakhi, as the name suggests, becomes a friend and a mentor to many of these girls, creating a career roadmap for them, offering information on various skills, connecting them to relevant courses and also negotiating family dynamics in some cases. Hailing from the same community and having mostly experienced similar circumstances as many of the potential trainees, a Sakhi is able to communicate with the girls in their language with empathy.

Castrol India ‘Eklavya’

Castrol India’s training programme, “Eklavya” focuses on upskilling two-wheeler mechanics. Given that mechanics often operate as self-employed, unorganised entities, Castrol initially found it difficult to reach out to an adequate number of trainees for “Eklavya”. It thus reached out to local trade unions and mechanics’ associations to create an element of trust and credibility within the participants regarding the programme’s benefits.

It received support from 75-80% of the associations and unions, leading to a large number of mechanics registering for its upskilling programme. The training programme was held mostly in the afternoons or evenings, which allowed mechanics to minimise the losses incurred from keeping their garages shut during training hours, thus, increasing their acceptance of the programme.