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Posted at: Jul 11, 2019, 6:52 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2019, 6:37 PM (IST)

No jobs, well-placed families make most of Dalit quota

Parvesh Sharma
Tribune News Service
Sangrur, July 10

Kuldeep Singh, Gursev Singh and Sandeep Singh, all graduates, and Jashandeep Singh, an MBA, work in the fields of Badhahpur village. Their academic qualifications have failed to get them a job, not even a temporary one. All belong to Scheduled Caste (SC)   families of Sangrur. 

Jobs are scarce and the competition intense. Jashandeep graduated from Bhai Gurdas Institute of Management and Technology, Sangrur. He managed a low-wage job with a private firm. Unable to meet his expenses, he quit. “In the fields, I am paid Rs 300 per day, more than what I was paid by my earlier employer. I wonder whether pursuing studies was a mistake,”  he observes. 

Kuldeep  Singh graduated from Govind National College,  Narangwal, Ludhiana. A promising athlete, he won several medals at both university and state levels. 

“The common perception is that all SCs benefit from the reservation policy. But neither me nor my friends have got any benefit, despite meeting the requisite criteria. We  do not seek big positions, only low-rank jobs. Employment schemes are a farce”, he says, sounding bitter.

His friends Gursev Singh, a graduate from a college in Dhuri, and Sandeep Singh, who passed out from a college in Malerkotla, are jobless too. They say nobody from their families has got a government job or decent employment in the private sector. “Transplantation over, we will start working with a mason,” says Kuldeep. 

Mukesh Malaud, district president, Zameen Prapati Sangharsh  Committee (ZPSC), blames corruption in recruitment process for the plight of SC youth. “Those belonging to well-placed SC   families are invariably picked for jobs. They know when and where to apply for the same. Others do not even have access to information regarding recruitment,” says Prof  Ronki Ram, a Dalit writer and  Dean, Faculty of Arts, Panjab University, Chandigarh.  

Poonam Kangra, Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission, says there is a need to put a mechanism in place to ensure that the benefits of reservation reach every SC family at least once. “Educated and unemployed  youth should stay in touch with our office. Private companies frequently contact us for recruitment,” says Sangrur District Employment Officer Harpreet Manshahia.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot could not be contacted. His PA said he was at a meeting.

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