Srinagar, May 04 (KNB): Unemployment is one of the gravest problems faced by the youth of Kashmir. The unemployment in Kashmir is characterized by lack of opportunities, chronic underemployment or disguised unemployment. The unemployment problem, among youth especially among educated youth is turning out to be disastrous for the healthy growth of society and overall life of youth. On account of rampant unemployment, the youth of Kashmir on a large scale are resorting to drug addiction, violent tendencies. Unemployment is also one of the main reasons behind the rising mental stress and suicides in the Valley of Kashmir.
Statistics and surveys related to the problem of unemployment in the valley of Kashmir clearly highlight its disastrous impacts on the life of Kashmiri youth. As per the last Economic Survey, when it comes to overall unemployment, Punjab (4.5 percent), Himachal Pradesh (2.8 per cent), Delhi (2.7 percent) and Haryana (2.6 percent) are much better placed than Jammu and Kashmir. All-India figures for Official figures have further revealed that unemployment rate for males in J&K was 3.6 per cent whereas that of females was 17.1 per cent which is far too high when compared to the neighboring states Punjab 11.7 percent, Haryana 2.8 percent, Delhi 2.8 percent and Himachal Pradesh 2.5 percent.
Due to violence and turmoil unemployment problem has soared with no industrial growth and struggling key tourism sectors. To add to it, poor industrial governance, infrastructure along with the poor investment climate has left the industrial sector of Kashmir valley in shambles.
We spoke to a cross-section of youth to understand the pain and frustration inflicted by the hydra-headed monster of unemployment on the youth of Kashmir.
Peerzada Firdous Ahmad, a Youth activist from north Kashmir, while talking to The Kashmir news Bureau stated – “The unemployment levels have achieved monstrous proportions among the youth of Kashmir and there seems to be no hope at the end of this dark tunnel for the youth of Kashmir. Recently, nearly 1.25 lac youth appeared for the post of Naib Tehsildar for meager 100 posts and this aptly shows the grim and chronic nature of unemployment in our part of the world. Plus being fleeced with heavy fees for employment forms is proving taxing on pockets of unemployed youth. This chronic unemployment problem is pushing youth to the wall, forcing them towards negative vices like Drug Addiction and sometimes even towards aggressive tendencies. Highly qualified youth who have PHD and other reputed degrees are lying unemployed for years and this problem of unemployment is thus huge for youth of Kashmir and proving damaging to their intellect, mental health etc. Unemployment is proving to be dream killer for the youth of Kashmir.”
Voices also state that the problem of unemployment is forcing talented youth to leave Kashmir for other places.
Khair Ul Nisa, a Management Professional while talking to The Kashmir News Bureau Stated – “It would not be farfetched to say that Unemployment is the single biggest issue faced by the youth of Kashmir. Infact there are very meager employment avenues available to the educated youth of Kashmir. This bleak scenario related to employment and prevalence of grave unemployment among the youth of Kashmir is giving rise to what can aptly be termed as Brain Drain. As we all know that Brain Drain refers to the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usually for better pay or living conditions, thus same happening in Kashmir at an alarming pace deprives the place from the experience and exuberance of quality youth.”
The youth also states that the problem of unemployment has in an all-round manner adversely impacted their lifestyle.
Mir Mujeeb, an unemployed youth while talking to The Kashmir News Bureau stated – “The problems and issues creeping for youth of Kashmir due to prevalence of serious unemployment are multidimensional. The overall consequences on the life of Kashmiri youth due to unemployment are many. The social fabric stands rattled as the problem of unemployment has lead to surge in late marriages in the past few decades. Jobless youth are finding it difficult to shape up a rewarding lifestyle and this is causing them huge suffering. What is more worrying is that the negative effects imparted by uncontrolled unemployment are shattering the society and calling upon the government to initiate dynamic measures. Growing drug addiction among the youth, increase in depression and suicidal tendencies among the youth of the state are now known facts, Government should take corrective measures to arrest the tendency of growing menace of unemployment which is proving detrimental for Kashmiri youth,”
Undoubtedly, the drawbacks and repercussions of unemployment on Kashmiri youth life are quite damaging and deserve to be addressed by stakeholders especially government. (KNB)