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Students protest ‘bias’ in job ad

Sambalpur, May 4: Several organisations under the aegis of Yuva Chhatra Adhikar Sangharsha Samiti today staged a demonstration in front of the office of the revenue divisional commissioner here demanding action against the Vedanta Group of Industries for its purported advertisements inviting job applications barring Odia candidates.

Various job-related websites had sought applications for the Vedanta group’s power plant in Jharsuguda. The advertisements, which had already been disowned by the industry major, had stated that Odia people would not be eligible for the jobs.

The Yuva Chhatra Adhikar Sangharsha Samiti has also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister and the governor, through the district administration, demanding action against the company for its “partisan attitude” towards the state and its people.

Representatives from several students’ unions, trade unions and political parties participated in the demonstration here today.

“Industrial groups had long been neglecting the Odia people. Now, they have started publicly ignoring the Odia people. The advertisement for the recruitment of engineers in the Jharsuguda power plant of Vedanta is an example of their attitude towards the Odias,” said Sanjit Mohanty, convener of Yuva Chhatra Adhikar Sangharsha Samiti.

“On December 19, 2011, all colleges of Sambalpur district had boycotted their classes demanding employment in local industries. We had also demanded that the recruitment policy of the government should be strictly followed by all industrial groups,” said Mohanty.

“We want the government to take appropriate measures so that the private industries also adhere to the government-stipulated norms on recruitment. If the government fails to initiate action, we will be forced to agitate,” he said.

“Not a single industry in the state is sticking to the government policy on recruitment. Industries are mushrooming in western Odisha. But, the youth and the students of this locality are being denied job opportunities,” said Punya Murty Khristodas, president of Sambalpur University Students’ Union, who was present at the demonstration.

Khristodas said: “We have a department of environmental science in our university. But, the students of this department are not getting any job in the local industries. The industries prefer to recruit people in the same fields from other state.”

“Several local organisations and associations have been raising their voices against the discrimination of private industrial groups. But, the government has been indifferent towards our demands. The job advertisement by Vedanta barring Odia people is not an exception. All the industries here are debarring the Odia people from getting job,” he said.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the Paschim Odisha Krishak Sangathan, the Adivasi Dalit Sena and the Western Odisha Health Workers’ Association extended support to the agitation organised by the Yuva Chhatra Adhikar Sangharsha Samiti.