ISESE Competition: Getting their hands on a future job in India

The Innovative Secondary Education for Skills Enhancement (ISESE) Competition blog series features the winners, runners-up and five additional models that have been selected due to their innovation, impact, sustainability and potential for replication in Africa and Asia. This is Part 4 of our 10-part series.

Students in Lend-a-Hand-India’s Project Swadheen explore electrical wiring and engineering. See a video about the project at Lend-a-Hand-India’s website.

“The best way to learn is to do…” – Paul Richard Halmos

A fifteen-year old student at Vigyan Ashram built The Mechbull, a mini-tractor that is smaller and more affordable than conventional tractors. Kasim Inamdar designed and built a low-cost and earthquake-proof dome house. Kisan Pande received his diploma in Basic Rural Technologies course and plans to start a ground water testing lab in his village to help the farming community. These innovators are all students of Lend-A-Hand India, a nonprofit that blends traditional academic work and hands-on project in government-aided schools.

By working with the state government, the organization emphasizes relevant skills students need in rural India and partners with state aided high schools to incorporate multi-skill job and life skills training as part of the secondary school curriculum. Trade practitioners, like plumbers, carpenters and electricians, are recruited and trained to be instructors. Students take classes once a week for three years through grades eight to ten. In addition to the hands-on training, students also learn practical business knowledge like accounting, finance, marketing and customer service.

As the runner-up for the Asia region in R4D’s ISESE Competition, Lend-A-Hand India’s model struck the jury as particularly responsive to the real needs of the population it serves. The potential for scale-up is also significant, and it has buy-in from both local institutions and the community. There are currently over 10,000 young boys and girls who participate in Lend-A-Hand India’s programs.

To learn more about the organization and their work, please visit

Stay tuned for the rest of our series and check in next week to learn about the runner-up education model for Tanzania.

(Image Credit: Lend-a-Hand-India)

Monica Wong is a summer intern at Results for Development Institute. When she’s not engulfed in her MBA studies at Georgetown University, she enjoys listening to live music on lazy Sundays while doing crossword puzzles.