Skill Women, Skill India: Women hammering brand new careers into shape in Haryana

Young women in Haryana have enrolled in a skills training at a stainless steel plant in Rohad district. Over a four-month period, 180 young women will be trained to work in stainless steel application in Haryana, a state where women’s workforce participation remains low. The skilling programme is a one-of-its kind public-private partnership initiative led by JSL Lifestyle Limited that aims to equip young women with the skills and knowledge for enhancing their employability and helping them secure jobs in the steel industry.

This innovative pilot is part of a collaboration between the India Development Foundation, UNDP and Xyntéo, supported by IKEA Foundation, that seeks to impact the lives of one million women in India through training, entrepreneurial skill development and employment, as well as to develop a new model of public-private collaboration that can be adapted and replicated across India.

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Here we are at Rohad. The screeching of metal, the all-pervasive noise is the surround sound for women hammering brand new careers into shape. India is one of the world’s largest steel producers, and it’s been uncommon for women to be in the industry.

Skill Women, Skill India: Women hammering brand new careers into shape in Haryana

Far from the stereotypes they are busting every day, here at the Jindal steel plant in Bahadurgarh, Haryana. Approximately 40 women are getting on with their work day following an advanced skills training program.

Rajiv Williams, Corporate Head – CSR, JSL Stainless Ltd says “Empower the women in an area that is different from the normal activities like IT, hospitality – this is hard core steel, which makes it v exciting. It’s a great opportunity to skill the women in stainless steel fabrication.”

19 year old Sonya Rohilla is from the first batch of trainees. Her trainer Ankit Kumar says “Sabse bada difference jo main ne dekha hai, hai yeh confidence. ”

This is the third batch of women who are undergoing training here — they’re about two months into their program… many of them having fought through multiple obstacles — including family pressure —to get here.

The girls we are meeting are the only women who work in this plant. JSL has pledged to absorb 100 women who go through their training program into the factory. 4 month training, minimum class 8 pass and they earn, we’re told about 9000 rupees a month. There’s no question that these women themselves are breaking the mould and perhaps inspiring many others.