Chennai

Upskilling Sanitisation and Hygiene Entrepreneurs

Outfitted with a PPE kit and carrying a disinfectant spray pump, V. Chandrasekhar has completed his fourth assignment for the day, the last one having to do with a house at Mambakkam.

“The customer who called me wanted the house to be disinfected as a precautionary measure as their neighbour had tested positive,” says the 27-year-old who trained to become a Sanitisation and Hygiene Entrepreneur (SHE) during the lockdown.

He is part of a network of ‘gig entrepreneurs’ who offer disinfection services to homes, commercial buildings, offices and institutions.

This initiative which began in the early phase of the lockdown as a collaborative effort involving LabourNet, National Skill Development Corporation and the Government of Karnataka, has now expanded to various states with partnerships from various agencies.

“So far, we have had 600 self-help groups (SHGs) from across the country take up the SHE programme and they together account for ₹77 lakh of the earnings,” says Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO, LabourNet.

At a time when many had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, the SHE initiative provided them with a source of income.

“People could take up either a part-time or a full-time job to earn, on an average, ₹3,000 and ₹15,000 respectively,” says Gayathri.

Houses with COVID-positive residents and public sanitisation are two places where these entrepreneurs did maximum business.

Will this occupation go out of sheen?

Gayathri says the plan is to use this network of people for other work.

“If they can be upskilled, their job will not lose its relevance,” she says, adding that a pilot project on training these people in sanitation, car washing and delivery will start soon in Bengaluru.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 3:27:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/upskilling-sanitisation-and-hygiene-entrepreneurs/article33590021.ece

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