Facing the challenges
Jammu and Kashmir is face to face with numerous problems and crises. While on one hand the political turmoil coupled with the violence has been proving a stumbling block in state’s progress and development, on the other hand it is the corruption that has been eating up the very vitals of the society. Notwithstanding the government’s claims about fighting corruption, it remains an established fact that almost all the government agencies and institutions here are plagued with the menace of corruption. The laws like the ones providing for confiscating the ill-gotten property of the corrupt officials too have achieved almost no success in ending the problem of corruption here, primarily because there is a marked lack of will at the political helm in translating claims of anti-corruption into the reality on ground.
Another serious problem that has been posing a biggest threat to the state is that of the unemployment. The number of educated unemployed youth is increasing with every passing year, but the avenues of profitable and constructive engagement for them remain as sparse as ever. Everytime, during elections, various political parties and groups make some noises about the unemployment problem here. But all the big talk and promises that are being made to the unemployed youth simply evaporate in thin air. This political gimmickry has always been a favourite pastime of politicos here and today also things are no better. Indeed this is why the state’s youth are no longer amused or enthused by the speeches and manifestos of various political parties. They have had enough of this political jugglery and have over the years evolved with sufficient maturity to read through such designs of the political leaders and groups.
During last assembly elections, the unemployed youth of the Valley were promised proverbial moon and stars. But despite those towering promises, nothing has changed for them. They continue to be as sullen as ever simply because they are without jobs and the governments, that be, have shown no or very little interest in prioritizing their economic well-being. Although given the Valley’s poor industrial base, it is the government only which remains the major employing agency, which, unfortunately in no circumstances, can accommodate the heavy rush of the unemployed. However, at the same time it is the responsibility of the government to devise ways and means for the constructive engagement of the unemployed people because if the same is not done the unemployment alone can emerges as a great threat not only to the physical and psychological health of the society but that of the state as well. It is an established fact that government is in no position to employ all the unemployed people but it can’t also shy away from its responsibility of helping these youth find jobs with respect and dignity. The self-employment schemes are one of the alternatives.
But once again the rampant corruption has left these schemes useless. Need is to revive the self-employment schemes and think innovatively and make them more people-friendly. These schemes should be made so attractive that instead of looking towards the government for jobs, unemployed should voluntarily prefer to go for self-employment. And for this the government will have to make the financial institutions here to behave and share some social responsibility as well. After all, tackling the problem of unemployment is and should be a shared-responsibility of all.