NGO's in India

Power to Empower 2013 Challenge Winners announced

India’s 1st Skills Enterprise Challenge, ‘Power to Empower’ announces the winners for its third edition.

National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) and India@75 have announced Ramesh Swamy of UNNATI and Arindam Dasgupta of Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd. as the winners of the Power to Empower 2013 Challenge (P2E 2013).

Supported by the Muthoot Pappachan Foundation, the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, the P2E 2013 Challenge was launched in October 2013 with the aim of identifying, selecting and rewarding the best solutions bridging the gap between the supply and demand of skilled labour in India.

power to empower

This year, Power to Empower received a record 1,004 applications from over 150 cities across India and was managed by Ennovent and TiE Delhi-NCR. These applications were accepted as part of two distinct categories – Idea and Operations. P2E 2013 received 724 Idea and 280 Operations applications with the highest number of entries coming from New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune respectively.

The winning Idea submitted by Guwahati based Tamul Plates Marketing focuses on generating rural livelihoods by producing and marketing biodegradable dinnerware. They also provide technical support and financial linkages to rural areca nut – commonly referred to as betel nut – producers. In contrast, the winning application within the Operations category, UNNATI is a Bangalore based organisation that runs a 70-day vocational training program for economically backward youth with an assured job at the end of the training period.

In addition to the winners, the finalists for the Idea category were Rachel Bennett, Bhavani B, Dwayne Dias and Dr. Shelley Batra. Their ideas for skill development ranged from projects such as Saarthi, which aims at creating teacher entrepreneurs to OpASHA, which hires local slum residents as community health-workers.

Within the Operations category, Guwahati based Sahayika and Gurgaon based INDHA received the second and third place respectively with TARA Livelihood Academy and GMR Varalakshmi Foundation being the other two finalists. While Sahayika is a skills initiative to assure respect and fair wages to home based caregivers, INDHA was started by Literacy India and provides women with vocational training in sewing, block printing, papermaking and more to empower underprivileged women and children.

At the ceremony held in Delhi to announce the winners, Mr. S Ramadorai, Chairman, NSDC, said, “My heartiest congratulations to all the winners, finalists and the participants. P2E as an initiative was designed to sensitize and encourage entrepreneurship in the skills space. Reaching out to grass-root entrepreneurs and enabling them to scale up their businesses is a step towards nation building. I hope through this effort we develop a system that not only encourages the concept of entrepreneurship, but actually works towards the achievement of creating a skilled workforce of 500 million by 2022.”

As part of the prizes for P2E 2013, UNNATI and Tamul Plates Marketing will receive INR 1.5 lakh and 3.5 lakh cash respectively by the Muthoot Pappachan Foundation, the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group. Upon rewarding the prizes, Mr. Thomas Muthoot, Executive Director Muthoot Fincorp Ltd said, “The finalists did a great job in clearly explaining their solutions for enhancing the skills ecosystem in India. P2E 2013 has been a real eye opener, and a great initiative that we would like to be part of next year as well.”

Both winners will also receive access to the high profile capacity building Empretec program, an initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as well as access to the iDiya program at ISB Hyderabad.

In addition to the above, the winners and finalists in each category will receive access to the Sankalp Unconvention Summit 2014 and to the Diffusion workshop by ISB, networking opportunities and national visibility.

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