Essar Foundation and Essar Steel (EStIL) Hazira launched an Essar Lok Vikas Kendra in Mora village in the Hazira belt on January 30, 2015. This is the third ELVK in Gujarat after the ones set up at Hazira village in 2005 and Junagam in 2014.
ELVK is the Essar Foundation’s flagship program on livelihood. It focuses on enhancing employability and improving vocational skills of local communities. ELVKs train women, girls and students on the production of apparel, ornamental handicraft items, jute bags and incense sticks as well as basic computer operation.
Mora has a population of 14,000 out of which 10,000 are migrants. This provides ample opportunity to engage the women in skill development or training activities. This in turn can lead to them engaging in income generation activities. The Mora Gram Panchayat has extended its support by providing the community center for ELVK. This center will be the first intervention in the village offering skill training to women on a regular basis.
Usually a single ELVK batch can accommodate up to 20 trainees and one or two classes are run in a day. In Mora, however, as soon as word got around about the ELVK’s launch, women queued up to enroll for the courses! Eventually, 60 enrollments were accepted for the first training program, and 3 classes will be conducted per day. The women will be trained in apparel production for a period of six months. The Foundation plans to add some more vocational courses in the near future. In addition to facilitating trainers for the ELVK, Essar Foundation has also provided sewing machines. Like the other ELVKs in Hazira, an Essar team will manage this centre as well as mentor the trainees.
Apart from the ones in Gujarat, two ELVKs have been operating successfully in West Bengal and one in Madhya Pradesh. These have benefitted hundreds of women, men and youth through skill development for self-employment.