Feature News: Vocational training empowering rural people

Lapsang Sherpa of Maiwakhola Rural Municipality-6 in Taplejung district, who was wandering in search of job opportunities at a time, is happy these days.

Having searched for a job in various organisations and offices, she is now not worried about employment.

She is instead looking for better opportunities to expand her job by utilising her skills. She is self-employed at weaving clothes after undergoing a training session.

Born in a middle class family, she was married off when she was young. Being deprived of any formal education, she had always longed for taking up any skilled occupations, and was always on the lookout for new opportunities. Some months ago, she took training to weave clothes and started weaving Allo clothes.

Allo is a kind of nettle plant found in the stream and shed area of rural Nepal. The bark of Allo is used to make yarn which is raw material for making clothes. To make clothes, she had to supply Allo threads from neighbouring Sankhuwasabha district, which later became cumbersome and involved hassles for her to continue the business. So, she quit it.

Later, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (REEEP) launched by GIZ Nepal (the German Agency for International Cooperation) came to her rescue. Her plan of continuing the business of weaving clothes retains after undergoing training to produce Allo yarns, “Allo Yarn Producing Skill Development Training” organised by the GIZ.

IZ is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government operating in many fields across over 130 countries. It offers demand-driven, tailor-made services for sustainable development. Its main commissioning party is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The training increased Sherpa’s confidence and motivated her to continue to engage in the business. Encouraged, she continued producing Allo threads and making clothes from it.
Bipana Gurung is another beneficiary of the training.

She took the training to utilise her free time and generate income at the same time by weaving clothes from Allo yarns, she said.

The total 12 women from five rural municipalities and urban municipalities in Taplejung district took the training that was organised on 2-8 September, 2022. They were provided training on producing Allo threads and making clothes such as coat, Nepali topi (cap), scarf, shawl, handbag, waistcoat, and wallet from it.

Allo clothes are produced in local cottage industries with traditional skills, and through the loom. Now, they can be produced through electric modern technologies.

The GIZ has launched various trainings on skill development for enterprise and income generation, and enterprises promotion in coordination with rural municipalities and urban municipalities targeting women and marganalised communities.

Sherpa is selling her products in Phungling, the district headquarters, and at fairs in neighbouring districts. She has bought a loom, and a yarn spinning machine for Rs 100,000. She has earned good incomes from the business.

“It can generate incomes and boost self-esteem of women when they engage in skilled professions,” she said.

Allo clothes are in high demand in both the domestic and international market, said entrepreneurs. Allo clothes are sold at high prices.

Incomes from renewable energy

Nar Bahadur Nepali of Turmakhad Rural Municipality in Achham, a district in far-west region, had aspired to go to a foreign land for a job. But his wish could not be realised without sufficient money. Without any other option, he was jobless. However, he availed from training on repairing solar equipment and house wiring under the REEEP.

The six-day training was organised some months ago in Sanphebagar Municipality covering all 10 local levels of Achham district.

After taking the training, he works as an electrician, and is generating good incomes. So far, he has earned over Rs 50,000 by repairing 42 solar panels at private houses, 20 solar street lamps and 10 solar panels at institutions.

“Now, I have ended my dream of going to a foreign country for a job as I have started making good money back home,” he said.

As many local levels of the district in Sudurpaschim Province are yet to be connected with the central transmission line, they use renewable energy for generating power. But there lacks qualified technicians making the matter worse, said local people.

With the aim of attracting local people to use renewable energy, the training session took place in the village at the request of the local government. A total of 20 people (one woman and 19 men) took the training.

After undergoing the training, most of local levels have hired the electricians after reaching a contract.

Khem Saud of Mallekh Rural Municipality, who underwent the training, has so far earned around Rs 250,000 from repairing solar products and house wiring. “In the beginning, I could not earn much. I started earning much after many people knew me as an electrician. Now, I am much busy,” he said.

Similarly, another trainee Shiva Ram Adhikari has become a government employee. Kamal Bazaar Municipality has employed him as an electrician.

Without electric power or irregular electricity supply, most of the houses and buildings housing governmental and nongovernmental organisations have been fitted with solar panels. Streets lights are solar-powered.



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