By Raghuram Vemula
At Organo, localization is a key factor which differentiates the community/ eco-habitats from other communities. In line with the Triple Bottom line philosophy of Organo, at least 75% of the workforce required to run and maintain the eco-habitat are recruited locally.
Such an approach requires a long and determined effort to take shape and bear fruits. This is more so when the youth from the villages around the eco-habitats are concerned. There are various aspects one needs to consider before, and during employment of the rural youth for facilities management and hospitality works at eco-habitats. Two key aspects are motivation and skill adequacy. Both the aspects take months if not years to inculcate in the village youth.
So, we start early on, which is at the time of beginning of the construction work at the proposed eco-habitat’s site. We did the same for our upcoming eco-habitat community at Antharam. As part of our recruitment, we undertake various confidence building measures and village level meetings to sensitize various stakeholders (Rural youth, their parents, village elders and key persons) in the villages identified as part of the eco-habitat boundary.
Once the sensitization exercises reach a satisfactory level and everyone involved understands the purpose of the eco-habitat’s existence, and the mutually beneficial relationship that can blossom between the village folk and rurbanites/ residents of the eco-habitats, the next step of upskilling is taken up. But before the up skilling is commenced, an exercise to identify youth and villagers who are really interested to learn, and grow is undertaken. This involves the old school method of background verification through elders and key persons of the village. Then the youth/ interested villagers undergo on the job training and over a period of 2 to 3 years learn the ropes of their respective areas such as hospitality, MEP, farming etc.
In this article one such exercise of up skilling and the success story of two Youngers Mr Rahul and Mr Sravan is covered. Rahul hails from a village near Antharam called Chittampally and Sravan hails from a village called Kandlapally. Both the youngsters got to know us through our social outreach program and were part of the first cohort of youth identified for training. They were initially selected for the hospitality steward role but because of their resourcefulness and willingness to learn, they were given an opportunity to learn the nuances of cooking from our Chefs at Slow Down Place, our farm to fork concept vegetarian restaurant at Aziz Nagar, Hyderabad. Post this they attended cooking classes conducted by a well renowned holistic nutritionist, Ms. Sridevi Jasti and learned to prepare quick and healthy meals and snacks.
To our pleasant surprise both picked up quite well quickly and started making very healthy and tasty breakfast, lunch, and snacks at the God’s Own Office in Organo Antharam. Together they can now prepare healthy and wholesome food for 40 guests at once.
You can meet them at our Kitchen in God’s Own Office in Organo Antharam, dishing out delicious and healthy recipes.