One of the kiosks at Morabadi in Ranchi on Friday. (Hardeep Singh)
The state welfare department seems to be least interested to make its scheme for unemployed youths work.
The department had constructed four kiosks in Morabadi four years ago and allotted to interested unemployed youths to set up shops. Of these, three are shut for almost a year.
But what is even more interesting is that the department has not invited any applications via advertisements from unemployed youths to allot them these shut kiosks.
Under this scheme, the deputy commissioner along with the district welfare officer are responsible to invite applications from unemployed youths to allot these kiosks. The beneficiaries are selected on the following criteria - BPL category, minority background, local citizen and unemployed.
District Welfare Officer Neeraj Kumari said she was aware of the situation. “All these kiosks need to be allotted to unemployed youths. We will start the process along with the committee under the aegis of the deputy commissioner soon,” she said.
Kumari maintained that all these kiosks were vacated by beneficiaries a year ago and now it was occupied illegally by some local people. “In order to check illegal activities, we have locked all the three kiosks,” she added.
Ranchi deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey seconded her.
“We will publish advertisements in local dailies for fresh allotments after discussion with welfare officer soon.
The four beneficiaries who got these kiosks in 2010 had opened a cycle repair shop, a mobile recharge store, a stationary, lamination and photocopy shop and a paint store.
Of these, only 24-year-old Amber Raza keeps his mobile store open.
After running these small-time businesses for about six to 18 months, Md Ashiq, Abdul Khan and the other youth found that they were not earning enough to eke out a living.
Asked the reason for earning no profit, Raza said, “All these kiosks are in isolated area where we have less number of customers. Thus, our earning is not adequate to run a big family. I Have been running this mobile recharge store for the last three years, others have all left.”