Hyderabad: The COVID-19 pandemic has hit over 555 million jobholders in India and between March and July 122 million people lost their jobs in the country. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Telangana’s unemployment rate as of July 2020 was 9.1 per cent and that of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh was 8.3 per cent. The national unemployment rate stood at 27.1 per cent as of May 2020. NewsMeter talked to a few people whose livelihood was hit by the pandemic.
Sachin Mahankalli, who worked for a music production company in Hyderabad, lost his job in July due to the pandemic. He told NewsMeter, “The company did not give me any reason for terminating my employment. One day they called me and told me they no longer require my services because the company had changed its employment structure to compensate for the losses it was incurring due to the pandemic. I was suddenly left with no work.”
Sachin has an ailing father and he was the sole breadwinner of his family. “For five months now, I have been looking for a job but it is extremely difficult to find one during these times,” he added.
Tharun Rana who worked as the head sales manager for a reputed company lost his job in June. A month later his wife who also worked in a corporate firm lost her job, too. “In June my company decided to lay off some employees due to the recession. My wife lost her job the next month. But luckily, she found another job with a private company recently. For the past three months I have been looking for work but to no avail,” Mr Rana said. The couple has a two-year-old child. The unemployment situation and the pandemic is causing him severe mental stress, he said.
Kata Srinivas, who also lost his job during the lockdown, told NewsMeter, “I was working for a reputed stockbroking company in Hyderabad. I got a job offer from New Delhi just before the pandemic. I resigned my job in Hyderabad, packed my bags, and left for Delhi.”
But when he reached Delhi, he found out that a nationwide lockdown was going to be imposed in two days. He, like many others, thought the lockdown would end soon and since he had to join the new job, he decided to stay in Delhi. However, after the lockdown was eased, the company that had hired Srinivas told him the job offer was no longer valid. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, they told him they could not hire him. “It was a double blow for me as I lost my Hyderabad job and the new job due to the pandemic,” he added.