Published: 26th July 2019
Why MBA graduates, engineers sell floormats and socks on Tiruchy roads to make ends meet
After having gotten mainstream degrees, these graduates have turned to the streets. They have said that given the job crisis in the country, more graduates may join them in future
Forget selling pakoras, if this isn't a sign that unemployment in India is an acute problem, we don't quite know what is. Sometimes, while walking on the NSB Road in the city, you may get irritated when youngsters try to get you to buy things from them. You would be surprised to know that several of them are MBA holders, engineers, BCA holders, and postgraduate degree holders who have have to sell socks, kerchiefs and shirts to make a living.
NSB Road has about 700 street vendors, Various authorities have been keeping an eye on this location to check the number of these vendors. "Out of the 700 vendors on NSB Road, about 10 people are MBA holders, 25 people are engineering graduates and more than 40 have postgraduate and bachelor degree holders," said Ashraf Ali, general secretary of Tiruchy Street vendors Association.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), India will again see its unemployment rate at 3.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019, the same which was seen in 2017 and 2016. According to the latest data, there will be 18.9 million jobless people in India this year a little more than 18.6 million for 2018.
These vendors have said that given the job crisis in the country, more graduates may join them in future. However, space constraints on NSB road is a cause for worry. Senior street vendors give their wares to these youngsters to sell on this road, for which they would get commission at the end of the day.
"Many of these youngsters share the same plight like us. So, we would give them some items like socks, shirts or floor mats, to sell. This arrangement benefits us too. They would roam the streets to sell these items, while we do business on the roadside stalls. At the end of the day, it is all about earning a livelihood," said Karthikeyan, a vendor on NSB Road.
An engineer also shared an embarrassing incident that changed his mind to take up vending business. "After completing mechanical engineering in 2015, I attended several interviews in Chennai and other places. Most of them asked for job experience. However, once I went with my resume to a company in Chennai, they didn't permit me inside and told me to handover my resume to the watchman. After that incident, I stopped attending further interviews and started my life as a street vendor. Though I have my regrets, I am able to make ends meet with this job," said Ansar Basha, a 25-year-old engineer.
"I finished my MCom. Though I tried to get a job in several firms, none of them offered a decent salary. I also tried several government firms. However, nothing worked. Therefore, I also stopped running from pillar to post. I am not ashamed of my current job. After all, it is giving me the money to support my family. However, I often motivate youngsters coming and keep trying to get a better job," said Subbu Ganesh, who is in his 30s.