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Village 'exporting' workers stares at joblessness

india Updated: Aug 21, 2012 01:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Taradubi village located 140km east of Guwahati exemplifies — to quote chief minister Tarun Gogoi — Assam's shift from insurgence to resurgence.

Two decades ago, young men from this village of Tiwa tribals in central Assam's Karbi Anglong district would slip away to join the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom.

It was more of an economic necessity as militant cadres get their 'salary' from extorted money.

That was before a phase of joblessness descended on the village after militancy lost its firepower.

But things began changing since 2009 when Putokon Dekaraja took a train to Bangalore for a grade IV job in a fibre firm.

He virtually set off an exodus of sorts as his firm and other companies provided employment for Taradubi youths by word of mouth.

In three years since then, Taradubi 'exported' at least 60 young men to Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Vishakhapatnam as skilled and unskilled workers in the fibre and metal-based industries. Not a bad score for a village of some 1,000 people — half of whom are children and the elderly.

"Working in a faraway land was unthinkable in our village before I started the trend," Dekaraja, 28, told HT on Monday after arriving by a special train from Bangalore. "I hope I haven't started another trend — of a reverse exodus to joblessness."

Thankfully, his managers want Dekaraja and 24 others back because of their tribal traits — compliance and the ability to work long hours diligently without complaining. "But we don't know how long they will wait," said fellow villager Maheswar Bordoloi, 36.