Nagaland Youths disillusioned by Corruption in Government Jobs.
About the Video: For the young and educated of the state of Nagaland having a close relative working in the government or a hefty bribe are the only qualifications that can guarantee a job in the public sector. Nepotism, favouritism and bribery over the years have ensured that secure government jobs are passed around from one generation the other like family businesses. The slow growth in labour market of the region, the lack of private employment opportunities and the increasing number of the educated unemployed rises in the state, have forced the youth to organize and speak out.
The Community Correspondent says: Meribeni, IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent from Wokha in rural Nagaland is among the lucky few who found employment in the private sector but some of her close friends and acquaintances are still struggling for their livelihoods.“The government offices are under-staffed. Positions are clearly available. But the authorities prefer to hoard and sell employment rather than seek out deserving candidates. The lack of employment opportunities is driving young people towards addiction. The sense of anger and disillusion is everywhere. The Kyong Student’s Union who have been bravely trying to shed light on this long continuing misdemeanour have provided a channel for the youth’s voices. They are doing tremendous work by trying the build a non-violent youth movement on the issue. “
The Issue: In 2011, the Employment Registry of Nagaland estimated the number of unemployed youth at around 50,000. The state is plagued by underdevelopment and conflict which have kept private interests away. As more and more youth pass out of the universities they are forced to migrate and seek employment in other states. The local economy and labour market cannot sustain and integrate all the qualified youth as workforce.
In 2008, the Government of India launched the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with a view of creating entrepreneurial opportunities for the unemployed youth. Barely a 1000 have benefitted from the lakhs of rupees claimed to have been invested in the state.
The procedure for securing Government Jobs in India is rife with corruption. Public sector jobs are comfortable, secure, offer tremendous perks and subsidies and come with a good pension, all of which makes it highly sought by the country’s youth. Landing a government job is equated to being settled in life. Obscene amounts of bribe money are exchanged even for low and mid income positions. They are also offered as favours by political parties to their supporters. The procedure is unregulated, unmonitored and the corrupt are rarely held accountable. In a state like Nagaland where the youth desperately seek employment, government jobs are premium and come at a heavy price and a blatant disregard for the law.
Call to Action: The procedures for selecting suitable candidates for government jobs must be transparent and monitored. Action must be taken against authorities caught displaying favouritism and accepting bribes. These have been the calls of the nation’s youth, the teeming masses of the educated unemployed. Failure to act on their fair demands means that some of the brightest minds are laid to waste. The future of Nagaland and the rest of the country are at stake.
About the Community Correspondent: For many years now, Meribeni Kikon from Kohima, Nagaland has been a close witness to civil unrest as rebel factions and the state fought relentlessly against each other. The focus of the media in her area has been almost exclusively on and around this war. But this bloody specter veils some other realities; the state capital lacks basic infrastructure like water pipes and taps, the electric supply and transport services are a joke, violence against women is rampant, human rights are casually violated. These are the stories that Meribeni wants to tell. Watch Meribeni’s videos here