A police station in India is hardly the sort of place most people would venture into willingly. Yet, at the Vasant Vihar police station in New Delhi, a dozen-odd young adults sit around happily enough in the computer lab, picking up accounting, office and DTP skills. These are boys and girls from the nearby slum clusters and resettlement colonies, motivated enough to skip an hour or two of play and household chores in the hope that the computer skills picked up here will help them in the long run.
“I want to be an airhostess,” mumbles Karina, a class 12 student, shyly, after much coaxing. “I want to be in a bank,” says her earnest-looking classmate Preeti. “I want to be a computer engineer,” a burlier boy chimes in to much all-round merriment. “I…er… I don’t know”, says another sheepishly. What these youngsters definitely know, however, is that an hour spent in this class after school is better than loitering around their congested homes. “My mother thought this was a good idea and so she paid the fee,” says another teenager, who is learning accounting software, Tally.
It is indeed a good idea. They may not be fully aware yet — this class is barely 10 days old — but earlier classes here and at similar centres have helped hundreds of other youth like them land semi-skilled and unskilled jobs in malls, banks (including SBI and ICICI), hospitals, hotels, corporate offices and homes. The catalyst here is Justrojgar, a three-year-old temp company that offers skills training and outsources blue-collared workers to corporate and domestic employers. While this small training centre is run in partnership with Delhi Police under its Yuva scheme (where the infrastructure — space and computers — are offered by the police and the curriculum and training by Justrojgar or the NGO it is affiliated to, We the People), there are two other centres across the National Capital Region engaged in similar work.
What does Justrojgar do? Its NGO parentage notwithstanding, it is a for-profit enterprise that trains jobless, low-skilled young workers and helps them get jobs in industry and corporates as well as households. “Most people in this space are e