Rashmi Rekha Das

Lower PMG Square literally turned into a ‘haat’ on Saturday with unemployed youths selling vegetables, food dishes and betel leaf as part of their protest against the state government’s failure to give jobs to them.  

Hundreds of unemployed youths staged a unique demonstration at Lower PMG Square protesting the state government's apathy in giving them employment.

Despite the completion of education, they are being deprived of jobs, alleged the protestors who were seen selling betel, dahi bara , dry fish and other items.

Besides, many shouted anti-government by applying different colours on their bodies. 

Aspiring special teachers also joined the agitators in support of their demands. They resented the state government’s failure to fill up the vacancy of special teachers in schools for children of special needs. 

A protestor said, “Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Though a year has elapsed to the Supreme Court’s order regarding the employment of special teachers, the state government is yet to execute it. We have staged demonstrations many times, but of no results. Whenever we asked the reason behind delay, it always assured us saying discussions are on. It will soon take a final decision in this regard.” 

Notably, the Supreme Court had in October 2021 directed all the state governments to fill up the vacancy of special teachers in schools for children with special needs within six months. However, the Odisha government is allegedly yet to make such appointments to help divyang students.  

Another protestor said, “The government has failed to appoint special teachers in divyang schools even after 12 months of Supreme Court’s order. We would like to urge the government to give employment to special teachers at the earliest. At a time when we should look after ailing old parents, they are looking after us. We have become burden for them due to unemployment. We are educated but unemployed. That’s why we have opened a ‘haat’ to sell puffed rice, betel leaf and dry fish among others.”