Monday, 30th October 2017

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New jobs for tea belt youth

Longstanding demand of the educated youths that Bengal govt should take some initiative to provide them with employment

By Our correspondent in Alipurduar
  • Published 3.01.20, 4:15 AM
  • Updated 3.01.20, 4:15 AM
  • 2 mins read
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7 youths, who hail from different tea estates of Alipurduar district with diploma from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) have been selected for placements in private companies and from Friday, they will be trained in computer hardware and software in Siliguri. (The Telegraph file picture)

The Mamata Banerjee government has taken a new initiative to try and engage unemployed educated youths of tea gardens in private jobs.

Seven youths, who hail from different tea estates of Alipurduar district with diploma from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) have been selected for placements in private companies and from Friday, they will be trained in computer hardware and software in Siliguri.

The exercise, sources said, had started a few months ago. The state communicated with the superintendent of police of Alipurduar and asked him to prepare a list of ITI pass-outs who are unemployed.

Nagendra Tripathi, the superintendent of police, circulated the instruction and based on a survey conducted by the police, a list of 36 such youths, all of whom are from tea gardens, was prepared and sent to the state government.

Later, a viva voce of all the candidates was conducted by an agency engaged by the state.

“Based on the results, seven were finally selected. They will be provided with training in Siliguri for 91 days and then, they will be employed by leading private companies. The state will also bear the cost of accommodation and food of the seven candidates during the training period,” said a source.

In the brew belt of north Bengal, it was a longstanding demand of the educated youths that the state should take some initiative to provide them with employment.

“As many gardens are located in remote areas, the youths who are not interested in working in tea gardens like their fathers, find it tough to scout for jobs,” said a senior leader of a trade union for tea garden workers.

The demand for such employment is higher in closed and sick gardens as workers have to run their families amid irregular pay or no wage.

A section of the youths, despite being educated, move to far-flung states like Kerala, Gujarat and Rajasthan to work as contractual workers at construction sites and factories as they do not find jobs in Bengal.

“It is good that the state has taken such an initiative. If this plan is taken up across the tea belt, it would largely help the tea population,” said Partha Pratim Sarkar, a social worker based in the Dooars.

In the past couple of decades, there wasn’t much employment generation in the tea industry. “It is obvious that the young generation living in tea gardens will see alternative jobs,” he added.