Youth in Ayodhya Ready to Grab Job Opportunities After Opening of Ram Temple

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GG News Bureau
Ayodhya, 29th Jan. 
In 2019, when the Supreme Court gave its historic verdict allowing the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Dileep Pandey was working as a tailor in a cloth firm in Delhi.

Pandey, who is originally from Ayodhya, returned home when the first wave of Covid-19 hit in 2020. Recognizing an opportunity in Ayodhya, he decided not to go back to Delhi.

Currently, Pandey runs a small tour and transport firm that helps people visit Ayodhya from different parts of the country.

With the inauguration of the newly-constructed Ram temple on January 22, Pandey, who is 28 years old, plans to expand his business due to the increasing number of devotees visiting Ayodhya.

“I currently have three mid-size vans that visitors can hire to travel around Ayodhya. With the rise in the number of devotees, I plan to take a loan to buy two SUVs for them,” said Pandey.

Although he was interested in studying, Pandey dropped out of college in Ayodhya during his first year to start working. “A few years ago, Ayodhya was just some old temples to us. As I didn’t see any opportunities here, I decided to leave in search of work. I think the situation has changed now,” he commented.

Like Pandey, the young people in Ayodhya now see the potential opportunities that the future holds and want to take advantage of them.
According to experts, the opportunities are particularly in sectors related to tourism in the service industry. The locals witnessed the potential when over five lakh devotees from around the world visited on the first day after the consecration ceremony. By the end of the week, the number of visitors had exceeded 10 lakh, according to temple trust officials.

Most hotels in Ayodhya are fully booked until March, which has led tourists to seek accommodation in nearby districts such as Barabanki, Basti, Lucknow, and Gorakhpur.

Anil Rajbhar, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, stated, “Ayodhya will generate nearly five lakh direct and indirect jobs in the hospitality sector in the next five years… Besides jobs, there is also a huge possibility for young people to become entrepreneurs and establish small firms to meet the demands of visitors or industries related to them.” The minister mentioned that his department is working closely with the local administration of Ayodhya to facilitate employment for young people.

“We are in discussions with more than a dozen major hotel brands that are either already operational or will begin operations in the next couple of years regarding their staff requirements. In addition to this, the local administration will soon organize drives to hire people on an ad hoc basis in various sectors,” Rajbhar said.

Without waiting for the government to launch its employment drive, the young people of Ayodhya have already started finding ways to get involved in the business.

Prabhat Gond, a final year BA student, runs a small photography shop in Ayodhya. He started it as a hobby last year and now has a team of five people. “We have four photographers, including myself, and a photo editor. We primarily focus on serving visitors from outside by providing them with photo and video-related services,” Gond said.

Sandeep Tiwari, who graduated with a science degree last year, has enrolled in a hotel management course. He hopes to join a hotel after completing his studies.

Like Tiwari, several graduate students from Kamta Prasad Sunder Lal Post Saket Graduate College in Ayodhya have enrolled in courses such as spoken English, hospitality, and tour operations to prepare themselves for the service sector.

“One of my relatives owns a tour company and needs someone who can communicate with foreign tourists in English. So, I have enrolled in a six-month spoken English course to join the company,” said Vidyant Singh, a BSc graduate from the college.

Unlike Singh, many young people have found part-time employment as touts and official guides in the city.

Dhruv Shukla, 19, works as a guide-tout. “I pick up visitors from Lata Mangeshkar Chowk to visit Hanuman Garhi and other temples after they offer prayers at the Ram temple,” said Shukla, who charges between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 per group of visitors.

Although he is still a college student, Shukla plans to complete his graduation before becoming a full-time guide for tourists.

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