A Mechanical Engineer, An Auto Driver Conversation
“It was a Saturday afternoon when me, my cousin brother and sister-in-law took an auto from city market to rotighar,gandhibazar.
While we were going in the auto, me and my cousin were discussing about an institute that offers engineering degree in two years. I asked my cousin the institute name but he was not really sure about the abbreviation.
He said its called some AIME or something. But the auto driver told the institute was called AMIE. Later he gave us the complete information about the institute, courses offered, number of subjects that were offered in one year etc. I was shocked by the way he told us about the institute. Later he asked about my academics. I told him that I completed my engineering from BMS College of Engineering.
Then he asked me my specialization in particular. I told it was Industrial engineering and Management. Since many people will not be aware about my branch name, it is a routine for me to tell that my branch is related to Mechanical Engineering just that our course includes some MBA subjects as well. I wanted to tell the same to the auto driver.
Before I could complete, he asked me, “Oh IEM ah?”. I was stunned. Who would expect an auto-driver to know all this. My mouth could not stop asking questions. I asked him ” How do you know all these things?”
He told me that even he was a Mechanical Engineer who did his Diploma in Mechanical engineering, later finished his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from JSS college of Engineering( one of the very good engineering colleges in Karnataka)two years back.
Thats it. I don’t even have words to describe my reaction when he told me this. I was completely shocked!! I asked how come he is doing this job instead of finding other jobs “meant” for engineers.
He told me, ” Madam, there are so many people like me in this field. Destiny has made us to settle for this. And we are doing it. Even now, my professor keeps calling and tells me to do MTech. I feel that engineering what I have done is only useless. Why waste another 2 lakhs?”
I told him, “You can pursue Mtech. Then take up a lecturer job”.
He told me, ” Who pays for my Mtech? And even if I do Mtech I would get 25,000 as my initial salary. I’m getting the same now and I am ok with it. It is a waste if I am doing Mtech”.
I could not answer his question. Yes I could make out that he had family commitments that is why he ended up taking up an auto-driver job. Also, I could see the frustration on his face for not getting a job with the qualification he had. I don’t think he would have settled for this job without even trying for mechanical engineering jobs. Probably 10-15 years back nobody would have imagined an engineer becoming an auto-driver. Its not the destiny, but the existing job-market has made many engineers to settle for under-employment.
I guess he is a true #logicalindian who has accepted the fact and moved on in his life.
Story ended by me giving him a free advice to start doing something related to his academics.He nodded with a smile, probably which meant it could never happen!
Making a graduate “employable” is more important than just making a graduate. I hope, at least we may not have to see PGs like this in future.”