MNC’s make pre-emptive strikes against maoists

The MNC’s clearly know that the Maoists are eventually going to
come after them one day and hence they are trying to do their
bit to counter them.

MNCs break youth away from ultra-Left bastion
SUBHOMOY BHATTACHARJEE
Posted online: Friday, May 25, 2007 at 0040 hours IST

HYDERABAD, MAY 24: It might shock many, but multinationals like McDonald’s and Dell and even domestic firms like Group 4 Securitas are seeking to employ people from naxalite-infected districts of Andhra Pradesh.

To utilise cheap labour that rural India offers, several companies have tied up with an Andhra Pradesh-based government organisation Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) to source employees from the districts. The tie-up had already generated 40,000 jobs for students of Rural Retail Academies in districts like Karimnagar and Medak and other places in 2006-07.

According to T Vijay Kumar, CEO of SERP, which runs these academies, the target for placement in 2007-08 is one lakh people. For companies, the reliance on SERP makes sense since the booming economy has made it difficult to procure employees for the less glamorous jobs from even the small towns.

Vijay Kumar says, based on the inputs provided by companies, the training centres seek enrolment of candidates. “The advantage of this approach is they already have an assured placement after their training in specific trades,” he said.

The first bout of recruitment was naturally for security guards (SERP is now running 22 security academies). But candidates have now moved up the value chain to include construction and other “soft skills” too. The institutes provide about three months of training to the youth. Since the job-profiles are known, the training focuses on specific skill sets.

The project director of Karimnagar district, T Chiranjeevulu, says about 1,000 young men and women were weaned from the naxalite-affected blocks of his district, adjoining Chhattisgarh, last year. He acknowledges that while the impact of the project will take time to be comprehended, the tales of job availability are spreading.

A look at the addresses of the men and women who have graduated from the institutes buttresses his claims. For 2006-07placements, the list of companies that visited these ‘campuses’ included Reliance Fresh, Food World, Trinetra Birla, Futures Group and the former Hindustan Lever.

Since most of those recruited have managed to retain their jobs, the companies are finding the route a viable alternative to the staid employment exchanges. SERP is also planning to target more districts in the state, and is banking on the robust growth rate of the economy to keep the demand for manpower flowing in.

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