verywhere one sees there are idlers. Sitting on shopfronts, discussing politics, sports and to surprise of all and sundry economics. Once the clock strikes 12:30 in the afternoon they hit homes for lunch. And again aimlessly hit roads and once darkness descends enter homes for dinner.
The last two decades have been tough for Kashmiri young men and women. Joblessness peaked in the 90s of previous century and with increasing population the number of educated men and women who are idling away their days has increased many fold.
The travel operators, the BPO start ups, inside sales, stock market agents, insurance agents, the logistics professionals are all out of jobs. Many companies have already withheld salaries of Kashmir-based employees for total closure of business cycle.
Youth who are less educated seem to be finding jobs more easily than those with graduate degrees and more. Unemployment among educated youth is high and it is higher for those who had studied above the graduate level. Most of the better educated youth is unable to find suitable jobs because they are looking for better pay which is hard to find and so they remain unemployed.
All this is adding to the already bulging numbers of unemployed youth in valley. Many have already begun fleeing the valley for entry level jobs in various Indian corporate cities. There are Kashmir based professionals with years of experience who are ready to work at entry level in dead end profiles to help their families make two ends meet.
In education, there are many openings for teachers. There is a dearth of primary school teachers in the rural areas. Yet, few young graduates aspire to become school teachers.
In agriculture, there is an exodus of young people to towns because very few young people want to remain in farming, which has ceased to be a remunerative or a prestigious occupation. Farmers in many states have been committing suicide because of mounting debt. The rural youth who are working in farms are often doing so because of a shortage of labour, not because it isn’t a viable occupation.
Unless the young are trained or educated, they will have to find jobs in the informal sector as drivers, cooks, maids; in repair shops, as restaurant waiters, cleaners, etc. But these jobs have no job security beside low paid. The organised sector, meanwhile, being unable to find properly trained personnel, will go more and more for automation. The authorities need to take steps to train these educated youth so that they can do something atleast for themselves.