By Dillip Kumar Pradhan
Cuttack: Lack of proper counseling and guidance system in rural Odisha has failed to stop some village youths of Cuttack district achieving their desired career goal. Despite all odds, the educated rural youths from four different Grampanchayats under Baranga and Kantapara block in the district have successfully launched a self-guided community initiative, which helped more than fifty rural youths getting jobs in Armed Forces, Police & other government and non-governmental organizations since 2005.
A village chowk (square) near Andhoti under Harianta GP, which had once gained notoriety for liquor activities, gradually turned into a career shaping square, when youths from nearby villages started gathering every morning for physical exercises. Over the years, the youth’s meeting point referred as Local Youth Career Square (Lyc-Square). “Since our activities at that point have engaged the rural youths in a positive path and saved many of our lives from unemployment and liquor menace, we consider Lyc-Square as a life square”, said convener of the group Chakradhar Behera, who has recently cracked the Odisha Education Service(OES).
“Our endeavor is directed towards career and personality development of rural youths aspiring employment opportunities”, he added. So far, more than 35 youths have already cracked many government services and subsequently become the guide for remaining members, Behera pointed out.
The self-started community initiative has got support from those rural youths, who have already engaged in various jobs. “We believe that it’s our moral responsibility to guide our juniors in villages, where library and study centers are rarely available. So, we conduct regular mock tests and physical sessions for job aspirants on every Sunday” said Lyc-Square President Alok Kumar Jena.
Lyc-Square in association with various organizations has spearheaded an anti-liquor campaign and earned positive responses from the villagers particularly the youth mass. Members of the group are from six different Grampanchayats – Harianta, Sainso, Nahalpur, Khalarda, Nagari and Usuma under Baranga and Kantapada block of Cuttack district.
Lyc-Square is neither an NGO nor a private coaching Center, it is a unique community endeavor to guide the rural youths in a positive path, that leads them to employment opportunities and better lives.