In an effort to address West Bengal's rising unemployment, Development Research Communication and Service Centre (DRCSC), Kolkata, is undertaking a five year project funded by European Union through Welthungerhilfe to provide skill training to the adolescents and youth in selected backward districts of West Bengal. One of the aims of the project is to support these youngsters in establishing themselves as `Ecopreneurs'. Adolescents and youth from marginalised sections will be trained in Natural Resource Management (NRM) based trades such as sustainable agricultural production, NTFPs, agro processing and value addition, water conservation technologies, renewable rural energy and integrated animal health care and nutrition. Besides increased access to skills and training, the project aims to establish institutional arrangements for planning, quality assurance, certification and linkages. Youth trained in these vocations will benefit by self employment as barefoot technicians, employment in government, private sector or as Ecopreneurs by selling products, services, or technologies related to these themes. To ensure women's participation, constraints that prevent them from doing so will be addressed and incentives given.
The project is being implemented in three BRGF districts (Bankura, Paschim Medinipore and Birbhum) of West Bengal for 1000 Scheduled Castes (SCs) / Scheduled Tribes (STs)/Other Backward Castes adolescents and youths in the age group of 15 to 35.
Most of the selected themes are usually practiced in villages. The themes are given below-
Nursery raising & management
Raising and Managing vegetable garden (business)
Small animal raising & management (Rabbit, Backyard Poultry, Pig)
Fishery of indigenous species including fish feed making
Sal Leaf Products
Babui grass products
Palm juice and value added production
Neem seed processing & marketing
Soil-water conservation & management
Bio-gas and productive sanitation