The idea of an online employment portal for Indian villagers does not seem quite plausible at first. But if there are two organisations that can make it successful, it had to be Monster.com and ITC’s e-Choupal initiative.
Together, they have now launched a bi-lingual (Hindi and English) portal, Rozgar Duniya, to specifically cater to rural job seekers in India. Job categories include textiles and weaving, teaching, mechanic and auto repair, data entry and industrial jobs such as motor binding, steel fabrication, glass blowing and administration jobs.
HOW WOULD VILLAGERS ACCESS IT?
The biggest obstacle, obviously, is in getting the technologically backward and often illiterate farmers and other villagers to participate. This is where e-Choupal comes in.
These e-Choupals are Internet kiosks in villages that offer farmers crop, weather and market information. Overall, there are 6,500 such kiosks in 10 states so far, reaching four million villagers.
ITC will be training its e-Choupal Sanchalaks, farmers who were trained to operate the kiosks, to help others in their community use the website and apply for jobs. The two companies are initially targeting four states – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan – but will scale it up to nine states and about 40,000 villages over time.
ITC and Monster.com have entered into a revenue sharing agreement, details of which were not disclosed by the companies. No mention is made of the monetary benefit that gets passed down to the e-Choupal Sanchalak.