Our vision is a world free of poverty in which every individual has the freedom and power to create and sustain a just society in which to live.
Our mission is to empower the poor to participate in and benefit from the Indian growth process through integrated action in the fields of primary health, elementary education, financial inclusion and sustainable livelihood. This will be achieved through active collaboration with the government and independent organisations.
In India, there is an urgent need to create adequate employment opportunities for rural youth, particularly those below the poverty line. Given this challenge, ICICI Foundation has broadened the scope of its work to include a new focus on sustainable livelihoods – part of our comprehensive strategy for enabling low-income Indians to participate in and benefit from the nation’s growth.
The Foundation’s first steps in its sustainable livelihoods initiative are to strengthen two Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) in Udaipur and Jodhpur, run by ICICI Bank. RSETIs are training centres for rural youth that provide them with the skills and understanding they need to build lucrative and secure futures. RSETIs also provide residential facilities during training when required. Part of a national programme initiated by the Ministry of Rural Development, RSETIs are run by leading public or private sector banks with the active support of State Governments.
Since adopting the Udaipur and Jodhpur centres after its merger with Bank of Rajasthan, ICICI Bank has entrusted the responsibility of managing and growing the centres toICICI Foundation. On March 28, 2011, ICICI Bank formally inaugurated the new premises at its Rural Self-Employment Training Institute in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
ICICI Foundation will work to upgrade the infrastructure at the RSETIs, facilitate the recruitment of required staff, spread awareness about the work of these institutes amongst the community and introduce new training courses. Through this work, ICICI Foundation aims to promote not only general employment, butself-employment and micro-ventures as well.
Towards this objective, ICICI Foundation is focusing on the following strategic elements for creating successful employment programmes:
Apart from trainings at its residential centres,ICICI Foundation undertakes courses in the villages surrounding Udaipur and Jodhpur where there is demand.
In the next year,ICICI Foundation aims to train several thousand people through these initiatives. After establishing an effective model with the RSETIs in Jodhpur and Udaipur,ICICI Foundation anticipates expanding its sustainable livelihood initiatives to other areas where there is demand and capacity for such interventions.
Nurturing self-reliance and empowerment through livelihoods
For course participants, the impact of the beautician course atICICI Foundation’s Rural Self-Employment Training Institute is not just skin deep. For two months, these rural women not only get expert training on the skills required of a beautician, but also an opportunity to take control of their own lives. Whether motivated by the possibility of financial security or the desire to look like the actresses on television serials, these women all gain invaluable training in the fundamentals of independence.
LalitaChowdury, 22, knows she cannot depend on her husband for a steady income, especially since he suffers from alcoholism. She enrolled in the course to supplement her family’s income and make a better life for herself and her two-and-a-half year old son. At the Udaipur RSETI, Lalita has learned threading, hairstyling, make-up application and other skills to prepare her to open her own beauty parlour. Lalita has been on exposure visits to ayurvedic hospitals, learned yoga, and even helped prepare local brides for their special day. Her teacher has guided Lalita on applying for a loan for the certification fees to open her own parlour, and she already has several clients.