Hon’ Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey conferred the National Entrepreneurship Award 2019 to Divyang VLE Ravindra Bhausaheb Supekar for his contribution in Stree Swabhiman project. The award aims to recognize and honour the outstanding young First-Generation Entrepreneurs, and Ecosystem builders for their outstanding contribution in entrepreneurship development and providing support to the entrepreneurs. It seeks to instill and entrench the entrepreneurial attitude among the future generations and the Youth of India.
32 years old Ravindra Bhausaheb Supekar, a Village Level Entrepreneur, who despite being physically challenged has committed himself in the service of society. He has emerged as a source of inspiration for many in his small village Wavi in Sinnar block of Nashik district. He has proved that with true determination and devotion, there is no disability great enough to confine someone from achieving his/her dreams.
With an aim to improve menstrual hygiene of girls and women in rural areas of the district by facilitating access to affordable sanitary napkins, the VLE started Stree Swabhiman unit with the help of CSC SPV. The unit now employs 10 village women, who produce more than 500-600 pads on a daily basis. They have so far completed the production of 30,000 napkins. VLE conducted workshops in schools for creating awareness about girls’ hygiene and health. The VLE also organised sessions for sensitizing girls about menstrual hygiene and health benefits of using sanitary napkins. He also organised camps to make school girls aware about menstrual hygiene, and also distributed sanitary napkins manufactured by his unit to over 300 school girls.
Inspired by government’s initiative to impart digital literacy to women in rural areas under Women Digital Literacy Program (WDLP), in 2015, Ravindra decided to open his own CSC centre to make villagers digitally literate, making them self-reliant and empowered.
An MA in English, Ravindra has trained more than 250 women under WDLP, while 200 students under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA).
For the convenience of students, he takes separate computer classes of children, adults and women at his centre. He also gives lectures in nearby school on digital literacy.
After completion of training his students are now able to use Digital Locker to digitally preserve their educational certificates, they are using different cashless digital transactions to execute their daily financial transactions without standing in long queues.
Apart from that, he has helped villagers to seed Aadhaar and mobile number with bank accounts to make them avail financial services without any trouble. So far, Ravindra has opened 3000 bank accounts of villagers in Maharashtra Bank, inducting them under cover of financial inclusion.
Along with Digital Literacy programmes, Ravindra also conducted different NIELET courses like CCC, BCC at his CSC. Ravindra with the help of Bank of Maharashtra arranged many programmes to make people aware of cashless transaction, for which he was awarded Inspirational Social Media Award for Cashless by NIELIT.
Ravindra who lost the use of limbs from polio infection at the age of 5, didn’t lose his hope to become a successful person in life. Youth from nearby villages took inspiration from Ravindra to start their own CSC in their villages and become self-reliant.