HYDERABAD, India – Nowhere is the search for jobs more desperate than in India, where around 13 million young people enter the job market every year. High levels of unemployment, even among the educated, create immense pressure on young people to find work, and more so for a secure government job.
In the congested southern city of Hyderabad, the open grounds outside the City Central Library turn into a giant outdoor classroom every day when hundreds of young college students and job-seekers, armed with books and other study materials, sit and prepare for examinations till late at night. Many of them bring their own chairs, which they chain overnight to the outer metal grill of the building.
P. Venkateshwarlu, a 27-year-old preparing for a government accountant's job, said he found the quiet ambience of the library grounds more conducive for studying.
"My room is small and noisy. The serenity of the library premises helps," Venkateshwarlu said as he set up his chair with a wooden board that would serve as a desk for the next few hours.
Several international companies have their India headquarters in Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states. Every year, millions of young people from small towns and villages head to the city in search of education and jobs. Scores of colleges and cram schools have come up near the library, preparing aspirants in their search for admission to university or a secure job.
Among the crowds of students sitting and studying are many young women who find the library a safe place to study.
"I find this a calm place to prepare for my examinations," said V. Chandrika, a 19-year-old college student who lives in a hostel nearby. "I feel inspired to work hard just by watching everybody else here working till late in the evening."