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The Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha today signed a Memorandum of Association (MoA) with Pune-based Lighthouse Communities Foundation (LCF) for providing sustainable livelihoods to youth in Odisha’s cities and towns. This partnership program has been approved by the Chief Minister of Odisha and the MoA was signed today in the presence of Pratap Jena, Minister for Housing and Urban Development Department.

The partnership marks the beginning of a new phase in JAGA Mission, focussed on providing skills and livelihood opportunities to youth in urban Odisha, particularly among urban poor communities.  The earlier two phases of JAGA Mission focused on granting Land Rights, providing financial assistance for housing and upgrading basic infrastructure and amenities in slum communities.

Under the three year, MoA signed today, skilling and livelihood centres will be established in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Berhampur, Dhenkanal, Paradip and Jatni.  These skilling centres will provide training for urban poor youths in soft skills and technical skills, and facilitate placement services for the youth. The centres are also expected to cover micro-entrepreneurship focussed skilling. This program is expected to be implemented in all other cities in a phased manner.

Speaking on the occasion Minister Pratap Jena said “Our endeavour through all our missions and schemes is to ensure no citizen in urban Odisha is left behind.  We seek to create an enabling environment for every citizen of urban Odisha to fully realise their potential and aspirations.  Today, I am delighted that we are embarking on yet another phase of this important journey in partnership with Lighthouse Communities Foundation in order to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for our urban youth especially from Low-income communities.”

“We are delighted to partner with the Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Odisha on skilling and livelihoods for youth from low-income communities.  We firmly believe that providing the right skills and opportunities to these youth can empower them to fulfil their career aspirations, and transform their communities as well” said Dr Ganesh Natarajan, Chairperson, Lighthouse Communities Foundation, who was present at the occasion.

This MoA will pioneer a model that will be unique in several respects.  The preferences and aspirations of individual youth would be factored in designing the skilling programs, and a collaborative approach would be followed with respect to both skilling partners and also companies and establishments where youth would be placed post completion of the skilling program.  A hub and spoke model will be explored leveraging technology, whereby all 114 ULBs would be covered in a phased manner.

At the outset G Mathivathanan, Principal Secretary H&UD department in his welcome address highlighted the details of the MoA . Sangramji Nayak DMA proposed a hearty vote of thanks.

The MoA was signed by Sangramjit Nayak Director of Municipal Administration and Dr Ganesh Natarajan Chairperson Lighthouse Communities Foundation.