Union Minister of State for Rural Development Upendra Kushwaha’s remark that the unemployed youths from rural areas earn ‘meagre’ salaries in the cities after being trained left the Government red-faced. He made the remark while he was sharing his experience at an event.
It is not a ‘big deal’ if an unemployed youth from Bihar or Odisha, after being imparted skills, earns Rs 6,000 in Delhi or Noida, the minister said at the national convention on skill development in New Delhi.
"The amount is too meagre to sustain a person in a city like Delhi or Noida. How much he will spend on himself and send to his family back home? I think, he is not employed," Kushwaha, who is an MP from Karakat in Bihar, asked. "No matter how much we patted our own back, this is nothing," he added.
The Ministry of Rural Development was showcasing how private sector companies were imparting skills to unemployed youths from rural and urban areas and providing employment on that basis. Some youths even narrated their stories at the convention of how they were employed after getting being trained in certain companies. A youth from Odisha shared his story of earning Rs 7,500 in Noida .
“We make programmes sitting in Delhi which have no meaning for the rural poor. Thus, there is a need to bridge the gap in planning and implementation of Skill Development programme so that its benefits reach to the rural poor,” Kushwaha further said.
Criticising the implementing agencies, he said, “The agencies who are working in this sector give less priority to the most backward and biggest needy areas. Rather, they prefer the slightly developed areas.”
Kushwaha’s remark drew loud cheer from the audience, but stunned Union Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, senior officials and leaders of industries who were present at the event.
Responding to Kushwaha’s observation Naidu later said, "First we have to create wealth then distribution. Without creating wealth there cannot be any distribution. Kushwaha also advocated for a training programme for youth in Naxal-affected areas as it would help in solving the menace.”
Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) is an ally of NDA at the centre. During the convention, they also announced a Rs 500 Crore "Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana" to uplift the poor by enhancing livelihood opportunities through skill development and also urged the Industry to come forward to impart skills to unemployed youth.