23-year-old Ramanjaneya – an engineering student who passed degree with distinction, is now working as daily wage labor under the MNREGA scheme at his native Taanapura village of Koppala district, Karnataka.
Ramanjaneya completed his BE (Mechanical) from JSS Academy of Technical Education, Bengaluru in 2020. Being a bright student all through, he had bagged a government quota seat in the prestigious college and passed with a distinction score (75%). He had dreamt of a comfortable life for his family while entering engineering college. But, after a year of completing the course, he could not get a job.
“I had no other go”, says a rather distressed Ramanjaneya. “I was very confident of getting a campus placement since my score was good. I have taken education loan for studies. But covid struck and none of the companies visited our campus. I stayed back in Bengaluru for another month and submitted my resume at various companies. But, none were hiring. There was no point in me staying back. So I returned to my village instead” he says.
His father also works as a daily wage labourer. Ramanjaneya’s mother is ill and hence stays back at home. He has a younger brother who is studying paramedical and two sisters who are in high school.
“It is not easy at home. NREGA scheme guarantees 100 days of work and payment is credited to our bank accounts. I took it up so that my family can have food security” he adds.
This bright chap also works as a farm labourer in others’ fields outside NREGA to earn a few extra bucks. He saved some of his earnings and is prepping for competitive exams. “If not IAS or KAS, I want to try for FDA and such posts. There is no point in wailing and wasting time” he says confidently.
He scored 86% in 2nd PUC (Class 12th) and chose Mechanical engineering for a reason. There are few industries close to his village. Kalyani Steels and Kirloskar have huge plants in Koppala. He thought of getting a job there and staying with his family once he completes engineering. But fate has other plans.
Ramanjaneya earns Rs 289 per day under NREGA scheme. The bank where he has taken education loan said he can start paying EMI after two years. This has brought some relief to him and he is confident of earning some white-collar job by then.