‘Graduate carpenter” turns entrepreneur, empowers villagers in Anantnag (J&K) during lockdown

‘Graduate carpenter” turns entrepreneur, empowers villagers in Anantnag (J&K) during lockdown

Asif Bhat started to support his family when he was student in a nearby Government School in Maharama C village. An arts graduate who would do menial jobs to support family is a proud owner of CSC in Maharama C village in Kashmir valley. In his village dotted with narrow and dilapidated roads, the only uncommon thing is Common Service Centre running by Asif.

Amid the alarming threat of the spread of COVID-19, Kashmir also faces lack of high-speed internet. High-speed internet services in the region have been blocked since August 5 to prevent protests. Amidst these challenges, the VLE is delivering CSC services with the help of 2G.

VLE Asif Bhat hails from a carpenter community and used to do woodwork with his father. He continued his studies with the help of savings. In BA 3rd year, he applied for CSC ID and thus his CSC journey started in 2018. Last year, he also completed his BA from Kashmir University. “I used to study and work as a labourer at the same time to support my family. I wanted to complete my education at any cost. Later I got admission in Kashmir University and completed my graduation in arts stream in the year 2019. During college days I used to do Carpentry with my father to manage the daily expenses,” recalled Asif Bhat. He continued doing menial jobs till the year 2018 when a friend suggested him to start CSC in his native village.

The young man who once worked Carpentry for others, used to work in the fields of others, in return, he got 50 to 100 rupees a day. But now he is a successful entrepreneur. Thousands of Kashmiri youths like Asif Bhat are moving towards CSC leaving daily wage work and are presenting unique example of minority empowerment in the country. He is running CSC successfully and is an example for many youths in his village.

The VLE is delivering services on Ayushman Bharat, PAN Card, Passport, Flight and train booking, Mobile recharge, Travel tickets, Online Job forms, Hotel booking, Online Scholarship forms, DTH, Tele Law. Citizens in Marhama C and nearby villages have received considerable help through CSC. VLE said, “Now the villagers do not have to go far to the city and stand in line for hours in Anantnag. VLEs also get very good commission on these services through CSC. “

Not only has the digital revolution reached remote village like Marhama C in Kashmir valley through CSC, but also the entrepreneurs’ earnings have increased significantly. Through CSC, rural residents residing in remote areas are served at the doorsteps. CSC is helping them to avail services in a timely and cost effective manner.

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