Turning containers into modern classrooms
Turning huge, drab containers into colourful, air-conditioned classrooms, running on solar power is really thinking out of the box.
Safeducate, a subsidiary of the ₹1,200-crore logistics firm, Safexpress, has done just that and converted 40-foot containers, which were headed for the scrapyard, into classrooms for a logistics training school.
“It was my father-in-law’s (Safexpress promoter Pawan Jain) idea,” Divya Jain, CEO, Safeducate, toldBusinessLine, adding that the the aim is to bridge supply-chain gaps in the logistics sector by training youth as drivers, warehouse personnel and delivery boys.
Refurbished by in-house designers with an investment of ₹8-10 lakh each, some of these units also have bunk beds and toilets.
The first such classroom unit consisting of four container boxes will be open in Ambala in July. It will have three classrooms, one computer lab, one library, office space, simulation and bathroom space and will initially enrol 189 students.
Jain, a former investment banker, said the container classrooms need no basic infrastructure, such as land, as these will be installed near Safexpress warehouses for six months and then moved to other locations.
With a 100-strong faculty and classrooms comprising 80 containers, Safeducate aims to train 10,000 youth over the next two years in 20 locations such as Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Dhule, Sawai Madhopur and Jamshedpur.
“Earlier, we were training on a captive basis for Safexpress only,” she said, adding that students will also be absorbed in logistics and e-commerce companies such as Transport Corporation of India, Gati, DHL, Flipkart, Jabong and Snapdeal. While some faculty members will move with the units, some others will be sourced from local warehouses.
Terming it as a ‘social enterprise’, Jain said the course fee will be in the range of ₹10,000-35,000 for a three-month period, adding that students from backward communities will be subsidised by the government.
The company is working jointly with the Rural Development and Home Ministries and the National Skills Development Corporation, which is debt-funding it.
The initiative is being part-funded by the Skill Development Ministry under the aegis of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.