Bombay YMCA gets community centre in its 145th year

Published: Mar 12, 2020, 11:40 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

The YMCA Community Development Centre (CDC) is a green site, with hostel facilities, training zones, study rooms, play areas, and community engagement halls.

Community centre at Bombay YMCA
Community centre at Bombay YMCA

On the occasion of 145 years of the Bombay YMCA, the centre, with the help of corporates and philanthropists, has now got a 23,000 sqft Community Development Centre at Kanhe near Lonavala worth Rs 7 crore, imparting vocational training to about 1,400 students in various crafts and skills.

Besides traditional skills, new courses like introducing new courses like nursing/ paramedical courses, beauty therapy, sewing / Tailoring, Seed Co-operative, Natural farming methods are also being introduced.

The 145-year-old, the Bombay YMCA has been a pioneer in the field of vocational training of the vast labour force in the city. The National Agenda of the government is to provide skill training to youth and make them job-ready. Established in 1875, the Bombay YMCA has constantly innovated programmes to meet the needs of the cross-sections of society, especially the less privileged ones in the city of Mumbai. The Bombay YMCA inaugurated its first Vocational Training Centre in rural Maharashtra at Kanhe, Vadgaon district near Lonavala, interconnecting both the twin cities Mumbai – Pune on Sat. 29th Feb 2020 by the hands of Mr Chin Seng Chen, President, Asia & Pacific Alliance, YMCA along with Shri. Sunil Shelke (MLA) Talegaon. Bombay YMCA has had exceptional success in the field of vocational training in urban areas, YMCA is moving their attention to rural and backward areas of Maharashtra to fulfill a lament and urgent need for such vocation training centres.

"This 23,000sq.ft vocational training centre is built by the YMCA with an investment of 7 crores with support from various corporates and philanthropists. The launch of this vocational centre also marks the commemoration of 145 years of YMCA in Mumbai. The Vocational training aspect of the YMCA Community Development Centre at Kanhe will be providing various vocational craft skills and help 1400+ trade students yearly. The night study classes also aim to provide a utilitarian study atmosphere for 100+ students lacking the resources. We will focus on rural youth from around 25 villages who will benefit and be job-ready. We have signed MOU’s with Mahindra & Mahindra Group of Companies and Bluecross Laboratories Foundation for creating job opportunities for the youth who will graduate from the vocational centre” shared Mr Paul George, General Secretary/CEO of Bombay YMCA.

A survey was conducted under the aegis of YMCA which highlighted that the youth in the region cannot find work due to a lack of trade-related skills. With home financial levels being very low, students finishing secondary school do not look at college as a viable option as it does not offer employable skills. Factories, with the Make in India, initiative are opening up in this belt and require vocational skills.

“We are also introducing new courses like Bedside Nursing/ paramedical courses, Beauty therapy, Sewing / Tailoring, Seed Co-operative, Natural farming methods besides conventional courses like Computer Training, Electrical and more.

The long term goal of the Community Development Centre is to reach out to almost 1400 students every year and to improve and supplement local education to the youth of the area", further adds Mr. Paul George, General Secretary/CEO of Bombay YMCA.

The project plans to add to Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (2016 – 2020) is the flagship outcome-based Skill Training Scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) which aims to train 10 million youths by 2020 pan India both in Rural and Urban areas.

The YMCA Community Development Centre (CDC) is a green site, with hostel facilities, training zones, study rooms, play areas, and community engagement halls. Designed with a very eco-friendly mind-set, the Centre uses modern conservation concepts like solar power, water harvesting, and will also have a bio-diverse mini-forest atop the structure. It will strive to be a pillar of the community!

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