Srinagar, Jul 02: Unemployment is the bane especially for the youth of the Kashmir. The figures related to the unemployment in the Kashmir have touched monstrous proportions.
The realities with reference to it are alarming. 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 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (2.8 per cent), Delhi (2.7 per cent) and Haryana (2.6 per cent) are much better placed than Jammu and Kashmir.
Due to violence and never ending 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.
The debate of generating thus meaningful livelihood for the youth of Kashmir is just not a desire but a burning need. Skill Development is considered as the backbone of employment generation and directs in right direction the skills of uneducated and educated youth.
On the otherhand, the skill development centers training the youth of Kashmir in diverse skills like cutting and tailoring, Beautician, Electrician, Plumbering , Public relations, IT under the auspices of different ministries are paying high dividends. Voices state more needs to be done in this regard .
In order to generate meaningful employment more needs to be done to promote Handicrafts and carpet sector. Experts state that the government is boasting day in and day out of taking measures to encourage the growth of the handicrafts industry – But on ground the realities are not that promising. Government failed to provide stimulus package to help handicraft industry come out of global meltdown, Carpets are in bulk now supplied by Badhoi and we the business community of Kashmir continue to suffer.
Promoting untapped sectors like Fisheries can be other important medium to generate meaningful livelihood in Kashmir. Fish and Fisheries sector occupies a pivotal place in the socio-economic development of the state. It has been recognized as a powerful income and employment source of cheap and nutritious food, besides being a source of livelihood for a large section of economically backward population of the country.
The total fishermen population in the State as per livestock census 2003 was around 31,000. It is presently estimated around 93000. The 27781 Km. length of rivers/streams facilitate farming of more than 40 million tonnes of fish. As against this, the State has only 0.07 lakh hectares under reservoir area. There is a big gap between the demand and supply of fish.
Promoting Information technology can be other tool to minimize unemployment and maximisise opportunities of Meaningful livelihood opportunities for the youth. Information Technology as a sector has taken center-stage in the development of global economies and played a vital part in development of Indian economy too.
Although, despite lofty promises by the Jammu & Kashmir Government and the concerned IT Ministry the IT sector of Jammu & Kashmir has continued to lag behind.
Pertinently, the valley of Kashmir is yet to see a developed Information Technology sector as the valley of Kashmir currently lacks quality IT Parks and a large number of IT Professionals are jobless in the valley of Kashmir. IT Parks have been promised but no pragmatic effort made to build the same
The time and realities demand we generate meaningful livelihood to save our youth from frustration and going to dark corridors. (KNB)