Migration from one region to another in search of better employment opportunities has become such a general phenomenon that citizens of states like Uttar Pradesh, where the unemployment rate is “very serious and alarming” and ‘higher than the national average’ as per the Labour Ministry, has become accustomed to migrating to different states across India and forgot to remind their state government about its accountability towards its voters.
Every year UPites in large numbers shift to Mumbai and its suburbs in search of better earning opportunities. They earn their bread by either selling vegetables, driving auto rickshaws, cigarette and paan shops or being appointed as the security guards in private official and residential societies. A large part of the population is the males who leave their family behind for sustenance. They compromise their comfort and belonging and contribute to the growth and development of other states. But, do their dreams to support their family and children, living far away in UP, get fulfilled? Are their children getting the required education or government support for a better future? You can find your answers through the voices of these migrated UPites in Mumbai.
Harinder Kushwaha, a vegetable vendor from Kushinagar, UP expressed, “Our state lacks enough employment opportunities and there’s no sign of ‘zero corruption’ as promised. Improvement in infrastructure and employment rate is the must as we will be happy to work in our own state and get relieved from the comments on us being migrants.”
Lalapratap Yadav, a paan shop owner from Pratapgarh stated, “Both the rural and urban areas in Uttar Pradesh suffer from poor employment rate. We are left with no option than relocating to other states. Healthcare facilities are substandard far and wide except in some major cities.”
The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has failed to carry through its promises to the jobless youth, farmers or those on healthcare and law and order — it seems the government is only committed to Hindutva. Political experts believe the division of the society is executed perfectly by the political power holders and it is impossible to reverse. After completing six months, state’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna listed 729 murders, 803 rapes, 60 robberies, 799 incidents of looting, and 2,682 abduction incidents in UP after BJP took the charge.
Mohammad Iyhan, a fast food vendor from Bijnor stated, “Nothing has changed after the Yogi government came to power. Corruption is increasing, Hindu-Muslim polarisation is prevalent everywhere. Employment is decreasing, goondaism exists excessively and religious radicalism is a growing concern. Small businesses are suffering in the state and it also lacks proper water and electric supply. Poor road condition has seen no improvement so far. UP government has failed to monitor proper law and order as we find it highly risky to roam around post 8 o’clock at night in rural areas.”
Government recruitments are not regular in the state and moreover, previously conducted exams are declared ‘cancelled’. The Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment and Promotion Board exams to balance the backlog in police jobs are one of the many cancelled exams that left the aspirants disappointed early this year. The same gloom is spread over the Teacher Eligibility Test qualified B.Ed candidates and the shiksha mitras in the state. The government has miserably failed to fill the large number of vacancies in the schools (around 2,75,000) due to lack of its pro-activeness and confusion over the minimum eligibility of the teachers and its recruitment manual.
Raju Yadav, an auto-rickshaw driver from Mirzapur expressed, “Erstwhile Akhilesh government fulfilled their promises but we can only hear speeches and jumlas in today’s UP. No new factories have been set up in the state. Promises to increase employment opportunities, women safety, drop in crime rates are in the grave and the government itself is involved in corruption.”
“UP residents are in the mood to change the Yogi government as they have failed to meet 20 per cent of their electoral promises,” he added.
While “severe under-employment” was highlighted as a major concern by the NITI Aayog in its three-year action plan released in August 2017, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi feels ‘selling pakoda’ can be considered as a legitimate employment. Isn’t it ironic?
Sachin Tiwari, a student from Lucknow shared that UP has seen no extensive facelift in the last one year and corruption is spread everywhere. “UP residents are migrating more into different states in search of better employment opportunities. We expect more from the BJP government as the performance of Mayawati and Akhilesh government was very poor,” he added.
On the anniversary of UP government, Yogi Adityanath made fresh promises like providing four lakh new government jobs in the next one year, pink buses for women, measures to improve conditions of potato farmers and ‘burn the Lanka of corruption, misconduct and gunda raj’ — but who will help him count what all resolution he took in his electoral manifesto and how much of it has been implemented so far? Though he always puts his developmental plans in a deadline of one-year, but contradicting his own words, he never fails to maintain that “one year is not enough to bring about change, considering the condition in which the state had been left by the previous SP government”.
Vikas Gupta, a sandwich vendor from Jaunpur, UP said, “Religions polarisation is at its peak in UP and there’s a slow pace of development. Women are still unsafe in rural areas. I feel the Yogi government is better than the erstwhile Akhilesh and Mayawati government.”
While NITI Aayog terms ‘the creation of high-productivity, high-wage jobs’ as the need of the hour, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s both electoral promises and the promises during his tenure for the youth are turning out to be mere jumlas as its own voters are disappointed to the core.
Yogi-led government’s self-boasting over good governance suffered a few setbacks in the by-poll prestige battles held in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, and Kairana and Adityanath himself held five terms in Gorakhpur since 1998.
By Mohit Soman