A 24-year-old from Haryana has become the face of the young men in the country who have become unemployed due to lockdown and are desperately looking for a job -- any job -- to sustain themselves. A tweet from Vikash, appealing for employment, gained huge traction on the social media platform this week and has got him some offers.
The young man from Bhiwani district, who has a Post-Graduate degree in sociology and is currently pursuing a Masters' course in literature, had attached a photograph of himself hauling sacks at a godown.
The photo was accompanied by an anguished message.
"Please help me to get any work. It's so hard to survive due to lockdown. Since lockdown, I have not been able to even get any labour work in the unorganised sector. Merely sustenance seems too hard in this time. I'm ready to work as daily wage labour also," it read.
Please help me to get any work. It's so hard to survive due to lockdown. Since lockdown, I have not been able to even get any labour work in the unorganised sector. Merely sustenance seems too hard in this time. I'm ready to work as daily wage labour also. Please amplify ???? pic.twitter.com/ptk280LS5D— Vikash (@VikashSanchi) May 30, 2021
"That photo was from last year when I had a job. This year I couldn't even get labour work," Vikash told NDTV.
"I was quite tired of sending so many mails to NGOs and other organisations for work. There was not much work during the pandemic and everybody was asking about my experience without giving any opportunity to me. How could I have experience? Even in the unorganised sector there was no opportunity for me," he said.
"I did not want a specific job. I just wanted to support myself financially," he added. In response to one query on Twitter, he wrote that he was ready to work even as a driver.
What happened after that was unexpected. His tweet was widely circulated and many on the social media platform reached out to him with offers of help. Multiple messages came in seeking his resume. Others directly offered jobs.
Calling it a "heart-warming experience", Vikash said, "I did not expect that people would reach out to me this way... I was very pessimistic".
He tweeted his gratitude to the people.
Dear lovely people thank you for your compassionate responses regarding employment. People have reached out to me. All your efforts are highly appreciated. I am getting so many offers now. it means a lot,— Vikash (@VikashSanchi) June 1, 2021
Once again thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. ????????
Data from CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) shows unemployment rate in May shot up to 11.9% compared to 7.97% in April, highest in one year.
The countrywide lockdown last year - one of the most rigorous in the world - had led to job losses for hundreds of thousands across the country and a huge dent in the economy. Singed by the furore that followed, the government did not repeat the move this year, leaving it instead to states to take the necessary measures.
But the restrictions put in place by states, have been harsh too.
On Tuesday, the country's Chief Economic Advisor K Subramanian told NDTV, "The restrictions (on movement of people) do have their impact".
"The world over, there has been an impact on employment generation and India is not an exception. Therefore, the government has taken steps, especially on capital spending on construction and that is why it increased by 15 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020-21. It is an important sector which creates jobs for urban poor," he added.