London Games torch-bearer working in Assam tea garden undecided over govt job offer

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By Sujit Chakraborty
Guwahati, Aug 21 |
Assams Pinky Karmakar, who now works as a daily wage labourer at a tea garden in Dibrugarh district to manage two square meals for his poverty-stricken five-member family, had represented India as the torch-bearer at the 2012 London Olympics.

After the hue and cry from various quarters during the recent Tokyo Olympics, the Assam government last week offered a temporary job to Pinky as ‘Contingency Menial’ at the Assam Tea Employees Provident Fund Organisation in the Dibrugarh zonal office with a consolidated pay of Rs 9,000 per month for a period of three months.

The 27-year-old, who had aspired to be an archer of international repute, is yet to decide on the job offer as it is temporary in nature and the salary is also very poor.

The then 17-year-old Pinky was given an impressive reception in Assam when she returned home from the London Olympics.

Former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is now a Central minister, and many other ministers and politicians had greeted Pinky when they received her at the Guwahati airport upon her return.

But in the past 12 years, everyone has forgotten her, as Pinky’s struggle against acute poverty continues.

“In 2014, my mother died due to illness, while my father Rajen Karmakar (now 78) had to quit tea garden work in 2015 due to old age. My mother was also a daily wage labourer.

“I have two sisters and a brother. With no other alternative, I started work as a labourer in the Borborooah tea garden (in Dibrugarh district). Now I am getting Rs 205 per day,” Pinky told IANS over phone.

In 2010, when she was studying in Class 10, the UNICEF, after recognising her talent in various streams and her sincerity towards societal work, had engaged her in the “Sports for Development (S4D) programme” at her school to teach girls and to take forward the adult literacy campaign, health hygiene and physical exercise in her tea garden locality.

“I had a dream to do something big when the opportunity came to me as India’s torch-bearer at the London Olympics. I had performed my responsibility with all sincerity and everyone praised me during and after the London Olympics.

“But my life got shattered in the fight against poverty and to protect my poor family,” Pinky said.

She is deeply upset for not getting any support from the government or any other organisation, including the UNICEF or the Olympic committee.

“I am extremely dejected as everybody overlooked me,” Pinky said in Assamese.

All Assam Tea Tribe Student Association leader Jun Karmakar said that it was a proud moment for their tea community when Pinky represented India in the torch relay in London.

“But soon after the London Olympics, everyone forgot about her. She didn’t get any support from the government or any other private organisation,” Karmakar told IANS over phone.

He said that despite deprivation from all quarters, Pinky during the Covid-19 pandemic very actively campaigned about Covid appropriate behaviour, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and to familiarise the tea garden workers about the utility of the Covid vaccine.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at sujit.c@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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