As the penultimate day of 2015 was coming to an end, one could see youngsters, girls as well as guys, making a bee line to beauty parlours and spas getting hair cuts, hair ironing, coloring and other stuff so they can preen at the last party of the year tomorrow…and first party of 2016.
So what do they wish for, from the coming new year…specially in Nagpur? NT asked them.
“Nagpur should have some night life!” Opined many of them.
For many youngsters it was the same refrain.
“There are no cool hanging- out places; everything closes by 11 p.m. There is nothing to do!”
Any of the city youth who have been exposed to Mumbai or Pune feel this even more.
“Pune is a young city – it is so exciting; They tried imposing a strict closing time on restaurants and lounges there too, but it didn’t hold. They are back there to partying all night, while here everything is forced to close down by 11.30! Even dhabas, it is so boring!” Complained Roopesh Khandelwal, a final year Engg student.
“All my friends complain that Nagpur is too expensive. More so than Mumbai even…” said Pratik Anjanwar.
“Taxes are highest here, which drives up prices of everything. Petrol, food, even house rents” he added.
“Nothing at all!” Said Kiran Rangnath, a software engineer from Banglore. “Nagpur has everything that Banglore seems to be lacking these days. Good clean roads, not much traffic – no pollution. Only heat is a problem, how can you change that?”
Then he replied his own question saying,
“there should be more trees by the roadside. That is something they could learn from Banglore. Even the busiest roads have trees by the side – it keeps down the dust and also the heat.”
(And here we are – cutting down old, almost historical trees, to build flyovers that were really not needed in the first place!!)
Nagpur has a big population of youngsters who come here from Bihar, U.P., M.P. and Chattisgarh etc. What brings youth from other states to Nagpur? Is it our education? How are educational institutes of the city? We asked.
There was an uncomfortable silence. Finally one girl, Pooja spoke up.
“Education sucks here” she stated categorically.
“When we graduate and go into the job market, we realize we know nothing! Our curriculum, the teaching method, our examination system, nothing prepares us for the job market. We seriously require some revamping and modernization.”
A student from Mumbai, Joel Pannikot bemoaned that even if you are going to a supposedly ‘good’ Engineering college you have to take tuitions.
“They just do not teach the course well and completely.”
“Sometime the same Professor will take tutorials and charge a bomb. This is exploitation” complained Joel.
Not so strange then that many potential employers too have this to say about Nagpur graduates when they come here for hiring.
“Nagpur college graduates have to be trained all over again; their computer, software and hardware knowledge is very basic and outdated” Said Bhushan, the owner of an export firm in the city.
But since it was the anvil of the New Year more and more boys and girls were talking about the sad party scene in the city.
“How many times can you go on going to Futala?
It has become a sad place now, where anti social elements hang out. You don’t feel safe taking your girl friends there” says Ankit.
This is a common complaint about many Nagpur parks and gardens.
“You can see drug addicts using the parks to smoke or inject themselves. You also see gambling going on… it becomes a very dangerous place to visit” opines Rishabh Jaiswal.
But it being the new year’s eve, the buzz was mostly about New Year parties.
Where are the youth going?
“Do you know clubs like Gondwana have jacked up ‘pass prices’ to Rs. 5000/ per head today?” Said Devesh Meghe, a scion of the Datta Meghe family, who even with that lineage is finding such budgets very out of reach.
“Most of us have decided to party at friends’ homes or farm houses… who wants to spend so much on these clubs and hotels?” He asked.
Well, here is wishing that 2016 makes Nagpur more exciting and youth centric.
Are you listening, city fathers??
– Sunita Mudliyar