The RSS on Sunday flagged issues of poverty, unemployment and rising inequality in the country and batted for creating a robust environment for entrepreneurship so that job seekers become job providers.
“The poverty in the country is standing like a demon in front of us. It is important that we slay this demon. That 20 crore people are still below poverty line is a figure that should make us very sad. As many as 23 crore people have less than Rs 375 income per day. There are four crore unemployed people in the country. The labour force survey says we have an unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent,” RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said during a webinar organised by RSS-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch as part of its Swawalambi Bharat Abhiyan.
The Abhiyan, which has been underway over the past year, is an attempt by the RSS to promote entrepreneurship and self employment by boosting local and rural economies. In this context, the RSS had in March passed a resolution calling for a labour-intensive “Bharatiya Economic Model” during its Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha meeting. The movement, sources said, has been activated in nearly 700 districts with the involvement of six RSS-affiliated organisations, including the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch.
At the webinar, Hosabale said another major issue was the rising economic inequality. “One figure says that India is among the top six economies of the world. But is this a good situation? Top 1 per cent of India’s population has one-fifth (20%) of the nation’s income. At the same time, 50% of the country’s population has only 13% of the country’s income,” he said.
Quoting UN observations on poverty and development, Hosabale said: “A large part of the country still does not have access to clean water and nutritious food. Civil strife and the poor level of education are also a reason for poverty.
That is why a New Education Policy has been ushered in. Even climate change is a reason for poverty. And at places the inefficiency of the government is a reason for poverty.”
According to Hosabale, the idea that only urban spaces will have jobs has emptied villages and turned urban lives into hell.
“During Covid, we learnt that there is a possibility of generating jobs at the rural level according to local needs and using local talent. That is why the Swavalambi Bharat Abhiyan was launched. We don’t just need all-India level schemes, but also local schemes. It can be done in the field of agriculture, skill development, marketing etc. We can revive cottage industry. Similarly, in the field of medicine, a lot of Ayurvedic medicines can be manufactured at the local level. We need to find people interested in self-employment and entrepreneurship,” Hosabale said.
To make this movement successful, some groups need to do research on what can be achieved at the local level, he said. Then it is important to support and rejuvenate local talent which, he said, the nation was losing due to modern economic policies. He said skill training could not be only urban-centric and tech-based.
Underlining the need for entrepreneurship, Hosabale said: “If students keep looking at jobs after college… so many jobs just cannot be created. So job seekers need to be encouraged to become job providers. We need to create an environment for entrepreneurship. Society also needs to understand that all work is important and must get equal respect. If a gardener is not getting respect for his work, nobody will want to do that work. We need to change mindsets.”