Remind them of CSR

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Jammu and Kashmir is face to face with plethora of problems and crises. While on one hand the political uncertainty coupled with violence have given an ever-ready excuse to the political as well as administrative executive to put a halt on the state’s progress and development, on the other hand it is the corruption that has been and is eating up very vitals of the society. All the institutions of the state are plagued with the menace of corruption and therefore, it was no wonder that Jammu and Kashmir is among the top most-corrupt states. Though the successive governments have been claiming waging war against the menace and have even passed some laws to deal with the corrupt, but the disease seems incurable because the so-called “wars against corruption” have remained confined to the political rhetoric only.

Another serious problem that has been posing biggest threat to the state is that of unemployment. The number of educated unemployed youth is increasing with every passing year with no avenues of employment available anywhere. As the state, particularly the Kashmir Valley, is too poor on industrial front, government remains the only employing agency. It goes without saying that government in no circumstances is in a position to accommodate the heavy rush of all the unemployed. Therefore, the unemployment really emerges as a great threat and if ways and means are not found to create employment avenues, the situation has every potential to take any dangerous turn. The unemployed lot is growing frustrated with every passing day and the increase in the incidents of suicides or even the petty crime is in some measure one of the dangerous fallouts of employment crises.

Even though one agrees that government cannot accommodate and employ all the unemployed but at the same time it can’t shy away from its responsibility of helping these youth found jobs with respect and dignity. The self-employment schemes are one of the attractive and very promising alternatives. But once again the rampant corruption has made these schemes useless. Need is to revive the schemes and think innovatively and make them more people-friendly. The schemes should be made so attractive that instead of looking towards the government for jobs, unemployed people should voluntarily prefer to go for self-employment. But in this regard the banks operating in Jammu and Kashmir have to take a lead. Although the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, whose USP is “empowerment of masses”, has been doing some real good work on this front, but the other nationalized banks, which are also doing very lucrative business in the state, must also be pulled up to contribute their bit. They cannot have the privilege of their sweet discretion in terms of their social responsibility.

It is true that banks are through and through business establishments and are always in a race to earn more. But then there is something called corporate social responsibility as well. Banks are supposed to do more than just earn profits. Despite being commercial institutions, the banks too, at some level, actually belong to the people, because it is their money that is the life blood of the banking industry. So if banks are doing profitable business here, credit for it goes to the people who have actually reposed their trust and invested in, and with these financial institutions. Now when it comes to shouldering the responsibility of pulling out this state from the morass of unemployment, banks have to be there to help. They have to shoulder this social responsibility and come forward to help the unemployed stand on their own feet and earn with respect and dignity. And in doing so they will certainly be doing business as well, because the loans they extend to help the unemployed will earn them profits also.

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