Nagpur: With a spurt in farmer suicides in Maharashtra`s Vidarbha region posing a question of survival before their families, a vocational training centre here is trying to help children of such farmers learn technical skills and earn a livelihood.
Montfort Integrated Educational Centre (MIEC) was set up with the help of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) about two years back in Patansaongi village of Saoner taluka, about 30 kms from here, to provide alternate means of livelihood to the families and children of farmers from Vidarbha who had committed suicide.
"The centre has been providing a six-month residential vocational training and so far 200 youngsters from the region, including the worst affected Yavatmal and Wardha district, have secured employment at various places," MIEC director Brother Mathew Alexander said.
It has also included children for training from Madhya Pradesh`s Mandla district.
Most of the students are referred to MIEC by its partners and NGOs, Mathew said, adding the centre offers basic courses in areas like tailoring, beauty care, carpentry, welding, refrigeration and air-conditioning repairs, motor mechanics, electrician and farming.
"Children are enrolled free of cost on the campus," he said.
The MIEC has roped in some big industrial houses in the initiative. Mahindra and Mahindra has setup a motor mechanic lab through its Mahindra Navistar. Corporate major Godrej has funded for refrigeration and air-conditioning repair course and also provides kits for students who complete beautician`s course. Tata Consultancy Services TCS has sponsored computers for students, he said.
Also, Knorr Bremse Pune, L&T Hyderabad, Pune and Taj Safari, MP are some of the other collaborators and partners.
A team from Godrej in Mumbai recruited some trained students from the centre last week, the director said.
The courses run by the centre are constantly monitored by officials of SDTT from Mumbai.