Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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Young men are posing as eunuchs to earn living; unemployment biggest challenge to Indian youth

Hijra, Sunny, Economy, Eunuch, Unemployment, GDP, India's GDP, Youth in India, Job Loss, Indian Economy, Depression, Lockdown

A young man from Borivali slum found begging on the signals poising as Eunuch. Sunny 23, married and having two months old daughter, lost his job during the lockdown and failed to find new work. His mother is working as a servant and father as daily wage labour. Sunny’s young daughter and wife were not in good health and meeting the ends became difficult for the family. Sunny told his wife that he got a job in some production house as a side actor but his father was shocked to see him posing as eunuch on signals.

Like every day, father left home in search of some work but that day he had to return without any opportunity. While returning back, he saw his son wearing his wife’s saree, red lipstick, bangles, jhumkas, and clapping loudly on signals. A shocked father approached the Afternoon Voice newspaper on Thursday for some work and narrated the whole incidence. The jobless Sunny found no alternative so he chose to beg to wear a saree.

When Afternoon Voice approached Sunny, he said, “One day I just stood on the road and started begging, people were taunting me to go and work? They were very rude and disgusted to see the young man begging. My mind was numb because my daughter needed medication, milk, and other things on a daily basis.” How long can you seek a loan? In my locality, all my friends are hand to mouth.”

When asked why posed as Eunuch? He said, “To remain in anonymity and avoid insults I chose to wear a saree, people thought I am eunuch and they used to give me money in return of blessings”. My needs were meted, but now doing the same won’t be possible for me”. Now my wife taunts me “Hijra banke bhik manganese achcha hai mehnat karta”. (Instead of begging as eunuch you would have searched for some job) but how will I explain to anyone that there are no jobs and I am not the only one who is doing this”. There are many youths, wearing sarees and begging. They are called Bahurupiya but not Hijra. Once or twice I was trashed by Hijra for encroaching in their work zone. I kept on changing areas and impinging”.

Rising levels of unemployment have been brought into sharp focus by a sharp contraction of 23.9% in India’s GDP in the first quarter. The lockdowns are likely to result in the Indian economy contracting by over 10% in the full financial year, and this is expected to result in more and more people losing jobs, apart from fewer new entrants finding work. In other words, the number of unemployed is likely to grow not just because more and more people entering the labour force fail to find jobs, but also because several already employed are likely to lose their jobs. India’s unemployment rate fell to 11 percent in June 2020 from a record high of 23.5 percent in the previous two months, as many businesses resumed operations following weeks of closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The jobless rate in urban areas dropped to 12.0 percent from 25.8 percent, while that in rural areas was down to 10.5 percent from 22.5 percent. In India, the unemployment rate is estimated by directly interviewing a large sample of randomly selected households. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Consumer Pyramids panel of households includes over 174,405 households including over 522,000 members who are over 15 years old.

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