A video that went viral since it was uploaded last night by social activist, Vandana Rai from Darjeeling, comments on the situation of youth from Sikkim who had been taken to Bangalore by a training organization called Margseva, based in Gangtok.
Around 18 children who were trained for nursing services were given offer letters after a video and telephonic interview that was conducted this month from the organization, who have apparently partnered with other companies located in Bangalore and Hyderabad, namely Resicare, Manuel and Nurse Seva.
Allegedly, the organization in question is working under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY), which is part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) funded by the Ministry of Rural Development and has the objective of supporting youth from rural areas, by training and placing them in different jobs through the initiative. But, the activist had received quite alarming news from one of the young people concerned, and realized that the quickest way to disseminate information and raise awareness was through social media.
She narrated how she had received a letter from a person who was trained by the organization and elucidated the problems that they were facing at their place of lodging. From not being given proper food, bedding and making them work jobs they hadn’t agreed to, the list of complaints is long, and if it is to be believed, quite serious, as it also has an instance of physical threat by one of their managers.
She requested the Sikkim government and concerned authorities to look into the matter, stating that it is important to look into the safety of children who are there without any responsible adult to look after their wellbeing and security.
“This is not okay. I don’t want anything else but the safety of the children. If no action had been taken with regard to this matter, I was planning to go to Bangalore myself to get them”, says Vandana.
“My question is, if they were satisfied with their jobs and living situation, why would they find the need to return? I demand an immediate solution from concerned authorities.”
Although after the video has surfaced, it caused quite a stir, with both positive and negative reactions to the plea that Vandana has made.
Sikkim Chronicle spoke to a Sushila*, a young woman who has been staying at the hostel in Bangalore and believes that the complaints and information given on the video is highly exaggerated.
“We don’t have problems. It’s just that some of us can’t adjust to the food here. Otherwise, we are quite satisfied and the hostel is great.”
Yet, in the same narrative, she mentions that 5 girls have already asked to leave – two have decided to try their luck at other jobs in the city, having found accommodation with relatives and the other three are returning to Sikkim.
However, Nimesh*, one of the boys living at the hostel provided for them tells a different story.
“16 boys have to share one room; the company promised us placements in good companies as soon as possible, but the quality of living is very bad. I was given a mattress as thin as a doormat to sleep on after working as a nursing assistant, which is a 24-hour job”.
He adds, “We have been told that we would get our stipends only after the 31st and it’s something that we didn’t know before. We weren’t told any of these financial policies before arriving Bangalore.”
He informs that the company has instructed the ones who have asked to leave and return to their respective homes, to wait until their travel tickets are confirmed.
Sikkim Chronicle tried to get in touch with the Manager for further information and clarification on this issue, but found no response from their side.
(*names changed to protect identity)