“Give a person a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach a person how to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime”.
While travelling from city to my home by bike, someone waved me to stop. At first I did not pay attention but, after proceeding ahead few meters, I thought of stopping for a while. He ran fast to me and requested for Rs 100 to reach his home in Sangli. I always meet with such people in the city, so I was hesitant to give him money, instead, I asked him how he was planning to go to Sangli? He told me that he would take a train from Pune railway station. I told him that I would drop him at the station.
He sat behind me. I asked his name and for that he said Vishal and stayed with his family a village near Sangli. He had a small bundle of clothes and few instruments with him. While driving him to railway station I asked him that why he came to Pune. He told me that he was a mason and was doing masonry work at his village and was getting Rs 300 to 350 per day. But someone told him to go to Pune so that he would make more than Rs 500 per day. I left home and came to Pune three months ago. He was engaged by an agent in a construction company for three months and he was not paid for three month. He was looking starved. He told me that he just wanted to reach back to his village and to be with his family. He told me that he needed just Rs 100 to reach home somehow. By the time I reached Pune railway station and dropped him at the station and paid Rs 100 and additional Rs 20 for his food.
I met many people like Vishal. They are attracted to the city life and leave their home town and only to find cheated by many and used by agents and contractors. If they have skills and find opportunities in their village and at their localities, they can be self employed or build their own enterprises. This requires support and mentorship. There is a need for creating such eco-systems in India so that youth remain in villages and contribute to job creation at local level. Entrepreneurship Incubation workshops are best way to learn about entrepreneurship.
Mathew Mattam, is a youth activist and working for the livelihood options for the youth in India.