A few years ago, a group of passengers who were waiting at a railway station were horrified to see a young man (later identified as Ramesh Dhobi from Maharashtra) kneel down and stretch his arms across the railway line in the path of a fast-approaching train. It was too late for anyone to come to his assistance, and the inevitable happened. His arms were severed from his body.
The passengers were fortunately able to rush him to the hospital so that his life could be saved. Later they asked him what had caused him to do such a gruesome thing to himself. It seems that he had been so haunted by the spectre of continuing unemployment, that he had come to the railway station in a fit of severe depression. The Times of India of 14 August 1981, records him as saying, “My hands are useless as I can find no work, and living is shameful without work.” I had no sooner finished reading this newspaper report than in walked a friend who also seemed to be in a state of mental distress. But his problem was the opposite. Now that he was no longer able to farm his land himself, he needed a responsible person to take charge of his fields and their irrigation. My friend lamented the fact that he would lose one lakh of rupee a year that the produce of his farm brought him, if his fields had perforce to lie fallow. What he had come to tell me, in effect, was that he had decided to sell his land.
It is an irony that there are hundreds and thousands of unemployed, and yet many jobs just go abegging. There is no dearth of work in this world. The unemployed must cultivate two qualities, diligence and perseverance, and they will find that the jobs come to seek them. They must never give in to despair. If they do, they merely reduce themselves to the same crippled state, mentally, if not physically, as Ramesh Dhobi.