The October 8, 2005 earthquake in Northern Pakistan not only turned out to be fatal for thousands of people but also left larger numbers battling for survival. It left widespread destruction in its wake, killing at least 73,000 people, severely injuring another 70,000, and making 2.8 million homeless. Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were dealt the most devastating blow and suffered extensive damage to economic assets and infrastructure, with social service delivery, commerce, and communications either debilitated or destroyed. TUSDEC determined that there was almost no institutional support left especially in terms of technical assistance and training after its need assessment survey in the area.
TUSDEC established Skill Development Centers in KP and Azad Jammu Kashmir to help earthquake 2005 affectees regain the lost sources of living which gradually proceeded towards the overall economic recovery in those areas. The prime objective of setting up the SDCs (Skill Development Centres) was to provide victims the basic knowledge for rehabilitation and reconstruction right at their doorstep, assist the cottage industry and provide, revive and enhance their skills and expertise in the fields of construction, furniture manufacturing, tourism and hospitality while involving them to participate in rehabilitation work and compete in the international market on long term basis.
Four centers in Batagram and Khaki have received a tremendous response from the local community. The SDCs are offering free-of-cost courses in 14 different disciplines. These SDCs have trained more than 4000 students in the aforementioned fields. After successful operations, these centres have been handed over to the KP government. Most SDC graduates have found employment in the fields of hotel management, tourism and other service sectors, many have started their own small businesses offering services such as electric fixing, masonry and so forth. Hence these SDC’s have contributed towards the long term sustenance prospects of the earthquake 2005 martyrs.