Kandhamal MP gets job for 7000 youth

"When I returned elected on Biju Janata Dal ticket in Kandhamal", Dr Achyut Samanta said, "I realised that the first step towards improving their lot would be to get money in their hands. Nature has given Kandhamal everything, but there are no industries or means of earning for the youth."

Elsewhere, in Bhubaneshwar, Dr Achyuta Samanta earned his ranks amongst the most respected and decorated social activists, educationist through his dedicated work for uplifting the lives of more than 50,000 indigenous children who studied or were studying, at no cost to them at all, in his world's largest indigenous residential University, the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS). Knowing that they have got an exemplary candidate, the expectations of the people were high. Some of the most critical issues in Kandhamal constituency, identified in Niti Ayog's most backward and aspirational districts of the country were poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment.

Dr Samanta, amongst several other major reformation initiatives, took upon himself, a target to provide meaningful and rewarding employment to at least 10,000 youth of his constituency every year. At a time when the GDP of the country was in the decline and the unemployment was at a record high in 45 years, it was an uphill task of unimaginable magnitude. He made a start, formed a team of 100 from his own organisation and cost, got them to conduct a detailed survey to obtain the details of every unemployed youth in his area. The task, albeit genuinely tedious one in a spread-out mountainous terrain, was completed within a couple of months. The data gathered had individual details including the qualifications and preferred career option for each youth.

Armed with this, he engaged his team to contact all the quality organisations in his contact and identify their requirements that these youths can meet. Out of the hundreds of organisations contacted, around 80 were found to be a match. However, there was a fly in the ointment. Most of the youth had less than class 10 qualification and therefore some basic skill trainings had to be provided before the youths could be eligible for the opportunities available. Dr Samanta jumped into action and set up two brand new Skill Training Centers out of his own resources. His team went out to the field again. They gathered the youths by every block, counseled them, brought them to the skill centers and got them the basic training needed. Although, the trainings were not exhaustive, no one ever went to the extent Dr Samanta went in the history of the constituency and for the underprivileged people. Two Mega Job Fairs were planned at Phulbani and Boudh.

The District Administrations of both the venues joined forces, bringing the Government machinery to lend a hand. Hereon, it became a joint venture. The huge and enthusiastic efforts of the District Administration team was exemplary. Bringing representatives of 80 organisations and around 10,000 youths to both these places was a logistical challenge. But Dr. Samanta kept nudged the team to go on. Many flights landed in Bhubaneswar, the state capital, bringing in the company representatives, hotel rooms were booked to accommodate them and buses were lined up to take them to Phulnani and Boudh, each hundreds of kilometer away. Buses were also reached to each of the 20 blocks of the constituency to bring the youth to the Job Fair.

Extensive arrangements were made on the ground the day before. Event managers, infrastructure workers, caterers were seen burning the midnight oil and working hard. And then the day arrived, anticipation and anxiety could be seen in the faces of everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. On the 9th of January 2020, on a cold winter morning people started walking to the venue at Phulban in thousands. The response was beyond expectation. Registration counters were crowded; company representatives were busy recruiting as many youths as possible for their organisations. The next day at Boudh, a smaller district, the same exercise was repeated. Then the numbers came in. 7,000 youths were employed in two days only, a record of sorts.

The man of the moment gave a press conference, walked away quietly, perhaps towards his next challenge. But that day, a huge global issue such as unemployment, seemed small. A first time member of parliament went of home satisfied, that he could address one important issue successfully. Dr. Achyut Samanta, the M P from Kandhamal concluded by saying, "Next goal is to ensure a round-the-year facility in Kandhamal, where eligible youth can submit his application which will then be forwarded to the relevant organisation for active consideration."

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