'Nitesh's job fair was not one for the learned'

Say many grads and others who attended the Industries Minister's son's fair, but then it was largely aimed at semi-skilled and lesser educated masses, MiD DAY finds out

Last Friday, Industries Minister Narayan Rane's son, Nitesh, said that his goal was to provide better jobs to sons of the soil while other parties get them vada pav stalls.

The posts doled out at the job fair his socio-political outfit, Swabhiman Sanghatna, held yesterday, then, were different in the sense that they had to do with delivering pizzas and servings up burgers, not vada pavs, certain applicants wryly pointed out.

For a better future: Youngsters submitting their documents at the job
fair organised by Nitesh Rane. PICS/Datta Kumbhar

"Tumhi mala naukricha arz dya, me tumhala naukri dein (Give me a job application and I will give you a job)," Nitesh had proclaimed on various hoardings dotting the city for the past two months. The assuredness of the claim spurred over 50,000 to turn up at Kamgar Maidan in Elphinstone and submit their applications, organisers claimed. They stood for two to three hours in the queue.

But half of them returned without an offer. They mostly belonged to the educated classes, who said the offers made were below their dignity or expectations, as the fair was targeted at the lesser educated and semi-skilled youth.

Arvind Gawade, who has studied at a technical institute, claimed that he couldn't find a job that would match his education. "I have studied at ITI, but most of the jobs here are either for housekeeping or something of the sort," he said.

Given that the highest salary offered at the fair did not exceed Rs 15,000 a month, not many well-educated applicants came out beaming with the glow of a new job.

Prashant Malusare, who already has a job that pays him over Rs 8,000, and an experience of more than four years, claimed that the companies at the fair were paying less than Rs 6,000. "I am already earning more than what am I being offered. I cannot find any clarity in the jobs and the posts being offered," said Malusare.

The happy lot
Needless to say, those who bagged the jobs were not fussed over about their qualification.
As such, about as many came out from the fair happy fulfilled. They found the job fit for their ability, or need. Sagar Kadam, a second-year BA student, said, "It's better to have a job than none."

Said, Sarvesh Thakur, B Com graduate, after standing in queue for hours, "Within a few hours, I got a job at Crystal company, Sion for data entry at a monthly salary of Rs 7,500. I am pretty satisfied with the outcome."
Feroze Sheikh (21) and Vinayak Yadav (24) got jobs as drivers in Toyota showroom. They have passed Std VIII and XII respectively.

Nitesh's attempt has earned him criticism from the Shiv Sena, whose spokesperson, Rahul Narvekar, said, "This fair is a farce. Nitesh himself doesn't know what entrepreneurship is. He won't be able to provide people with jobs that can make them better. Moreover, all this while when his father held so many important posts, why didn't he help the common man get jobs?"

To this, Nitin Varnarya, member of Swabhiman Sanghatna, said, "We have got 100 companies under one roof for people seeking jobs related to housekeeping, courier services, and as sales boys and tele-operators."
- Inputs by Mukul Pawar

Nitesh Rane speaks
"Instead of giving away illegal stalls, we are giving them jobs so they would get a handsome salary to run their family, unlike other parties which only promised them jobs, but never fulfilled it," said the chief of Swabhiman Sanghatna.

"Our aim is to cater to the unemployed of Maharashtra. The fair shows that we do not need to drag youth into politics every time. Creating job opportunities is another way to engage them," he said, adding, "We have been preparing for the job fair for the past three months. In this period, we did a lot of work from writing letters to various companies to fixing up meetings with them and getting their view on the kind of openings they have.

Even if we fail to give a job to everyone, we would try doing it in the future as we would have their resumes with us."

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