“We just want to uplift people, inspire people, and get people through their day.” – Kevin Abstract

Seekho Aur Kamao!What is Seekho Aur Kamao? As the name suggests, Seekho means Learn and Kamao means Earn. Why would we have any such project with this name and what is the intent of launching this project? The Indian government has a clear vision to identify people who are keen to learn and certify them for skill and give them a chance to be employed or become self-employed. Now, the question is who are the beneficiaries of this scheme? India is rich in culture and traditions. With the developing economy, people responsible for conserving the traditions and passing them on to the next generations to inherit, have started moving towards modernization and hence, leaving their form of art which they have been practicing for ages. As a result, traditional art and craft is restricted to the rural area and is performed by a group of minority people. It becomes imperative for us to provide the apt facilities and make them capable to conserve this art form thus, ensuring that they foresee benefit from what they practice and earn a good amount in return for the artefacts and the products they produce with all their sweat and inherited capabilities.

To conserve this rich cultural heritage, the government of India thought of creating opportunities for its people and hence the project Seekho Aur Kamao was launched through PMKVY, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna, a vocational skilling program to prepare young India for a better future and their upliftment. Through this opportunity, the government could foresee a better future for communities who could not get trained or educated due to lack of facilities and financial conditions. Most of these affected communities are either staying in the rural part of the country or belong to a group which has not been given sustainable platforms to rise and grow. And hence, “Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn)” was a scheme implemented in the year of 2013-14 for skill development of minorities including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains.

India has a very large youth population and only 10% of the labour force acquired vocational skills, 8% formally and 2 % informally. About 63 % of the youth drop-out of the education system at or before they reach grade 10. And, when we look at vocational seats available for various training, there are only 3.1 million seats available whereas about 12.8 million people enter the labour market every year. So, we can see a clear gap. As India is going through a higher phase of economic development, it becomes necessary and important to pull up the underprivileged by grabbing this opportunity and try to bring them at par with the growing economy.

National Skill Development Policy envisages that the skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. Seekho Aur Kamao aims at upgrading the skills of the minority youths in various modern/traditional vocations depending upon their educational qualification, present economic trends, and the market potential, which can earn them suitable employment or make them suitably skilled to go for self-employment.

Mosaic Workskills is the official training partner for the implementation of the MES courses which are approved by NCVT under this scheme. These courses include the majority of traditional skills being practiced by the communities e.g. Embroidery, Chikankari, Zardosi, Patch Work, Gem and Jewellery, Weaving, Wooden works, leather goods, Brass metal works, Glasswares, Carpet, hand woven and handmade articles, etc. As a training partner we are striving to conserve the traditional arts and crafts practiced by minorities and on the other hand, empowering such communities to face the market challenges and get employed/self-employed post completion of this training. By giving them the required support, we also try to put them to the potential buyers and help them to get any such assistance that is required for establishing their identity.

All the programs that impart training under this banner are aligned to NSQF curriculum. The training under this scheme is government sponsored and is free of cost for the targeted youth. On one hand, this scheme is not only leading to economic growth and development of the country including the minority youth but, also helping these youth to preserve their heritage of traditional art and craft. New methods and exposure to the market for sure are giving the community at large a bigger market for expanding the scope of their traditions and giving them a vision for their bright today and a better future for the coming generations.