The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Facebook India on Friday launched a new initiative to digitally skill 5,000 tribal youth in the country.
Called GOAL (Going Online As Leaders) programme, the initiative aims to enable scheduled tribe youth (called mentees in the programme) in remote areas use digital platforms for sharing their aspirations, dreams and talent with their mentors.
There will be one mentor for two mentees.
"This programme intends to upskill and empower 5,000 tribal youths to harness the full potential of digital platforms and tools to learn new ways of doing business, explore and connect with domestic and international markets," Arjun Munda, Union Tribal Affairs Minister, said in a statement.
The mentees and mentors will be selected based on their inputs, in such a way that it represents tribal youth from varied professions and has representation from the urban and rural area across the country.
"The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is dedicated to enhancing the preservation of the tribal culture of India and enhancing the competitiveness of our tribal communities," said Ankhi Das, Director, Public Policy, Facebook - India, South and Central Asia.
The IT-based system is designed to match mentors and mentees so that they are from a similar profession and preferably speak the same language.
The selected mentees will remain engaged in the programme for nine months or 36 weeks comprising of 28 weeks of mentorship followed by eight weeks of internship.
The programme will focus on three core areas - digital literacy, life skills and leadership and entrepreneurship, and on sectors such as agriculture, art and culture, handicrafts and textiles, health and nutrition, among others.
The selected mentees will be provided with smartphones and Internet access (for one year) by Facebook, along with exposure to various external forums that will give the opportunity to the participants to showcase their entrepreneurial skills and leadership abilities.
The mentees and mentors have to register on portal (goal.tribal.gov.in), which will be open for two months from May 15 to July 14.