Empowering Youth for Village Development
About the Project
The Sampurna Shuchi Gram Project started in October 2013 with a vision of transforming one village in Koppal district into a model village. The project aimed at the holistic development of the village through an integrated approach by including children, youth, women, men and the elderly in this process. The project initially started in Kolur and Kampli of Koppal district of Karnataka and gradually the work expanded to 4 other villages namely Bairapura, Gunnalli, Honnuhunasi and Baikanayakanahalil.
The project had 3 primary issues: agriculture, village development and education to achieve the goal of aiming to be a model village and to achieve this 3 major groups were targeted: women, the youth and farmers. These groups, once organised became powerful in their organisation and instrumental in addressing issues and concerns of the village.
The youth in the target areas had shown no interest in learning or even skill development activities and required a lot of motivation to attend the youth activities. Motivational training was given to the youth based on following personality management subjects and with adequate practical exercise. The training focused on character building, improving self confidence, set aside shyness and fear and personality development. The youth were trained in keeping their villages clean for which activities were sketched out by the team themselves and implemented with the help of SSG team and panchayat.
The intention of targeting the youth was to use the skills and knowledge of a potentially very powerful section of society that could be channelized for the development of their own environment as well as a create a sense of ownership and leadership with a combined sense of responsibility. The project involved Sampark staff to discuss and deliberate with the youth their problems and find local solutions as well as provide awareness to enable them to take ample initiative. A total of 150 youth was involved and organized in the form of groups across 5 villages and they continue to meet, discuss and take active initiatives in achieving the goal of a model village alongwith mobilising and inspiring other youth to take effective action towards this common objective.
The youth conduct shramdan activites twice a month. Through shramdaan they conduct tree plantations and activities under the Swachata Abhiyan such as construction, cleaning and maintaining village roads, schools and surrounding areas. They also engage actvities to ensure cleanliness of the water sources such as wells, water tanks, canals, construction of toilets as well as new water sources such as conservation points etc. These activities have helped the youth to develop and enhance their skills as well as their knowledge regarding organising activities and work, constructing useful resources for the village and maintaining them in collaboration with state machinery.
Conducting Career Guidance Workshops
Career guidance workshops were conducted annually by the youth groups with Sampark facilitating in providing suitable resource persons. The career guiding counsellor provided a wider opportunity and scope for the youth through workshops to apply and select suitable jobs and identify their interest area. Such work helped the youth to reinstill confidence and provided them with suitable ammunition to approach the working world and access opportunities to skill training encouraging them to be efficient drivers of Indian growth.
Youth Counselling Programs
Youth counselling programmes were operationalised at the village level which helped the youth in different stuation such as in stressful situations, motivational workshop , study circle, future planning, one-to-one career guidance, peer counselling gender sensitization workshops, vocational skill training.
Linkage with state machinery
The youth groups work closley with state machinery such as Gram Panchayats, Taluka Samiti and Zila Parishad. Their work is to mainsteaming the government schemes to the villages, proper implementation of governement schemes, act as the watchdog to prevent crrouption at village level, they work parallely with the state machinaries to provide skill training for youths. They also monitor the various schemes and project run by the state and center government.
Work at Committee level
The youth are now members of various committess, such as health committee, education committee, village development committee, swachata committee through which they monitor the work of the various institutions that they are part of and make sure that the institutions are working effectively.
The project sampurna shuchi gram has provided a progressive platform for the youth to develop the village which in turn enables them to ehance interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and communication skills which has made the youth perceive themselves as agents of change rather than mere beneficiaries.
Understanding the need for sanitation and cleanliness of villages, access to built toilets for every household has been on the agenda of SSG project. The purpose behind enabling households to access the grant from Panchayat to build toilets is to avoid open defecation. The health concerns related to open defecation and lack of toilets for women have been taken as serious issues of concern and Sampark’s SSG team has been working towards fulfilling this basic need. The team through its groups (Youth and Farmers) has spread awareness about constructing proper toilets and using them. This is done by enrolling villagers to the Panchayat scheme for building toilets.