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25 Lakh Unemployed Graduates Are Asking The Telangana Govt: Where Are Our Jobs?

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Orkut was our past, Facebook is our present and unemployment is our future! This is the plight of unemployed youth in India. The problem of unemployment among educated youth is a grave condition which is mounting at an alarming rate. The severity of unemployment also has a widespread impact on the social and economic status of the country.

As far as Telangana is concerned, the situation is much dire than many other states. The acute condition of unemployment has caused social distress among youth in Telangana. According to ‘Unemployment in India – A statistical profile’ prepared by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Telangana had the third highest rate of unemployment among graduates in India. Given the prevailing problem, on December 4, Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) organized a public meeting ‘Koluvulakai Kotlata’ (struggle for jobs) on the failure of government’s commitment to provide jobs to unemployed youth. The meeting has demanded that the state government fulfil its promises.

Employment was a driving force that gathered widespread support from students while demanding statehood for Telangana. The accomplishment of statehood was intended to not just achieve a physical Telangana. Rather, it was about uplifting the weaker sections of society and generating more opportunities for the youth. In this way, it needs to reflect the aspirations of the youth in the state. But it seems the government failed in boosting the morale of unemployed youth.

Over the span of four years, hardly 25,000 vacancies which have been filled. Among these, the majority of the posts belong to police recruitment at 10,499, Telangana state public service commission has 5,932 seats, power corporation has 2,681 seats, Singareni collieries have 6,453 seats and some other jobs are yet to get final clearances by the high court. As per the official statement of the Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) in the state assembly, 1.12 lakh vacancies in the government sector are expected to be filled by 2018. However, the opposition claims more than 2 lakh jobs vacancies are yet to be filled. Thus, the inability of the government falls short of the youth’s expectations to address the severity of unemployment in the state.

The government is paying more attention to regularizing contractual and outsourced jobs since they were included in the TRS party election manifesto. The KCR-led government consolidated the existing permanent and contract-based employees. The youth staunchly opposed the regularization move by organizing dharnas, strikes, and protests. For instance, on the occasion of Osmania University’s centenary celebrations, which the then President of India Mr Pranab Mukharjee attended, KCR had to call off his speech because of youth protests at the venue. Eventually, the severity of unemployment has become like a bone of contention between the youth and government of Telangana.

At present, the government is prioritising things like international summits and meetings/conferences to divert the public attention from essential issues like joblessness, farmer suicides, and inclusive development. Post-bifurcation, the unemployed youth have high desires and want work opportunities that suit their skill set. So far, the state government has failed to come up with a legitimate vision to solve this issue. There is distress among the youth due to lack of employment opportunities, and on the other hand, the government is pushing for options in the private sector without providing alternative sources of employment.

In recent times, the government eagerly announced that Telangana got the first rank in ‘ease of doing businesses’ in the country and commended its accomplishment with a lot of publicity. Despite the first rank, the private sector has also fallen short in creating additional employment opportunities, which has further disappointed the youth. It is vital to know the purpose of such results. There is a general perception that the government is dilly-dallying the recruitment process to get political expediency at the time of general elections in 2019. If it is so, the government is just disregarding the unemployed youth, who are just one step short of losing faith in their administration. After all, it is the responsibility of the state to ensure job prospects and take measures to create opportunities for self-employment. Otherwise, the vast mass of unemployed youth will probably cause social unrest in the state.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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