A felicitation ceremony for successful women trainers of Skill Development Course was conducted on August 22, 2016 at the Government Degree College, Poonch. The trainers comprised mainly unemployed women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families of the remote areas of Mendhar, Mandi and Surankote. On the occasion, 62 young women of Poonch district successfully graduated in Hand Embroidery Course organized for duration of three months at Poonch, Sheri Khwaja and Mandi Tehsil centers. This Course was launched on May 2, 2016 as a Pilot Project on 'Skill Development : Future of J&K' initiative taken by Northern Command for the State of Jammu & Kashmir as part of 'Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY)' campaign.
Lt Gen RR Nimbhorkar, General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps was the chief guest on the occasion and gave away the National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT) Certificates and self-sustenance Tool-kits and Sewing Machines to each of the successful participants. He expressed his happiness on the successful competition of the first course and stressed on the requirement of continued support from civil administration and banks towards generation of employment for these fresh certificate holders so that this course would becomes a guiding beacon for resurrection of a self-reliant State of J&K. DDC, SSP of Poonch and Rajouri were present on the occasion with a number of other civil and military dignitaries.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, GOC Romeo Force gave out the highlights of this unique initiative. A number of candidates were given loan offer letters by the bank officials who were present on the occasion. He apprised the locals that the candidates selected for these programs are mainly from BPL families from remote areas. The candidates enrolled in these courses are being provided financial assistance for the duration of the course in the form of stipend and complete cost of the raw material as well as assistance in securing loans to start their own ventures. According to the General Officer Commanding, the accreditation by NCVT will open a number of avenues of employment for the candidates not only within the State but in any other place in India. This was the first course and many other Courses on vocational training for National Council for Vocational Training certification through ITI Centers would follow during the year. Three batches for 180 candidates were launched. Shri Muhammad Harun DDC, Poonch gave a Vote of Thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries wherein he appreciated dedication of all involved in successful implementation of this Pilot project.
As part of this Skill Development initiative, Indian Army plans to train more than 400 unemployed youth of Poonch and Rajouri districts in the current financial year. They will be trained in vocational skills such as Carpentry, Driving and Vehicle Mechanic, Computer Operator & IT, Plumbing and Fitting, Garments Making and Agriculture /Horticulture which have been identified by a Study Team as the 'most sought after courses' based on the interest of the local population. General Officer Commanding White Knight Corps conveyed his appreciation to the Civil Administration and the youth of Poonch and Rajouri for the keen interest taken in the successful conduct of the vocational training course. He said that the Indian Army will continue with more such initiatives for the people.