Hyderabad: Till a few years ago, G Srikanth, a 23-year-old youngster from Ravirala village was unsure about his future prospects and where his next pay cheque would come from. Today, Srikanth, an Intermediate drop out, is supporting his elderly parents and also financing education for his younger brother, and this change took place three years ago.
Sitting in his double room, which now has a brand new asbestos roof, in Ravirala village, Ibrahimpatnam mandal located just 30 km from Hyderabad with a population of 400 families, Srikanth is all smiles and radiates confidence.
“Before 2013, I was a daily wager and used to earn Rs 150 per day to support my parents. Often, my younger brother used to accompany me to work. Now, I am able to send him to a school,” Srikanth beams.
It’s not just the family of Srikanth that has managed to leave behind the days of uncertainty. There are close to 700 families in three villages – Ravirala, Adibatla and Kongarakalan – abutting Outer Ring Road (ORR), who now have got another shot at leading a bright future.
All thanks to the advent of new top-notch industries at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Ibrahimpatnam. The last few years saw the advent of top companies such as Tata Aero Space (TAS), Tata Advance Systems, Lockheed Martin and Bio Genesis besides, an international adventure sports provider Wonderla located in the vicinity of the three villages.
The companies have provided an alternative and safe source of livelihood for the villagers here. And, the change is perceptible!
“I used to trek daily four km earlier for work. There were days when we couldn’t find any work and had to return home empty-handed. Now, I am a staffer at Wolderla and earn Rs 14,000 per month,” says 44-year-old Gangamma from nearby Nadargoal village.
Like Gangamma, nearly 250 persons from her village are employed at the amusement park.
On its part, the State government has provided subsidies to the newly established companies on condition that they provide employment to the locals, which brought prosperity to the families in these villages.
Out of 1,700 people in Ravirala village, about 400-500 are at present engaged in various employment activities nearer their village rather than migrating to far off places.
There is no dearth of success stories in these villages.
K Anjanailu (39) in Adibatla village was working in a grocery shop at BN Reddynagar for Rs 3, 500 per month. These days, he owns a cab service with a monthly income of Rs 20,000.
“I managed to invest in a car to start a cab service for TCS. The company is paying close to Rs 38,000 per month. After all expenses, I earn nearly Rs 20, 000 per month,” says Anjaneyelu.
Sensing opportunity, another 42-year-old housewife, K Ramulamma (along with her family) from Kongarakalan village decided to set up a small food court near the SEZ, to cater to the employees.
“In 2014, we used to work in a nearby agriculture field as daily wagers. Our earning was between Rs 300 and Rs 400. These days, because of the aviation hub, we end up earning Rs 1,200 to Rs 1.600 a day,” she says.
Youth from the villages employed in the SEZ are earning monthly salaries ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. Majority have joined as stock supervisors, assistants, security guards and class IV employees depending upon their educational qualifications.
“I did my B Tech in 2010 and went to Pune in search of work. When I came to know about the SEZ, I decided to come back to Telangana. I got a job near my village with much better pay,” says T Santosh Kumar of Ravirala village.
Most of the undergraduates and Intermediate dropouts here are engaged in a variety of jobs, including driving cabs, managing canteens, gardening, outsourcing works, security guards, supplying water, vegetable and milk.
“We are happy because there is no migration of youngsters to Hyderabad or other major cities in India. ITI students, who were working as daily wage labours in various places now got good jobs because of these companies,” says Ravirala Sarpanch S Krishna.