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Chandrapur: Youth Promise To Show Their Power After Five-Year Long Wait For Achche Din and Govt Jobs

Since Modi government came to power, the number of employment opportunities provided has drastically reduced. This government is not for the youth, a student claims.

“The moment results are out, they (Modi government) will realise what we have done. If a History graduate can become RBI governor in this country, then we can also do many things. We are preparing for MPSC (Maharashtra Public Service Commission) examination,” Srikant Sao, an M.Phil and B.Ed graduate says. Sao, a Chandrapur resident, completed M.Phil in Economics in 2012 and B.Ed in 2013. He was filled with hope in 2014 and voted for Narendra Modi. “We are not interested in (Modi) government now. Modi sahab is a feku. Today, if he comes and says something, I’ll ask him to write it in a stamp paper. Now, 11th April is in our hands, we will show them what we can do,” Sao adds.

Like Sao, thousands of other students spend their time in the libraries in Chandrapur preparing for examinations like for jobs in the police department, banks and schools, among others. There are around 15 colleges in the city, including four engineering institutes. The students who pass out of these colleges have to migrate to bigger cities like Nagpur and Pune for low-paying private jobs. Otherwise, they are left with the option of joining private coaching institutes or self-studies for government jobs.

Modi government
Govt library where job seekers come to study and prepare for exams

“I will vote for the Congress party this time. Previously, advertisements for government job vacancies used to come out more regularly. Since Modi government came to power, the number of employment opportunities provided has drastically reduced. This government is not for the youth,” Raman Kharole, a mechanical engineer, says. Further, the students point out that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) manifesto has proved that they will completely ignore the student community even if they come to power again. “They have spoken about reducing fees. The budget for education has been reduced. I think the country is facing all these issues because we have an uneducated man as the prime minister,” says Gaurav Handekar, an MBA graduate. Handekar worked with Mahindra Finance in Nagpur for two years from 2014-2015. However, he left that job and started preparing for government jobs as the company was paying him a paltry sum of Rs 9,500 per month.

The situation for the female students coming from the rural areas of the Chandrapur constituency is even worse. They dream of becoming financially independent while their parents want to get them married. “My sister was forced to get married after she completed her 12th standard. I want to become a PSI (Police Sub-inspector). I am the first girl of my family who rebelled and came out of the house to educate herself. I don’t have much time, my parents are pressuring me for marriage,” Sonu Omprakash Jadhav says, adding, “My parents are not educated. They fail to understand why I’m not getting a job despite being educated. Modi government had promised jobs, but the numbers have reduced in the last few years. The next government should ensure that the educated are given more job opportunities.” Jadhav hails from the backward Jiwati tehsil. It is a common practice among the Jadhavs in the area to get their daughters married as soon as they turn 18.

modi government
Students seeking jobs Priya Bonde (R) and Shweta Nikhade

Priya Borde, currently pursuing B Com, often walks to her college in Chandrapur city from Nandgao village because the bus facility is not regular. “Sometimes I walk and sometimes I take lifts from people. As girls, we feel ashamed to ask for lifts, we have no other option, we have to do it for our education,” Borde says. She is also worried that the vacancies for government jobs are not coming out. “In Chandrapur, city beautification work was done. I know it is important. But, I wish the government works towards giving us jobs too,” Borde adds.

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It is noteworthy that Narendra Modi had promised to provide 1 crore jobs before he came to power in 2014. The students in Chandrapur underline that their parents celebrated Modi’s win thinking their life will change and their wards will get government jobs. After five years, the anger against Modi is visible among the youth of Chandrapur. Around 1,35,000 youths have enrolled with the employment exchange cell of the state government in the district. Sitting BJP MP Hansraj Ahir was a minister in the current Modi government. They lament that Ahir didn’t make any effort to change their fate. “Not just here, there are no jobs across the country,” says Madhav Ganvir, a retired government official whose two sons are looking for jobs.

Milk, Alcohol & Sour Grapes

Chandrapur was officially declared a dry district in April 2015 after the Shramik Elgar, a tribal rights organisation, protested and pressurised the government to take the step. Congress party’s Lok Sabha candidate Suresh (Balu) Dhanorkar is a liquor seller. The ex-Shiv Sena MLA owns a shop in Yavatmal district. Before the ban was imposed he had shops in Chandrapur as well.

“We will not support the Congress party. It is true that the ban is not implemented properly. However, the BJP is at least assuring us that they will amend laws. The Congress isn’t even making any promise in this respect,” advocate and Shramik Elgar head Paromita Goswami, says. Intriguingly enough, she confirms that she was trying to get the Congress party to nominate her for Lok Sabha polls.

Dhanorkar’s business interests are likely to cost the Congress party the votes of the women constituents. The BJP candidate was a milk seller before joining politics. Chandrapur residents are calling the fight between “milk and liquor”.

Modi government
Jatpura gate. Many vendors illegally sell liquor here

Besides jobs, liquor is undoubtedly the biggest issue on the mind of the voters in Chandrapur. Restauranter Rajeev Chavan underlines that liquor is rampantly sold in the city. What has however changed is the fact that businesses running on a valid licence have suffered and people working in liquor shops and bars have lost their jobs. Asha Chavan, his wife nods in agreement. “Before they used to buy for Rs 30. Now, they buy the same stuff for Rs 80. You can even find females selling liquor here. So, many trains come to the city and liquor is smuggled,” she laments.

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