Dr.Mridul Eapen, Member, Kerala State Planning Board inaugurated the training for the second batch of training of women from the fishing community on 6th September 2010 at Erikkalivila Vanitha Sangham, Poovar. This training programme comes in the aftermath of the successful completion of training by the first batch of 100 women and in response to sustained demand from the community for the commencement of the second batch.
Inaugurating the programme, Dr.Mridul Eapen, said that IT now has come to be an important technology; one that can empower people. Empowerment occurs in two phases, one by increase of self-confidence and by equipping one to understand how best they can be put to use for one's advancement. Quoting statistical facts, she said there as many as 222 fishing villages and about 8 lakh fishing households in the State of Kerala. Of the total population of fishers, around 2 lakh women are involved in fish vending, drying, processing and other allied areas. Again she pointed out that it was seen that while girls from the community outranked boys in terms of education up to the higher secondary level; the pattern reversed when it came to higher education. The number of women from the community seeking graduate/post graduate level education was scant. Dr.Mridul Eapen emphasised that women should be made to realise their capabilities and that they have an important role to play in the society and that they are agent of development. However domestic responsbilities of women often refrained them from progressing ahead in their academic/career-related pursuits. To facilitate this, men should also contribute to the household activities. Complimenting KSITM and other stakeholders involved in the initiative, she said that sustained efforts were needed for achieving the desired results. Mechanims/facilities should also be created wherein women can practise and put to use the skills acquired out of the training.
The 45-day training programme for the second batch of 100 women, a joint venture of Kerala State IT Mission and Centre for Development of Imaging Technology, will focus on ICT skills, with special emphasis on Free and Open Source Software. A component on communication/behavioural skills will also be provided to the women. In a bid to make the programme self-sustainable, the programme will make use of the services of select trainees from the first batch as lab assistants. An evaluation will be conducted after the completion of the training programme and all successful candidates would be given certificates.
Smt.Florency Mutthayain, President, Erakkalavila Vanitha Sangham, Reverend Fr.Joy Mussolini, Shri.K.Vijayachandran, Director, Future India Foundation, Smt.Akhila Gowrishankar, Manager, KSITM and Shri.Jiby Abraham, Controller of Training, C-DIT spoke on the occasion, in which 30 women from the community participated.