(December 12, 2022)
New Delhi, Dec 12, 2022: Smile Foundation receives the CSR Times Award 2022 for Skill Development. Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Km. Pratima Bhoumik presented the award in the presence of eminent dignitaries.
The award conferred under Gold category was in recognition to the foundation’s Smile Twin e- Learning Programme or STeP. Smile Foundation conceptualized and launched the Programme in 2007, with an aim to create a pool of skilled and gainfully employed youth through skill enhancement in tandem with market requirements across India.
Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) is further aligned with the ‘Skill India’ initiative that was launched by the Government of India in 2015. STeP aims to empower the underprivileged youth of our country by providing them with knowledge and the requisite skills, thereby increasing their career opportunities and enabling them to secure jobs in the organized sector, become financially secure.
“We are thankful for such a meaningful encouragement. Looking at the emerging and growing opportunities for the youth, we are preparing ourselves for a significant expansion of this programme,” says Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation.
This national level programme develops and trains youth with necessary skills, ensures beyond-classroom learning, helps them on career choice and counseling, facilitates exposure visits and interaction with prospective employers, and provides them with job placements.
Initially, the skill development programme was a primarily focused on providing market-oriented skill training to underprivileged youth for gainful employment in retail, hospitality and ITeS sectors. As the pandemic brought major disruption in many industries, it also triggered emergence of new jobs that demanded specific skills. As a result, Smile Foundation restructured the STeP curriculum to fit the emerging employment market. Efforts have been made to facilitate skilling and employment of youth in sectors such as healthcare assistance, digital
marketing, BFSI (business, financial services and insurance), BPO (business process outsourcing) and e-logistics where the demand for workforce is rising rapidly.
Currently, 84 STeP centres are operational across India. Out of the 75,000 students that have been trained so far, 47,000 have been placed in over 200 brands successfully. Others chose to pursue higher learning and explore more opportunities with their new-found skills and confidence. Girls constitute 61 per cent of the overall beneficiaries.
Smile Foundation is an Indian development organization directly benefiting over 1.5 million children and families every year through more than 400 welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood, and women empowerment spread across 2,000 villages and urban slums in 26 states.