Since, 2 nd of October, from the time, the TEDP initiative was launched, ASSOCHAM has been organizing training programs to tribal artisans from various parts of the country. Though the tribal artisans are skilled in some art form or the other, they must be guided to cater to a larger audience and their skills finetuned.
ASSOCHAM under the guidance of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) has been organizing both the physical and online training sessions for these artisans.
The trainers and trainees for the program are identified through NGO partners in states, district administration and eminent locals. However, among the many factors that give trainees an edge over other artisans is that they have won awards, hire one or more workers and are willing to be a part of TEDP. This way around 1000 tribal artisans from all states of the country were identified for the training program. Till date more than 350 artisans have already completed their training and are utilizing their knowledge for the betterment of their community.
Once the artisans are identified, they are assessed based on their skill set. A tailor- made training module is designed keeping the assessment in mind.
Training, which includes digital marketing, technological applications of social media for business, knowledge of financial linkages, design development, market linkages, needs are determined from discussion with the point of contact person (POCs) from each state and verified with trainees during the orientation session held with them prior to the start of training. States like Jharkhand and Kerala have already completed their physical training session, while most other states had to organize online training sessions due to the pandemic.
It is perhaps for the first time, that digital technology was used to provide training to these tribal artisans.
The main aim of this training program is to upgrade the skills of the tribal youth in three broad categories namely Digital Marketing, E-Commerce and Financial Management & Linkages. The duration of each of the program would be 4.5 hours training + 0.5 hour assessments for offline program which would be spread across 2 days. The offline training for each of the course would be around 5 days each. So each tribal artisan would have to undergo 21 days of training program.
The main objective of this program is to enable them to gain suitable employment or help them to become self-employed, amplify their skillsets, tap newer market through digital means and at the same time become financially independent.
Tribal artisans are invited for an Online Orientation Session before the start of the trainings to brief them about the project, its objectives and benefits for the artisans. The session is held for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Offline Training Support is provided to artisans to handhold them as they put the training session learnings to practice. The duration for these sessions varies from 2 to 4 hours depending on the queries raised by artisans.
Topics covered under the subject include Concepts of marketing, definition and scope of digital marketing, different types of digital marketing tools, how to analyse their functions and benefits, Select the best Digital Marketing platform by analysing their importance and usage. They would also be assisted to create their own social media platforms, helped to post the details of their products and their skills, and post job opportunities for recruitment of artisans.
With the use of smart phones, they are taught designs to create their own catalogues and nuances of conversational commerce. They would also be comprehensively trained to identify the threats and challenges in Digital Marketing. The artisans through this program would also learn about ways to ensure safety and security on online digital marketing platforms.
These artisans would be taught how to buy and sell their goods and services through the internet. The course module would teach the tribal artisans the different types of e-commerce platforms and how to select the best e-commerce platform to promote their products.
They would be assisted to arrange the necessary infrastructure to set up their preferred e-commerce platform and also to identify the challenges and obstacles while working on the e-commerce platforms.
The course is also designed to help the artisan create an account on the e-commerce platforms, perform transactions on e-commerce platforms, deliver products to customers, trained in the various payment process and fee structures. The artisan would also be taught on how to deliver the order they receive on digital platforms.
The tribal artisan training document is designed to help the artisan develop an understanding of Financial Management, gain an insight into Basic Accounting Principles and Cash Flow management and also help them engage in bookkeeping & inventory management for their business.
These artisans would be trained to understand the various modes of payment and understand the cashless payment ecosystem. They would be able to understand the concepts and the usage of financial products like the debit Card, E-Wallets & QR Code. The course curriculum would help them identify platforms for doing online transactions & money transfers, conduct transactions using UPI based Apps and at the same time identify threats while transacting online.
Contrary to the payoffs of a training being gradual in most cases, the impact of the TEDP training has been instant. The trainees have been onboarded on online platforms; they have also developed awareness in the use of online platforms and have been linked to national and international markets through online channels. In some states, they have already started earning more due to onboarding on online channels. The dependency on middlemen has reduced due to direct connection with buyers through online channels. In the long term, a larger impact is expected to be visible.
The program aimed to enhance the entrepreneurial capabilities of tribal entrepreneurs that have been identified for the training. It also develops a scalable model for them, which is sustainable and replicable. It also aims to create a unique brand identity for tribal produce and products. This way the tribal entrepreneurs can function as vehicles that catalyse employment and create self-reliance as well as will help in promoting and sustaining the identity and value of the tribals.