IIT-Kanpur has won the prestigious Best Entrepreneurial Skill Training Project award for its ‘Tech for Tribal’ program at the inaugural Van Dhan Annual awards of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED). The awards were given marking the 34th Foundation Day of TRIFED on 6th August 2021.
‘Tech For Tribals’ an initiative aims at the holistic development of tribals with a focus on entrepreneurship development, soft skills, IT, and business development through SHGs operating through Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs). IIT Kanpur’s technology business incubator, Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) has setup two PMUs in Chhattisgarh and Kerala under the TRIFED-supported Tech for Tribals project. The incubator is popularly known by its brand name,Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC).
Under the Tech for Tribals program, IIT Kanpur is developing course content relevant to Tribal and Rural Entrepreneurship in Value Addition and Processing of Forest Produces. The PMU team has implemented major interventions that have contributed towards the sustainability of the SHGsthrough skill-building efforts. Tech for Tribals is a game-changing,a unique project that aims to transform 5 crore Tribal Entrepreneurs with an objective of imparting entrepreneurship skills to tribal forest produce gatherers enrolled under the VanDhan Yojana. The trainees will undergo a 30-day program over six weeks comprising 120 sessions with an overarching objective of bridging the gap between tribal entrepreneurs and urban markets.
Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “We are proud to be associated with the ‘Tech for Tribals’, a unique program to make tribals of this nation Atmanirbhar. It focuses on bridging the gap between tribal entrepreneurs and urban markets. The technological transformation brought out by IIT-K’s contribution to this unique initiative has emerged as a beacon of change impacting the tribal ecosystem. I am sure through such interventions, tribals will rise above all challenges to become self-reliant”.
CEO of FIRST, IIT Kanpur, Dr Nikhil Agarwal commented, “Through ‘Tech for Tribals’, we at FIRSThave trained tribal entrepreneurs to amplify the impact of their businesses. It has helped put tribal entrepreneurs on the path of commercialisation.This recognition will motivate the team and add to their efforts for the benefit of the program’s beneficiaries.”
Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Professor-in-Charge, Innovation & Incubation, IIT Kanpurapplauded the PMU team for their efforts, “The recognition has motivated our team to deliver passionately for the upliftment of the tribal communities. We believe that‘Tech for Tribals’ carries the tremendous potential to further strengthen the impact and outcomes of beneficiaries, compounding the nation’s social impact. We shall continue to deliver with unparalleled dedication across tribal communities in India.”