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Saksham: Economic empowerment in India

The Saksham project is empowering young women in India to access decent employment and fight gender norms

Saksham is providing girls and boys in India with the skills they need to succeed in the world of work.

Saksham is an initiative to provide disadvantaged youth, especially young women, with essential life and market oriented vocational skills. This not only helps them to access decent employment but also makes them representatives of a gender just society and gives them the independence to be themselves.

"Meeting girls of my age who have graduated and are now working has given me hope that I too can change my life." Yasmin

Plan India aspires to give all young women the skills to get a job or become self-employed, by providing market-oriented business, vocational and life skills training. The Saksham programme provides two youth training programmes: a vocational training programme and an entrepreneurial training programme to start your own business.

The programme also helps to teach parents, communities and employers about gender equality, equal opportunities and economic empowerment for girls as gender equality is embedded in all the courses. This environment is designed to encourage young girls to take up training and employment opportunities to build a trained female workforce. Local businesses have engaged with the project to promote women-friendly work environments.

Key highlights

  • Since 2011, when Saksham was launched, the programme has successfully skilled and job placed more than 5,500 young people, including 3,400 young women, in new economy jobs across hospitality, retail and IT enabled services.
  • Almost all the youth before joining the programme were neither in education, employment or training.
  • The skills training significantly improves the employability of young women and men. As many as 70% of youth trained in Saksham have secured job placements at renowned national and multinational companies.
  • Employed young women and men have improved their own - and their family's - financial situation. 
  • Within two years of placement, over 80% of graduates double their monthly income, and are able to make regular savings to meet future needs.

Preena, Saksham graduate