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Visit of Mr. Guy Ryder DG ILO (Global Chief), alongwith South Asian, Indian team of ILO visits DWSSC & Prayas

06 July 2016

After witnessing the after-effects of a 1988 fire, Amod Kanth created the NGO Prayas, an organization for disenfranchised and distressed children in India.

Mr. Guy Ryder, the Director General of ILO visited Prayas and DWSSC (Domestic Worker Sector Skill Council) on 6th July 2016 with his fellow team members including Ms. Tomoko Nishimoto- Assistant Director-General and Regional Director Asia & Pacific, Ms. Panudda Boonpala- Director, ILO for South Asia, Mr. Shengjie Li- Senior Adviser for Asia and the Pacific, Ms. Bharti Birla-National Project Coordinator, Ms. Divya Chadha-Admin & Finance Officer and Ms. Diya Banerjee Communication Officer ILO. Ms. AnujaBapat from Ministry of Labour& Employment was also specially invited by ILO.

Mr. Ryder and his team reached Prayas DWSSC at 1.10 pm and was welcomed by the rescued girls from domestic services living in the Girls home run by Prayas in presence of Mr. Amod K Kanth, General Secretary, Prayas& Chairman of DWSSC. The senior members of Prayas and DWSSC were also present to welcome the distinguished guests. Mr. Kanth introduced all the members to Mr. Ryder and also talked about the background of the rescued girls and informed about the way they are being brought up in this home. Mr. Ryder and the dignities were taken on a tour to the skill development section of Prayas. The tour began from PIEE (Prayas Institute of Economic Empowerment) where young boys and girls from the neighboring slum communities and the home arebeing trained in various courses like Computer Applications, Personality Development etc. All these trainees come from marginalized background and are being trained on a very nominal fee.From here,the guests were taken to the skill development section of Domestic Workers. Prayas has trained hundreds of domestic workers in past in collaboration with ILO under the program of ‘Work in Freedom’. Currently, Prayas is running a program to train young girls who want to become domesticworkers and 25 such girls are being trained in its Tughlakabad Training Centre on the job role of ‘Housekeeper cum Cook’. These girls hail from different backgrounds, including some who are rescued from bonded labour or human trafficking. Mr. Ryder spent time with these girls and spoke to them about the training program and the future prospects for them. He and his team members were very much impressed with the focused and dedicated approach of Prayas to upgrade the life to these trainees.

Following this interaction, Mr. Ryder were introduced to the other training programs being run by Prayas like Beauty-Parlour and Tailoring and Dress Designing towards livelihood. To empower the young girls. Once this tour got over, Mr. Kanth took the guests to the Conference Room where the other members of Prayas and DWSSC had been waiting for them. After coming to the Conference Room, Mr. Kanthformally introduced the team of Prayas and DWSSC to Mr. Ryder and his team. This interaction was followed by a presentation made by Mr. Kanth on the Domestic Workers Sector in India. The presentation started with the current situation of domestic workers in India and their issues, the reason to create Domestic Workers Sector Skill Council and the role and support of ILO in its creation. It was followed by the common objectives of ILO’s convention 189 and The Jharkhand Private Placement Agencies and Domestic Workers (Regulation) Bill –2016 (co-created by DWSSC Chairman Mr. Amod K Kanth).

Ms. Bharti Birla also appreciated this bill and apprised Mr. Ryder the need of it in Indian context. The presentation ended with the details of International Skill Training Centres (ISTC) to be initiated by MSD&E/ NSDC and the long association of Prayas and ILO.As soon the presentation got over, Mr. Kanth invited Ms. Boonpala to share her views. Ms. Boonpala thanked Prayas and DWSSC for the work being done for thebetterment of Domestic Workers. Then Mr. Ryder was invited to address the attendees. He thanked Prayas and DWSSCfor such a warm welcome and mentioned that he was really impressed by the way this mission of empowering domestic workers being carried by DWSSC. He further mentioned that there might be a difference of opinion on exact number of domestic workers in India (quoting KPMG report of 2016 stating 7.3 million), but the number is very huge and it needs a lot of work with sincere dedication and practical approach. He appreciated the idea of International Skill Training Centres to train youth for the jobs of domestic workers abroad, but he also mentioned the need of signing of Convention 189 by Govt. of India. He further mentioned that ILO will provide full support to DWSSC to make it a success. The other team members of ILO, DWSSC and Prayas also shared their views.

At the end, Mr. Kanthgave vote of thanks to Mr. Ryder and the ILO team for their visit which was followed by the felicitation of the guests by the girls of shelter home of Prayas.