Unemployment in Kashmir is Also a Function of the Mindset. This Needs to Change

Mohammad Ashraf

Our Kashmir has been known globally for its skills and crafts since a quite some time. The handicrafts of Kashmir are acknowledged throughout the globe for its skills, arts and crafts. Since a while it has been providing livelihood to the tens of thousands of people in the valley. It used to be a rich industry in past but with the passage of time the industry’ sheen got subdued. Due to lack of interest of the administration in promoting this valuable craft in the valley on modern lines, many crafts men lost their interest in the handicraft industry. Consequently many people got unemployed while some others got inclined towards other professions. The industry, however, has a great potential to absorb many talented and educated people in it.
Each year we witness thousands of graduates and postgraduates coming out the colleges and universities after completing their degrees but remain unemployed for years .They do not get jobs of their choice. Hence , they remain in search of coveted jobs of which there is dearth in the valley. Some even opt for jobs in the private sector on meager income where they are fleeced for years. Hence the precious time and potential within them gets wasted. The potential and talent in our young and educated if is channelized in proper direction can bring lot of job avenues for them. These educated and talented can be persuaded for opting for the handicraft industry. Our handicraft industry has a potential that it can absorb ours healthy chunk of unemployed population.
The skilled and semi-skilled people who do come to our valley in summer months from outside the state earn a handsomely here. They get their livelihood with ease here while as our energetic, young, talented and educated youth remain jobless hence burdening their parents with the burden of their joblessness. The reason for this is that our youth possess a pile of degrees at their back but are not skilled in any profession. Hence it contributes to their anxieties and frustrations.
Here we have a rich agricultural allied businesses and markets which have a great potential for creation of job opportunities for our educated youth. Our youths can be persuaded to operate dairy farms at their local levels which can lead creation of jobs for others. Our poultry sector can also pave way for absorption for many people, if harnessed properly.
The hair dressers in our valley are mostly outsiders .They earn good bucks at their salons hence support themselves and their families. While as our educated guys feel shy in adopting these lucrative jobs. It is quite unfortunate that our youth prefer to remain idle than to adopt these dignified jobs. Our minds have been instilled with clerical-obsessed jobs.
Hence it is high time that the youth of Kashmir should change their mindsets regarding their job selection. They should not only hone their talents in other sectors of job creation but also be employers for others. Our valley Kashmir is replete with resources and job opportunities which need to be exploited so that the disguised unemployment in our valley gets jettisoned once for all.

—The author can be reached at: mohd45679pp@gmail.com