The University’s contracted sanitation workers continued to raise their demands by organising a hunger strike, two days after the May Day protest.

Starting around 9:30 a.m, the safaikaramcharis (sanitation workers) of the University of Delhi (DU) supported by multiple student organisations, sat on a hunger strike to raise demands of securing their livelihoods, among other things. This comes after a protest that was organised on 1st May 2019 on the occasion of International Labour Day.

The safaikaramcharis were supported by various student organisations. Among these were students from Students’ Federation of India, Parivartankami Chhatra Sangathan (Pachhas), Pinjra Tod, Collective etc.The hunger strike was marked by sloganeering, speeches, songs sit-ins, and a display of solidarity, went on near the Faculty of Arts building of the University from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The protesters demanded reinstatement of jobs following change of tender, permanent jobs for permanent work and payment of held up salaries, Provident Fun, Employees’ State Insurance and bonus amounts.

However, unsatisfied with the response of the administration, the protesters had decided to carry out a signature campaign and a hunger strike on the following two days.The following day, the protesters organised a signature campaign. Over 400 students from different courses and colleges joined in to express solidarity with the safaikaramcharis.  

However, even after today’s proceedings, the protesters said there had been no response from the side of the administration. Thus, to carry on the demonstrations, a protest outside the Deputy Proctor’s office and a rally have been scheduled for 4th May and 6th May 2019 respectively.

On talking to DU Beat, Diya Davis, a member of Pinjra Tod and one of the protesters present at the venue today, said, “It is very clear that the University is hand in gloves with NexGen in terminating the workers. This is to simply teach a lesson to all workers that if they demand for fair wages and other constitutionally granted rights, they will be easily replaced. Workers organizing and raising voices against their exploitation threatens the admin and these private contractors.”

Image credits – DU Beat archives

Prateek Pankaj

[email protected]


India’s population has around twenty-eight per cent people that are in the age group of fifteen to twenty-nine, comprising the labour force which has high rates of unemployment.

It should be noted that even though the economy of India is boosting, reports suggest that around thirty percent of India’s youth are unemployed as per the 2017 Economic Survey of India. According to the report even though the economy of India is boosting, the situation of job opportunities and employment is quite grim as the rate of employment has declined.

There are many factors contributing to its cause. One of the main reasons undoubtedly is the alarming increase in the population. The population of our country has exceeded the 1.2 billion mark and it should be one of our main concerns. The continued increase in our population will only worsen the situation for us. While talking about unemployment amongst the youth, it becomes necessary to discuss the issue of caste system present in our society. The stringent hierarchical order present in our society even today makes it difficult for youths of certain castes to practice the profession of their choice. In many places, they are denied jobs on the basis of the family in which they are born into. The practice of such a rigid caste system leaves a lot of the youth unemployed in our country.

Apart from this, it is necessary to talk about the mentality of the youth of the present India. Most of the youth find the prospect of working in small cities and villages not exciting and challenging enough. The glitter of big jobs in big cities enchants them. The competition in these cities is as it is very tough which makes finding jobs quite difficult. The educated youth prefers to struggle in big cities rather than continue with their ancestral work. There is a dire need to change this mentality and to make everyone realise that there is no work that is not dignified enough.

One of the main concerns is also a lack of proper Industrial and Technical Training. There are only a few institutions which offer a proper technical education in the country. Also, the cost of such an education is quite high rendering it impossible for many families to provide for this kind of education. India is a poor country and efforts should be made to make education accessible to people from across all the class.

Thus, it is important to find solutions to these problems. A system of vocational education should be introduced in our education system which would train people in the required skills and expertise. Apart from that, it is the need of the hour to control the population explosion of our country. Steps should be taken sincerely to educate everyone about combating such a complex problem.

Thus all the problems should be tackled to ensure that the youth of India receives employment as it is the future of our country. Unemployment will lead to a series of other problems like poverty, depression etc which would adversely affect the economic growth of our country.

Image Credits: The Financial Express


Anukriti Mishra

[email protected]