How can I get a job? How can I get any kind of help?”
They are not the only ones struggling to get ahead in a country where unemployment has risen to a 10-year high of 25 percent and where the rate of youth unemployment has increased from 20 percent to 42 percent in the past year, according to World Bank figures.
The government says its policy reforms have had “positive” effect on the economy.
“When I am here, I don’t get any work of any kind,” said Rupa Bose, 30, who works for a bank in the slums of Mumbai. “I go to different jobs, but it’s not easy.”
The economy is so fragile that the world’s biggest oil exporter, Russia, has warned that the global economic slowdown could trigger an oil-price collapse, which, in turn, could trigger massive capital outflows and raise global interest rates, the worst of which could trigger a global financial crisis. Russia has already lost more than 30 billion dollars in foreign currency reserves over the past year, putting pressure on its sovereign finances.
In some of India’s slums, workers stand in long lines looking for a job, said Ramamohan, a worker at the Delhi Municipal Corporation.
“They’re looking for work, but they have no jobs,” he said. “What are we going to do? We have to get jobs. How do we pay for our food?”
A year ago, there were as many as 30,000 such makeshift camps in India’s largest city, where some of the country’s poorest are living underground and using mud, plastic sheets and wood to construct their shacks, using no cement to construct any part of the homes that they can find.
Since then, the government has launched measures that include offering grants to build more temporary camps. The government has also helped workers buy foodstuffs from government-run stores, like a plastic bag of khusan.
Still, officials admit that more needs to be done to help the more than 8 million workers in the temporary camps.
Officials have said they still don’t know precisely how many of the temporary camps were built after the government first started doing its own construction work, although it appears to be in the tens of thousands.
And even though it is clear that the temporary facilities are essential to the country’s future, the government’s plan has been ridiculed as hopelessly complex.
“It will not work now
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