Dalit and tribal youths, who have already attained higher literacy, should plunge into unconventional fields to emerge as job givers and not just remain as job seekers, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) chairman Milind Kamble said on Saturday.
DICCI has more than a 100 Dalit and tribal entrepreneurs. The generation-next Dalits and tribals should explore employment opportunities beyond government jobs to bring in real economic empowerment in their community, said Kamble.
At present, 65 per cent of the youths in India are in the age group of 18 and 35 years. Young Dalits and tribals together account for 19 crore. In spite of the reservation policy for the scheduled caste in jobs and education, no government can ever accommodate them in jobs. The shrinking government jobs over the years have brought both new challenge and opportunities.
Kamble said the only way forward for the generation next is to dream big and channelise their potential by availing the resources available to create their own entrepreneurship across diverse fields. The economic empowerment is one of the biggest challenges, which remains unaccomplished and also a dream of Dr B R Ambedkar.
He urged the youth to assert their rights in maximising the opportunities through Mudra, Stand-Up and Start-Up India policies. In the Stand-Up India scheme, loan was provided to 11,000 people, of which 8,000 were Dalits and 3,000 tribals. The visible change was in the procurement of goods from Dalit/tribal entrepreneurs by public and semi-government sectors, which increased from Rs 100 crore to Rs 450 crore.
The DICCI chairman indicated that the organisation had a role in evolving the policies and its enforcement.
“Of the total 12 crore Mudra beneficiary, representation of Dalits is 18 per cent and tribals is 5 per cent,” said Kamble.
Overall representation of Dalits and tribals in small and medium scale industries is 18 per cent, he added.
“The total lending of Mudra loans through various schemes in last four years is Rs 5 lakh crore to promote entrepreneurship. The amount which has been loaned to Dalits and tribals is Rs 1.4 lakh crore,” he said.
“In the informal sector, there are transformations, where Dalits and tribals have a huge role to play and showcase their talent.”
While admitting Dalits and tribals are majorly confined to nano-entrepreneurship, DICCI chairman feels, “The foremost task is to ensure nobody remains unemployment in absence of government jobs. A self-employed Dalit or tribal owning a vegetable stall or food stall is nothing wrong. Apart from the regular income, he/she also paves way for providing jobs to at at least two to four persons from the family or outside to run the stalls.” While expressing concern over the brutal instances of violence against Dalits, he said, “Nobody can justify atrocities against Dalits and tribals. But at the same time the youths must not become the weapon in the hand of perpetrators of the crime, who have larger vested goals.”
Unfortunately, there are some Dalits leaders who are using the youths to serve their own interests through destructive politics which would be detrimental for the community.
Recalling the agitation undertaken by Dr B R Ambedkar to protest untouchability, he said, “Ambedkar never subscribed to violence. He had the power and vision to lead the masses through non-violence. Therefore, he has made a mark in history.”