In 2011, the Ministry of Rural Development launched Aajeevika - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). The mission of the scheme was to eradicate unemployment through skill development and pass on to the citizens of India, especially from the rural areas, a sense of efficiency. The target set was to encompass the scheme across 7 crore households spread over 600 districts in India. The aim of the scheme was to trade essential skills, empowering the poor to a point that they can hone their skills and create self employment opportunities. In 2015, shouldered by the government and supported by the Ministry of Rural Development, the scheme was given a facelift. It was renamed Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana.
The objective of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana
With poverty and unemployment in the country still at an alarming rate, the government of India along with the Ministry of Rural Development, introduced the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana in an attempt to make citizens of India self reliant by giving them courses and classes in skill development. By doing so, the government wishes that the scheme will instill a sense of entrepreneurship in citizens coming from the backward states of the country and those below the poverty line. Besides this, the Ministry of Rural Development aims at providing shelter for the homeless and giving street vendors social security, suitable space to work with, and give their business institutional credit. To ensure that the scheme is given a boost, the government has provisioned Rs.500 crore towards the cause.
The aim of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana
- The aim of the scheme is to make the citizens of India, especially from the rural areas, self reliant to pursue the job of their choice. The first step the Government of India and the Ministry of Rural Development have taken is to give skill development classes to the poor - in a bid to give them employment opportunities. The skill development programs are carried out by urban citizens at various City Livelihood Centers across the country.
- For the training, the government has allotted Rs.15,000 for each individual. For individuals hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Rs.18,000 has been allocated towards the training program for each participant.
- For street vendors and other self-employed rural citizens, the government focused on institutional development and social mobilization. Carried out by various self-help groups, vendors were giving training on entrepreneurship, assured suitable space to work and institutional development. Each self-help group was allotted Rs.10,000 to carry out the training.
- To encourage the poor citizens from urban areas to start their own business, the government has offered subsidized loans. For citizens that wish to start micro-enterprises, a loan of Rs.2 lakhs was offered at an interest rate of 7% p.a. For group enterprises, the government has offered loans up to Rs.10 lakhs at an interest rate of 7% p.a.
- With primary focus of the scheme being to aid the poor, the scheme also covers the complete cost of providing shelter to the homeless.
- The Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana also covers areas such as setting up infrastructures for vendors, offering skill development programs in order to give them a plethora of opportunities. The scheme even included special programs for rag pickers.
How the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana has been effective
- By providing skill development programs and subsidized loans to the urban poor, the scheme has brought about a sense of individualism, involvement and pride in ownership amongst the citizens. The outcome has increased the all-round productivity for those who have subscribed to it and has broadened their vision to the opportunities out there.
- The scheme transparently reflects the functions carried out by the government to tackle poverty and unemployment.
- Has given many vendors across the country the infrastructure needed for their business to flourish.
- It has given the opportunity for industries to partner as well as stakeholders to work with evolving opportunists from the scheme.
- Instilled a sense of self-reliance, self-help and self-dependence amongst the poor.
In order to track the progress of the scheme, the Ministry of Rural Development has set up an online Management information system (MIS) portal. This portal checks the effectivity of the scheme. According to the MIS and several reports, skill development programmes have been given to roughly 4.54 lakh urban citizens, out of which 22% percent of the participants were able to find employment soon after. Economic Times reported that 73,476 citizens availed the subsidized loans to set up small micro-enterprises. The loan amount that was disbursed was roughly Rs.551 crore. Following the initiation of the scheme, 2527 group enterprises were set up in various states, reflecting the fruitfulness of the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana scheme.