Yogi’s Govt stops vocational training for women in Amethi

Yogi Adityanath’s Govt wants ‘Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana’ to stop vocational training programme, that has empowered one and a half million women in Uttar Pradesh

Photo courtesy: Facebook
Photo courtesy: Facebook

NH Web Desk

The notice ought to have gone to Manuj Kalyan Kendra (MKK), which has been running welfare schemes in Amethi since 1985. The Uttar Pradesh government had allotted the land to the MKK for running vocational programmes and it was the MKK which had invited the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in 2003 to run it.

But the MKK has received no notice from the district administration but the Trust, a service provider in this case, and has been asked to stop providing the service on the ground that it has ‘illegally’ occupied the land.

Even more ironically, the District Magistrate of Amethi wrote a letter (2055 dated 1.4.17) this year to the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana asking for support in conducting training programmes to make all villages of Amethi Open Defecation Free (ODF) under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

It was not an unusual request because the programme since 2003 has transformed the lives of one and a half million women in Amethi, imparting vocational education of various kind. It is supported by NABARD and SIDBI and has been working closely with the State Rural Livelihood Mission. It was also collaborating with the district administration in conducting programmes related to Swachh Bharat Mission.

One and a half million women from Uttar Pradesh have been empowered under the programme in the past 13 years. Training for vocations like Chikankari, embroidery, candle making, knitting, terracotta, sewing, leather work, bamboo products, agriculture, book keeping, training for banking correspondents, community trainers on health, education, livelihoods etc. and for using solar power have been imparted to the women.

In a statement, the RGMVP stated, “Activities carried out at the Centre are not in contravention of the purpose for which land was allotted to Manuj Kalyan Kendra. RGMVP’s role is that of a service provider to Manuj Kalyan Kendra (MKK). The MKK remains the legal entity for the training centre. RGMVP is merely a programme. Questioning RGMVP on the land, the government is deliberately asking questions from one who cannot really answer.”

“This is part of a political witch hunt and stands to destroy the livelihood of lakhs of innocent women who can benefit from the training & expertise provided at the centre,” the statement went on to add.

Deepak Singh, a Congress MLC from Amethi told NH, “Union Minister Smriti Irani has been trying to shut down the training programme for the past three years. We have all the relevant papers and we will produce them in court.”

Officials in Amethi admit that Trust was running its operation from that area for the last 13 years. This was known to all and even officials and ministers in the state as well as Union governments had attended many functions held at the compound of the Trust in last decade and a half. No questions were raised that time about the ownership of land.

On the face of it, Smriti Irani and the Yogi Government want the vocational centre to be run by the RSS or its affiliates.

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Published: 09 Aug 2017, 9:58 AM