A shoe-shiner wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the coronavirus waits for customers in New Delhi on Oct. 16. (Photo: AFP)
A Catholic archdiocese in India has launched an online platform to bring together employers and job seekers to help millions who have lost jobs because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias inaugurated www.e2elinks.com on Oct. 4 in Mumbai and urged employers and job seekers to register with the portal and take full advantage.
Cardinal Gracias also expressed hope that the new venture will help bring more and more employers and unemployed to the platform and benefit each other.
“Within a week of its launch, the portal posted 75 job opportunities from different employers and 250 resumes from job seekers and another 150 emails as well inquiring about job opportunities”, said Ruth D’Souza, secretary of the labor commission of archdiocese of Bombay (now Mumbai).
“The unemployment crisis in the country was severe even before the Covid-19 lockdown that began at the end of March,” she added.
“This was evident in February,” she said, recalling the huge turnout at a workshop organized by the labor commission to face the challenges of redundancies.
“We invited 80 persons to the workshop, and more than 400 persons turned up sadly most of them with their resumes seeking jobs,” she said.
“Now, after the Covid-19 lockdown, employment conditions in the country have worsened further with millions in the formal sector left unemployed.”
According to various estimates, more than 20 million people in the formal sector lost their jobs after the Covid-19 lockdown. The actual figure could be much more, those familiar with the job crisis say.
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent body that measures and tracks economic indicators, said that salaried jobs took a big hit during the lockdown, with a total loss estimated at 18.9 million during April-July.
This does not include millions of jobs lost in unorganized sectors, including the agriculture sector, where most Indians are employed.
Meanwhile, the economy also recorded a severe decline to the extent of 24 percent.
According to official statistics, gross domestic product plunged by 23.9 percent in the three months that ended in June, a 40-year low showing no sign of a solution to the unemployment crisis soon.
“We are not sure of the exact picture of the unemployment crisis in our country, but surely we get calls from our own community members and others seeing jobs,” said Auxiliary Bishop Allwyn D’Silva of Bombay archdiocese, who heads this project.
“We realized their desperation and launched the portal to help both employers and job seekers to take advantage,” the prelate told UCA News.
The portal is designed to connect people seeking gainful employment with employers and recruiters looking for suitably qualified personnel” without any discrimination of religion, the prelate said.“Our mission is to offer efficient and quick access to candidates to seek jobs and post resumes and enable employers to source the required talent effectively,” Bishop Allwyn added.
“It offers a facility for freelancers who wish to advertise their services to post their details on the site,” the prelate said, adding, “more features would be added depending on the demand.”