Ipsita was never obsessed about her freelancing career, until now. “On an average, I earn around Rs 12,000 in a month,” says the Bhubaneswar based urban youth, who is a freelancing professional, in her early 20s.
Over the last one year, she has been working to build a career in this field of freelancing. “I check my bank account once a week and it shows that I am fairly getting paid for my work every time.” Typically, when you start searching a job, you go into to the loop of searching. “Days were tough, the mind was never at peace and earning was not happening anymore,” says Chittaranjan reeling under latent Covid-19 stress and anxiety.
Unemployment has emerged as a major problem “as is where is” and it’s become more intense in the wake of the global pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, shutdown and many related concurrent happenings.
“I came to know of freelancing about a few months back and since then I started exploring the freelancing market, now I am at peace as I am able to earn something out of it”. Further, he says “The Digital Freelancing programme by the Odisha Knowledge Corporation Limited (OKCL) has helped me a lot in enhancing my skill set.”
The journey of the OKCL begins in the year 2011, on September 12; formed with the State Government’s vision of creating a knowledge-led economy and knowledge-based communities in all the urban, rural and tribal regions of the State. The OKCL advocated online freelancing to create a sustainable local self-employment for semi-urban and rural youths who cannot afford to migrate to cities, since September 2019,
when it started its pilot project with local youths in its corporate office in the area of freelancing. In this period of pandemic and job losses, the youths working in the space of online freelancing were unfazed.Direndra says, “The timing of my joining this project can’t be more perfect; I was in search of job near my home, but was not able to find any, which is when I joined this pilot project by the OKCL and in a few months Corona pandemic occurred.
One of my neighbours working in a big city came back to his home due to job loss; however I kept on with my work.” In the words of Bandana Behera, headmistress, “In the year 2014, ICT Lab was implemented at our school.
Since then students started learning about computers and multimedia content, the dropout rate has come down.”. Another student Priyadarshini Biswal says, “I like learning through e Content more than learning via classroom.
I would like to thank School and Mass Education Department, Government of Odisha for introducing us to new methods of teaching and learning.” The OKCL’s vision for the next 10 years is to contribute its part towards achieving “The Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations”, along with empowerment of youth.
It is focusing on development of women entrepreneur in its Network of Small and Medium digital entrepreneurs thereby contributing towards SDG Goals of “Zero Poverty”, “No Hunger” and “Gender Equality”.
“Green Jobs” is also one of the areas in which the corporation is serious to work upon thereby fulfilling SDG Goals of “Life on Land”. “Holistic development and social transformation needs work at the grassroots level and that is what the OKCL has been doing and would continue to do in its journey ahead.
(The writer is MD, OKCL)