The ‘Green Colleges’ train rural youth in green trades, combining traditional wisdom with scientific techniques to help them become ‘ecopreneurs’ and to enable them have better access to technology, finances and market.

The Initiative draws from the success and promising results of the now concluded Vocational Education and Training programme (co-funded by the European Union).

Green Colleges offer both short term (15-30 days) and longer term certificate courses (six months), in topics such as sustainable farming, animal husbandry and veterinary para professionals, integrated fishery, sustainable harvesting and processing of forest produce, agro food processing and solar lighting. The trades included in the courses have been traditionally pursued by these communities, have high value in their local context and are need-based, thus increasing considerably the opportunities for a dignified livelihood within their own community.

Using a mix of theoretical and practical learning, lessons include soft skills normally neglected in standard vocational training, such as business plan development, marketing, entrepreneurship, motivation, conflict resolution, leadership and communication skills. The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Key Achievements

  • 11 Green Colleges set up across West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  • 41,084 trainees have been trained till September’20, out of which 22,463 are women.
  • 36,154 participants started enterprises and earning incremental income.
  • 183 High Potential Rural Entrepreneurs have been taken under the fast track programme.

For more information, download the brochure: Green Colleges India

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Panmati: A young ‘ecopreneur’ from Bankura