Calcutta police, Bengal Engineering and Science University and the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited have forged a partnership to provide vocational training to unemployed youths in the port area.
In the first stage, 280 underprivileged youths will be trained in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, food and beverage services, media and entertainment, automobile servicing, and air-conditioner repair and maintenance.
Besu vice-chancellor Ajoy Kumar Ray said the objective of the training was to encourage self-employment. “We will train the youths in skills that will make them employable and help them earn a dignified living. That will encourage self-employment and entrepreneurship.”
Selection of candidates will start soon. The dates for commencement of the courses — the duration will vary between three and 12 weeks — will be notified once the selection is over.
Less than a year ago, Garden Reach was in the news when a cop was shot during a pitched battle between Trinamul and Congress activists over student union elections at Harimohan Ghose College.
Trinamul councillor Ranjit Sil, whose son died while making bombs the night before the trouble and who became chairman of borough XV following the arrest of cop murder accused Mohammad Iqbal (Munna), attended the programme where the partnership was announced.
Among the other guests was police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha, whose predecessor R.K. Pachnanda had been shunted out for being “proactive” in nabbing the accused.
Besu would supervise the selection and provide faculty for the training. Calcutta police will help out with logistical support such as distribution of forms.
In the initial stage, close to 280 trainees will be picked from areas like Kidderpore, Garden Reach and Mahestala.
GRSE, a public sector enterprise that manufactures warships, has been carrying out such projects for many years now. “This is an initiative under our corporate social responsibility programme. Though we have been conducting such programmes for the past many years, this time our objective is to help the youths get placement,” said Rear Admiral A.K. Verma, the chairman and managing director of GRSE. Officials of the GRSE said they would spend Rs 30 lakh on the training project.
“By producing more plumbers and electricians, one will not be able to mainstream the people of the area. English-medium schools and good colleges are the need of the hour. IT is the future,” said Zubair Ansari, a local businessman and social worker.