Y.S. RANA , CHANDIGARH—Life is like a play and it is not the length but excellence of the acting that matters. The adage seems to be just opted for Paramjit Singh who has been doing his role excellently. Growing up in a middle-class family in a remote village Bilaspur in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh has left lucrative job of bank to do more for the youth and rural women. He founded the Regional Centre for Entrepreneurs Development (RECD) in 1995 with an aim to train and develop entrepreneureal talent, personality development inputs to enable them to stand up on their feet.
Paramjit Singh, the hero of our story belongs to this village and single-handly weathering all types of storms, delivered a solution to unemployed youths. His is a story of guts and glory. A classic example of lone crusador in the beginning has now a well-furnished office in Chandigarh and an army of skilled youths who have either been employed or set up their own small scale industries. The youth further provided employment to other of surrounding areas.
“The centre organizes career orientation programmes to train and develop necessary skills needed in the present time,” said Mr Singh and added that now Centre was able to train around 6000 youth and rural people free of cost in northern India comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J and K; Chandigarh; Delhi and Uttrakhand in a year. So far thousands of youths have been provided much-needed skills. “Whatever calibre one has one should use it for the benefit of the people and I am doing the same thing,” says he.
Mr Singh told this reporter that an award “Best Motivator” given by the Government of India in 1992 has changed the course of his life. He left the job of Punjab and Sind Bank and set up the centre. In the beginning, the centre stressed on development of entrepreneurship but with the passes of time it has expanded its wings and started promoting skill development programme for rural areas and urban poor.
Sharing this trail blazing initiative Parmajit said that Centre has taken up a number of activities such as capacity building programs for various departments; awareness generation programs for youth, agriculturists, transporters and housewives; training programs for rural women and self-help groups etc.
In Himachal Pradesh it has its offices in Kangra, Mandi, Manali and Shimla providing yeoman service to the youth. As Himachal Pradesh is mostly ruralite hence importance of the Centre becomes more immense, says he. But he also regretted that state government has no long term policy for such programme and the state lagged behind compared to its big cousin.
Mr Singh further stated that better education for the youth has been the focus of attention. Education focus should also be on skill development among them, he says. He has held a number of successful programmes in Kangra and Hamirpur districts of Himachal Pradesh. Many youth of these districts have benefited immensely. Trained youth have either set up their small scale industries or got employment in industry sector. He further stated that centre was also empanelled by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Mumbai, for Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.
He further disclosed that the Centre was empanelled as ‘Udyaim Mitra’ in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, J and K and Chandigarh under Rajiv Gandhi Udyami Mitra Programme of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises. It is also training partner for many sectors. The centre is also a training provider of Punjab Technical University (PTU); automotive skills development council; leather sector skill council; telecom sector skill council. Besides, is also a consultant for MSME projects in northern India.
The RCED is also engaged in evaluation studies and survey work for number of departments, central ministries and industry departments. Having a number of awards to his credit, Paramjit says that success is always a long journey but his initiative now has succeeded in boosting the culture of entrepreneurship among rural women and youth in northern India. It brings together successful entrepreneurs and youngsters who plan to start their own business on one platform through hundreds of its offices spread length and breadth across northern states.
The Centre launches special programmes to aware the youth about importance of skills so that they can crack the opportunities in the high voltile technical environment, said he.
Talking about the needs of skill, he feels that the involvement of skill in academic education is a must so that youths can be trained as per industry requirements and they can easily get jobs.
Mr Singh has all praise of Prime Minister Employment Generation Plan and hoped that it could do wonders if the state governments have long term planning. His hard-work and dedication bore fruit and Paramjit another Himachali carved a niche for himself as a ‘best motivator.’
While a number of Himachalis migrated to cities and forget their birthplaces in the luxurious life of towns, Paramjit still is well connected with his native village and used to visit his village. When job opportunities in Himachal Pradesh seem to be falling apart, the state surely needs more persons like Paramjit Singh to bail out the youth and the state from un-employment and poverty.