RC Pune Gandhibhavan, D 3131, has set up a vocational centre on the premises of Gram Prabodhini Vidyalaya, a school at Salumbre village, 45 km from Pune, with the help of CSR funds from Oerlikon Balzers, a Swiss manufacturer of surface coating solutions.
The first batch of 20 students in the age 16–18 years are being trained as electrical technicians and another course on welding technology will begin soon. “We want to target boys and girls who had either passed or failed Class 10 but unable to pursue higher studies,” says the club’s past president Keshav Tamhankar. A monthly fee of Rs 1,000 is charged from the students.
The building with an area of 2,500 sq ft has one classroom and three workshops. A CSR fund of Rs 65 lakh was spent to raise the building; Rs 10 lakh was invested in the first stage for setting up training facilities, machinery and equipment for vocational classes. While the club supervised the construction and establishment of the centre, it will be administered by the Gramprabodhini institute whose faculty will teach the students. The club has plans to offer training in soft skills like personality development, communication and body language which will be taught at the centre in due course. “We want rural youth to become self-reliant with vocational skills,” says Vyankatrao Bhatane, Principal, Gramprabodhini. The building was inaugurated by Balzers Global Head Marc Desrayaud and the then DG Prashant Deshmukh in March.