Education and empowerment go side-by-side in any effort to meaningfully impact the lives of any population of individuals. YCF believes that alongside opportunities for education, it is important to provide opportunities for learning professional skills and for work. Some of YCF’s initiatives over the years have focused on providing individuals from vulnerable communities with opportunities to learn new skills so as to be able to reinvent themselves and find employment in a new field.
The Indian logistics industry currently employs 22 million people. 15 per cent of this workforce are women and their numbers are growing.
Towards the end of 2019, YCF launched its Janayatri programme, an empowerment and employability initiative that reached out to women, particularly those who were single parents. Through Janayatri, YCF had hoped to teach women how to drive so that they could provide last mile connectivity to passengers who used the metro and who wanted to go home. These women were taught how to drive a three-wheeler. While procuring their license to drive these vehicles, it was discovered that they needed to have driven a commercial vehicle for a year at the very least before they could apply for a commercial driving licence. In order to give these drivers the commercial driving experience they needed, YCF encouraged its team members to create a small business group, called Value Added Mobility Solutions (VAMS), which provides last mile logistics services to e-commerce companies. Their first big client is Amazon. From a team of 6 drivers, this initiative has grown to include 60+ drivers, comprising both men and women from marginalised communities who work as delivery associates.
In 2021, YCF launched Janayatri in Mysore district. It sent out a call for applications in the press and training commenced on 5th March. The call had an overwhelming response of 60+ candidates attending the program orientation from which 30 were shortlisted to undergo the 21 days training supported by CSRBox, Ahmedabad.