How does rural youth feel about rising inflation and employment in the nation?
“Apart from communal issues such as Hindu-Musalmaan, Mandir-Masjid, nobody seems to be focusing on anything else. The top leadership doesn’t respond to issues of unemployment only’, says Uday Bhaskar, a youth of Mahoba district in Uttar Pradesh. Despite the Yogi-led BJP government in the most populous state of India, both the employment and inflation situation is worsening. According to official data, rural unemployment in the state has increased from 0.9% in 2011-12 to 5.4% in 2017-18.
This growing unemployment is directly related to education status i.e. the more educated the youth, the higher their chances of not getting a job. Naresh, another youth from Mahoba says, “The Modi government promised they would create upto 1 crore jobs, but up till now nobody has got a job. We are roaming around unemployed. Prices are just rising and rising.”
Another key issue plaguing the state is inflation, especially the rising prices of basic commodities such as vegetables. This is having a significant impact on the daily lives of the Mahoba locals.“We are consuming less onions now because prices have risen so much. Instead of 2 kilos, I buy just 1. This has definitely affected the cooking from before,” says Aasha De as she purchases vegetables for the next meal. India’s retail price inflation rate rose to 4.62% year-on-year in October 2019, the highest in over a year that the nation has seen. Bhupendra Singh expressed his dissatisfaction with the current situation, “The government should take decisions in favour of the people. Basic amenities should become cheaper so that the public isn’t distressed. When eating and drinking is only expensive, then what is the point of the government? Inflation has become such an issue that when we buy vegetables, we spend a minimum of 100 rupees. If a daily wage worker has to spend Rs 100 to feed his family, then we have a problem.”
Even shopkeepers and merchants are suffering losses as nobody has a disposable income to purchase anything. “It’s becoming difficult to sell vegetables. Nobody is buying anything because they have become so expensive. On top of that, the monsoon means we don’t make too much business either,” says Aaklesh, a vegetable vendor. It is the same for shopkeepers and others in the selling business – Dilip Kumar Rajput, who recently opened his shop said, “Because of the kind of unemployment, my family invested in the shop and all I do is sit here all day. If one or two customers come, they can barely buy because nobody has money.”
The combined factors of unemployment and inflation is making it difficult for the locals to lead their lives.”How is this fair if the prices just keep rising and rising? What will the poor do, the rich can at least sleep comfortably in their houses? How will the poor live?” says Bharti as she struggles to make a living.
Written By- Anahita Sahu