Manimanik Gogoi was like any other youth in Assam, a graduate from a small-time college looking for a non-existent government job, hanging around with friends all day and heading a youth group called Dighalia Yuvak Sangh. That was till he stumbled upon an innovative programme run by corporate giant Oil India Ltd. Three years after he reluctantly started working on the piece of land his father owned, Gogoi is grateful that he decided to switch to farming rather than wait endlessly for a job. Now, besides earning a decent living, Gogoi is his own boss.
In the past three years alone, at least 1,000 unemployed youth have taken to agriculture thanks to an Oil India self-employment initiative that started off as an experiment but has now become a social movement of sorts. The youth are now increasingly taking to self-employment in oil’s area of operations with the company’s Area Development Scheme.