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How The Pandemic Has Made Students Extremely Anxious About Their Placements

This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic constrained us within our homes, in front of our laptop screens. Almost all the varsities shifted to digital platforms, but the major problem that risen was for the final year students.

According to a recent survey by, 66% of the students did not receive their offer letters and 44% of the students faced deferring joining dates even after getting hired. The report also highlighted the 33% of the students, who did not get a call back from the employer regarding their status of employment.

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With almost living through 15 months of the pandemic, students were hoping for things to get back to normal as the cases were ebbing away earlier in March. But the onset of the second wave of the virus crushed all the hopes of the students. Students will have to set in the new normal of digitization.

Firms have changed their hiring process from full-time to unpaid or stipend-based internships, to cut costs. Companies are even reducing the number of hiring employees and are also offering comparatively lower compensation packages.

Manvender, a student of English journalism is worried about getting a job since companies are facing a financial crunch and he’s a fresher. “We were eagerly waiting for the placement fortnight that was scheduled for June but later it got postponed to July. We’ve been notified that many companies are facing financial crunch & hence they’re not looking for recruitment this year.

Only a few companies have joined so far for placement in our college but only with minimal vacancies. Besides affecting the health sector, Covid has also posed major setbacks for small businesses and it’s going to affect freshers like us, who are seeking jobs. The unemployment rate is sky-high in our country & lately this reality is getting very unsettling & scary for me”, Manvender added.

IIMC, one of the top institutions of India had to postpone its placement fortnight due to the passive response from the giant firms. Students are worried about the drive as the companies are not confirmed yet and the placement cell has bestowed half of the responsibilities on student coordinators.

Komal Adlakha, a student of IIMC commented on the state of placement, “Marginal or no placements have hugely affected students’ headspace. There’s a constant fear of remaining unemployed even after college ends. Sadly, the institutions no longer take the responsibility of getting their students placed and ensuring their economic and financial safety.

Also, there’s a lack of strategy behind planning placement drives. Our college supposedly planned a drive for mid-June which got postponed because apparently the companies they had to reach out to, did not sign up for the drive. When the students raised questions on the placement cell of the college, they rather than holding themselves to be responsible for this, pushed students to reach out to the organizations to sign up for the drive which now, is supposed to begin from mid-July.”

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 Although there are uncertainties, a few top players like Zee, Adfactors, TCS, and TOI continued their recruitment drive.

According to Koushal, a student of IIMC, “Placement has been a disappointment and couldn’t meet his expectation. Most importantly there is still confusion about the companies that all will come for the drive. We were told that we’ll be given a list of companies for the fortnight in June but it hasn’t happened.

Fortnight is postponed for July with an uncertainty of a number of companies. Even though some of the companies have approached but the number of posts is limited to 3 or 4. We were sure that we will be placed but now there is a state of disarray”.

Industry experts from IIM, MU, Jaipuria, and NCU institutions believe that students can turn these challenges into opportunities. The companies are shifting to digital platforms and a tech-savvy graduate will be an asset to the company. Pandemic has accelerated the process of digital India and it has emerged in a big way. It has also imposed an obligation on the students to learn cloud computing, cybersecurity, AI, ML, data analysis, etc.

Priyanka, a final year B.Com student has decided to work in a call centre.

“I would have ideally liked to work in a finance company where I could put my skills to use. But as my father is the sole breadwinner, I will have to take up a call centre job even though it does not interest me. Our seniors told us they were offered 15k rupees per month when they were placed last year. The same company is offering 10k rupees this year”, said Priyanka.

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Amaresh Kadagada, State president of the Students’ Federation of India, Karnataka said that the government should intervene to bridge the gap between the colleges and companies as for the interest of the students. He said, “This is an unprecedented year. The government has to put in extra effort to ensure that unemployment levels among the youth do not increase further”.

“A lot of people lost their jobs during the pandemic. Now, we as freshers will have to compete with people who have few years of experience on their hand. Therefore, after the pandemic, our state will be saturated with the majority of unemployed individuals, with no job opportunities. Our state should definitely look into this matter and try to create job opportunities for the youth so that the number of unemployed population could be declined”, added Manvender on job prospects after COVID-19.

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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, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’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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