For a lot of us 2020 has been a year of hopelessness. In particular Kashmir which already suffered due to the political situation in 2019, the year 2020 has been back breaking. Many families are finding it increasingly hard to make the two ends meet. We assume as per common wisdom that in a lot of families at the brink of facing poverty, the pre-teens and teenage sons and daughters would drop out of schools and colleges to work in the unorganised sector.
The question is how to deal with this army of sixteen, seventeen and eighteen year olds who are ready to use their body and mind to earn two times meals for their families. The need of the hour is to skill these pre-teens and teens in the shortest span of time to make them employable at the entry level in the organised sector. In short, we need to take this army of youth into a kind skilling probation wherein they are paid a remuneration to at least take care of themselves if not their family.
As long as our memory serves us right the central government had organised programs like HIMAYAT and UDAAN with average success. We expect more such programs from the central government. The absence of an organised private sector in the valley entails that we prepare our youth, skill them and catapult them to various mainland Indian cities to find entry jobs for themselves in Retail, IT, BPO, Logistics and Tourism sectors.
We can expect many Non-Resident Kashmiris will also come forward in this endeavor and adopt a few batches of school and college dropouts. This can also be expected of the current elite in the valley who despite the slow 2020 had some semblance of recurring income hitting their accounts.
We are all in it together. We are bound to have thousands of school and college dropouts this year. It is upto us. To let them frugal earnings in the unorganised sector with no growth. Or let them enter Retail, hospitality and IT and map their own future prospects.