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When the Amroha municipality here advertised for 114 posts of sweepers, it hardly imagined that 19,000 applications, mostly from BA, BSc, MA, BTechs and MBAs would come in.
While officials of Amroha municipality are expecting still more applications, the state government has ordered the selection process to be put on hold as organisations representing sweepers have protested, demanding the posts be reserved only for the Valmiki community.
Municipal officials have been overwhelmed by the number of highly-qualified applicants so far.
“The process of uploading application forms for all 114 posts is still going on and we have uploaded 5,000 of the 19,000 received. Most are graduates, postgraduates, BTechs and even MBAs,” said Faiz Alam, Amroha Nagar Palika office superintendent.
The posts do not require educational qualifications because the work involves manual labour like cleaning streets with brooms, maintaining drainage and municipal sewer lines. Candidates will be informed about the interview stage. The salary for each post is Rs 17,000 per month.
Meanwhile, the state government has put the entire process on hold for the time being. “Our office has received a letter from the chief secretary of the state urban development department, Shri Prakash, to put the process on hold on the orders of the chief minister,” said Afsar Parvez, chairman of the civic body.
“The valmiki community has protested against the recruitment process because a large number of graduates and postgraduates from other castes have applied for the post of sweepers. A delegation from the community met with the chief minister and demanded the jobs should be reserved for members of their community alone,” Parvez stated.
Meanwhile, thousands of unemployed but highly qualified youths are still waiting for interview calls. “I have been jobless since I finished college in 2014. So when I heard about openings as sweepers, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to earn a living and help my family,” said Nakul Singh of Dhera village, son of an agricultural labourer and BSc with honours in mathematics.
“The job might be that of a sweeper, but I need to earn money to support my family after the death of my father,” said BCom second year student Prabhat Kumar of Nauganwa village.
“Irrespective of the kind of job, we need to have some kind of secure future and a government job is better than working for private firms. Even sweepers in our village have a good standard of living and send their children to English-medium schools,” said another applicant, Shamshad Ahmed Saifi of Makhdoompur village, a BCom final year student.