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Low Number Of Bank PO Vacancies Is Worrying During These Uncertain Times

Usually, I watch movies online in the evening. On 2 August suddenly my phone rang at 7 pm. I picked it up. A frightened voice came from the other side like someone had stolen his precious thing and he was not going to live rest of the life without it. I told him to take a deep breath and then say what had happened.

I am a Mathematics teacher and I have taught many students who have cracked the PO (Probationary Officer), Clerk and SSC. I used to be very friendly with my all students because I look the same age. My students share everything with me apart from study-related issues, and this helps them get rid of nervousness; an obstacle for many students.

After a moment the person on the phone told me that this time the IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) would release only roughly 1,167 vacancies for PO post and it was the last chance for him to crack the exam because of the age limit (30 years). Last year the vacancies were 4,400. It is like a disaster for those who are preparing for the bank PO exam because SBI releases almost 2,000 vacancies every year, but this year has not yet released any. There is a clear cut competition going to be held.

As a Bihari, there is always a fear of English in our mind and both the exams test English skills. I paused for a moment and thought about what I said because it is easy to say that only one seat matters because when SBI selects 2,000 students before the IBPS exam and it relieves many students as those with good English skills are already selected. Thus, cracking the IBPS is a little easy. But this year the SBI has not releases any vacancies yet and IBPS has reduced its vacancies substantially.

Finally, I told the person on the phone that this was just an exam, not his life which was full of opportunities ahead. I told him to give this exam with all his might and leave the rest to God. I know this is easy to say, but for him, it is 7 years of his life’s preparation.

This is not just a job; it is the life of many students. Students spend years preparing only to see it slip from their hands.

It is quite easy to ask why he has not been selected in the past 6 years. For 2,000 posts, almost 7 lakh students fight and people think only 2,000 students are brilliant and the rest are dumb. Not at all. They chose the best from the best. Huge vacancies give them a hope to fight, but this time they lost the fight before the exam.

In a 20 minute conversation, I tried my best to soothe his fear, although, I know it will not help. I asked many people after that about why the vacancies were low at a time when the youth need it the most. They told me about political activists, anti-BJP and all that. I just said this is why our students voted for Modi’s Achhe Din. Then I realised what changed after 2014 was that we are putting everything under the political realm and this is going to hurt India more than anything.

This is the right time for students to understand that if you don’t get a job politics is not going to help you to survive. Neither Modi nor any other leader is going to help you. You vote however you want, but at least raise your voice for injustice. It is your fundamental right to ask your leader to give you what they promised.

I requested a lot of people and leaders to raise this issue, but they all pretended like nothing was going to change if the vacancies increase or decrease because politicians win the election over caste and religion. So this will not hurt them.

I want to make sure people understand that this is not just a job; it is the life of many students. You are not rejecting someone because they are not talented; your vacancies are so small that you want the best from the best. What other options are left for the rest who completed their graduation and did not have enough money to start their own business. The person has already spent 7 years on something which is slipping from their hands. It is not just a story; it is the reality of Bihar. A government job is everything for them. People give their all just to get a Government job. Please raise your voice.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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