NEW DELHI: The/Nudge Institute’s Charcha 2022 — a livelihood summit aimed at bringing together all stakeholders working to create resilient opportunities for India’s citizens living in poverty — got off to a flying start in the capital with experts from diverse fields joining in on Thursday morning for lively debates and discussions.
During the summit, which for the first time was being held as an in-person event, topics ranged from ending ultra poverty in India and building an equitable gig economy for Bharat, to creating 100 million jobs for sustainable livelihoods and seeding thoughts of entrepreneurship in the minds of schoolchildren.
NN Sinha, secretary, ministry of rural development, kicked off proceedings by talking about many initiatives the government has undertaken at grassroots level. “We need to do a lot more work to increase labour force participation through efforts such as skilling and entrepreneurship,” said Sinha. “We are trying to create 25 million livelihoods in three years for poor households. We invite as much participation as possible for this.”
Similarly, Manish Sisodia, deputy CM of Delhi, drawing inspiration from his numerous interactions with school children in the Capital, stressed on the importance of understanding the difference between creating “good jobs” and employment.
“When I go to universities, a ‘good job’ is the most celebrated,” said Sisodia. “During annual convocations, people boast about a few students bagging jobs that pay in crores. Then someone else will compare that student with another student who got a higher paying one.”
While talking about the Delhi government’s plans of using angawadis as incubation centres, Sisodia threw light on the entrepreneurship mindset curriculum started in government schools in the capital. After overcoming an initial phase of hesitation, several private schools are currently set to introduce a similar curriculum, he said.
“Apart from facilitating interactions with relevant stakeholders, we give each student Rs 2,000 as seed fund and encourage them to form small groups and invest that money,” said Sisodia. “This encourages them to think, take decisions and risks.”
Among several other skill development events at the summit hosted by leading institutions including Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speakers discussed topics such as fostering women’s livelihoods, agritech for small landholding farmers, and the need to create 90 million non-farm jobs by 2030.
In the context of an ever-expanding gig economy, industry experts said the industry has made good progress in around eight years but there are areas involving gig workers that need to be looked at.
“Career development and wealth creation are areas where platforms have to apply their mind a lot more. Today if you are a delivery agent, you are not likely to have a career where you see yourself earning more and eventually grow,” said Abhiraj Singh Bhal, co-founder at Urban Company.