Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004
Industry & Economy
Variety - People
NGO motivates youth to explore job opportunities in villages
Ch. R.S. Sarma
Mr Bhagavathula Venkata Parameswara Rao
Visakhapatnam , Jan. 12
BHAGAVATHULA Charitable Trust (BCT), a prominent NGO working in the villages of Visakhapatnam district for rural development for the past 27 years, has launched a drive to educate the rural youth on the need to corner the leaders of all political parties for generating employment.
Mr Bhagavathula Venkata Parameswara Rao, the founder of the trust and a nuclear scientist who gave up a lucrative job in the US in the late sixties to take up rural development work in his native village Dimili near Elamanchili in Visakhapatnam district, said in an interview here on Monday that "the right parameter for measuring India's economic growth is employment generation alone and all the current euphoria over the country moving into the fast lane is of no consequence, if the rural youth are not gainfully employed.''
He said the BCT had launched a youth fortnight from Monday, Swami Vivekananda's birthday, and "we are motivating the youth in a 100 villages or so to explore the employment opportunities in the villages and to motivate them to pin down the political parties on the issue.''
"BCT is planning to set up academies for livelihood in four districts of the State to create employment opportunities for youth,'' he said and added that concept was still in the embryonic stage.
Each academy might cost Rs 50 crore or so and the BCT was planning to mobilise resources from the Government agencies as well as the foreign agencies, he added.
Referring to the promise of the BJP to create one-crore jobs per annum, he said employment, preferably self-employment, should be generated in villages.
"The farm labour in the country does not have work for nearly 200 days a year and therefore it is meaningless to talk of one crore jobs. The potential of the labour should be fully used. In the first plan, 4 per cent of the Budget was allocated for cottage industries and now it has gone down below 1 per cent. Such is the importance given to rural employment,'' he lamented.
He asserted that BCT was completely apolitical and would urge the youth to vote for any party which would give them jobs.
Mr Parameswara Rao was chosen `Man of the year' by The Week magazine in 1988 and his work in Visakhapatnam district gained nationwide recognition.
The trust is engaged in wasteland development, running educational institutions, promoting self-help groups in the villages and introducing the scientific farm practices through a Krishi Vijnan Kendra run by it.
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