Occupational vulnerability is a distinguishing characteristic of urban poverty. Addressing occupational vulnerability is always a challenge in any urban poverty eradication Programme. Establishment of City Livelihood Centre (CLC) in Kottayam Municipality under National Urban livelihoods Mission by Kudumbashree is a firm leap to address this challenge.
City Livelihoods Centre, Kottayam is first one of its kind in Kerala, which was inaugurated by Sri.Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan MLA on 29th April 2017.The Vision of the Centre is to provide sustained support to the livelihood efforts of urban poor by conjoining the gap between the resources available with the urban poor like their services or products and the requirements of urban community. In turn, such a support will pave way for the social and economic empowerment of the urban poor to lead a secure and dignified life.
The services of urban poor includes domestic works, home nursing, Ayah, driving, cleaning work, domestic electrical work, plumbing work, etc. Though these services are largely required to the urban community, the urban poor who are involved in these services confronts unemployment due to least publicity of their availability to work. City Livelihood Centre tries to address this issue by setting up a permanent Service Providing Centre offering a gamut of fee based services to the urban community by engaging urban poor who possess necessary skill sets. The urban community can avail the services of labors registered in the CLC by phone or web based applications. At present there are a total of 193 labors are registered with the Centre. City Livelihood Centre will also arrange for skill training and skill up gradation training to the urban poor who are registered in the Centre for quality improvement.
Similarly, the City Livelihood Centre will support the urban poor or their collectives (SHG) to sell their products. Kudumbashree Units in Kottayam are producing a wide range of products including vegetables, sanitary products, food products, Stationery items, etc. Almost all of them are facing trouble in the marketing of their product due to diverse reasons like poor advertisement, messy packing, etc. The CLC will provide necessary support for product up gradation, raw material availability, marketing services, etc. for registered producers from urban poor.
Initiation of a City Livelihood Centre was not an easy task. The approval for starting the Centre received from NULM State Mission during March 2015. The great hurdle before opening the centre was the non-availability of local specific model for City Livelihood Centre in Kerala. The City Mission Management Unit conducted a series of consultation with various stakeholders and referred web-sites for beating this hurdle and develop a suitable structure for the City Livelihood Centre in Kottayam. The City Mission Management Unit strives to develop maximum potential to the Centre in addressing the occupational vulnerability of urban poor in Kottayam through their mobilization, skill up gradation and generation of maximum employment opportunities in a conducive environment. In future, we hope, the Centre will become a model for other cities in Kerala for reducing occupational vulnerability of urban poor.