The effects of unemployment are proving disastrous for the psyche of young people and decrease their self-esteem
Our society is beset with a number of problems like unemployment, moral degradation, dowry, etc. These problems have not engulfed our society only but the whole globe. Among these, unemployment is a menace that is a great challenge for the economy. There is a mushroom growth in the number of educated unemployed youth but a lack of avenues for catering to them. Youth are anxious about their future. In Kashmir, there are lakhs of unemployed youth, and many of them are on verge of crossing the specified age limit for jobs. Youth with the highest degrees are jobless. Some work in the private sector or on a contractual basis in various government departments, with meagre salaries. They are not able to earn enough to meet their needs in a world of inflation. Everyone has a dream of having one or other well-reputed job and being unsuccessful to get it hurts a person. It creates a vacuum in one’s life. It is the most painful thing for a person to see the death of his dreams. Every student studies with the aspiration that it would earn him a decent living and status so that he can become financially independent and support his family. Having a job is not only a financial need but a psychological need. It adds to the elation of self-esteem, dignity and mental health. But being unable to do so pinches a person day in and day out. It creates a number of problems ranging from financial crises to psycho-emotional problems. Qualified unemployed youth suffer from anxiety and depression. They suffer from a lack of esteem. They feel worthless and helpless which ultimately leads to depression and anxiety. Being without a job despite having great degrees and credentials is no less than a trauma for a person. They begin to feel that they are a burden on their families, and they start doubting their potential. They suffer from an inferiority complex, their confidence shatters and they began to feel less motivated in life.
Research has proven that unemployment not only increases the likelihood of disease but can greatly affect one’s mental health, leading to depression and decreased self-esteem. Various studies showed that unemployed people without any previous illness were more likely to die at a younger age than the general population. Without a job, people have lower levels of psychological well-being ranging from symptoms of depression and anxiety to self-harm and suicide. The loss of position or status and the loss of self-esteem are associated with depression. Redundancy can activate stress mechanisms that increase the risk of diseases such as coronary heart disease. The financial strain of unemployment has direct health impacts, with people in debt being more prone to depression. Jobless people are more likely to smoke and drink to excess and the curse of unemployment may have knock-on effects that increase stress and affect mental health such as loss of home and relationship breakdown.
Unemployment is perceived by unemployed persons as a severely stressful situation and it creates frustration and adjustment problems among them. The effects of unemployment are proving disastrous for the psyche of young people and decrease their self-esteem, they feel losing part of their social role, their relationships are made dysfunctional and eventually lose their quality of life. The taunts and pity attitude by society and family kill a person inside. It affects one’s psycho-emotional balance. One begins to have less interest in social gatherings and social life. One begins to feel less motivated and experiences displeasure. Many young boys and girls undergo depression due to unemployment. Some even lost their life by committing suicide because they feel they are worthless and their life is meaningless and this disruption of mental balance make them end their lives. Unemployed young bachelors don’t get partners for marriage because no parent is willing to give the hand of his daughter to an unemployed person. If somehow they get married their life is still worrisome because they are not able to fulfil the needs of their families. They are not able to pay the fees of their kids on time, they are not able to fulfill the aspirations of their family members.
Given the situation, the government should come to the forefront to tackle this menace. The following strategies can be fruitful in this regard:
1. Skill-based education should be imparted. Skill-based and job-oriented courses should be taught at the secondary level so that the pass outs are not rendered unproductive and jobless.
2. Since ours is an agrarian economy and our agriculture sector has huge potential, agro-based industries should be set up which can provide employment to thousands of young boys and girls.
3. Unemployment allowances should be given so as to lessen their financial burden.
4. Contractual employment schemes with basic pay should be implemented in full letter and spirit so that a maximum number of people get a chance to serve and to make their future secure, they should be regularised after a specified time limit.
5. Equal pay for equal work policy should be implemented.
6. Zero-interest loans should be provided so that many young people can start their own businesses.
7. SHGs should be given some help to bloom.
8. There should be a hike in the salary of private school teachers so that their living conditions can improve.
9. Government should regularise young highly educated people and the retirement age should be lessened by a few years so that more and more young people get an opportunity to earn and live a healthy and dignified life.
10. Art and craft education should be included in the curriculum so that students after leaving colleges or universities should be able to start their own businesses. They should be financially independent .it would lessen the burden of aspirants for govt jobs.
11. Government should provide subsidies and schemes to motivate youth to start dairy farming, horticulture and fisheries projects so that they become job creators rather than job seekers.
12. Furthermore, early mental support and resilience training programs during higher education are needed to potentially mitigate the elevated risk of mental issues among unemployed youth in Kashmir.
Author is a lecturer at Govt Degree College, Pattan. Feedback at [email protected]