Why The Brain Drain?

By Insha Farid

Unemployment is perhaps the biggest concern of the educated youth of our society today. According to a study, Kashmir has some 6,000 unemployed doctors, 2,000 unemployed bio-technologists and a large number of unemployed graduates. Some estimates hold the number of unemployed youth in Kashmir to be over 78,000. These figures quite clearly state that while we have a number of educational opportunities, we lack enough job opportunities. In Kashmir, the bulk of jobs is provided by the government as we have a very weak private sector. But, as more and more people begin to seek education, the job opportunities become lesser. This is why finding a suitable job has become next to impossible these days. Educated youth of the valley are increasingly migrating to other places to look for better job opportunities. Why has it become necessary for our youth to migrate elsewhere to seek employment? Is it because other states and countries offer better opportunities or is it because working in foreign countries and other states has become a new trend? Also, are we losing valuable skill due to this? Team KO asks. Here is what a section of the society has to say.

Khursheed Ahmed
While Kashmir is quite rich when it comes to natural beauty, there are very less job opportunities here. We have a very weak private sector and people working in private sector here have very low salaries. Other countries and even states offer attractive packages so most people prefer to work outside Kashmir.
—— Khursheed Ahmed , PG Student
Ather Ahmed
Kashmir doesn’t have a well-established private sector and as our Government can’t provide employment to the thousands of graduates who pass every year from various colleges and universities, people are forced to look elsewhere for jobs or start their own businesses.
—— Ather Ahmed, Self Employed
Nasir Zahoor
It is true that we don’t have a well-established private sector. But whose fault is that? We have strikes every other day. At times we have strikes and shutdowns for weeks together which is definitely not an ideal situation for business. How can one expect to earn well here or even find good opportunities when the valley remains locked down either because of curfews or strikes for the better part of the year?
—— Nasir Zahoor , Government Employee
Zahib Kirmani
It is the Government’s fault. They don’t provide enough job opportunities and in absence of a private sector, our youth are forced to seek employment elsewhere. Not everyone can afford to take the risk of starting their own business. Some families depend on a steady pay check.
—— Zahib Kirmani , Businessman
Javeed Khanday
The only way a person can find a good job in Kashmir is if he or she manages to get a Government job which we all know is impossible in the present day. All other jobs pay very less. This is why if a person wants to earn a decent salary, he or she needs to go elsewhere to seek employment.
—— Javeed Khanday , Employee, MetLife
Junaid Rather
I think it depends on your preference and your situation. Someone people don’t want to work in Kashmir because they want to live in developed countries where the standard of living is much better than ours.
—— Junaid Rather , Journalist
Bilal Bhat
We have an employment crisis. We have so many well educated and capable youth sitting at home, jobless because our Government is the only employer in our state. Yes, we do have a private sector but it isn’t much organised yet and as Government can’t employee everyone, people need to go elsewhere if they want to work and earn to support themselves as well as their families.
—— Bilal Bhat , Businessman
Insha Lateef
If you want to stay and work in Kashmir, you need to have a government job because there are no other opportunities available. Of course we have a few private establishments and companies that employee a few youth but, most of these companies don’t pay you enough to even be able to cover your own expenses. So, you are forced to go outside the valley to work.
—— Insha Lateef , PG Student
Mandeep Sodhi
In our days, there were ample government jobs as only a few people were qualified and the competition was a lot less. But today everyone is educated and well qualified. We have hundreds of candidates applying for a single job. Our educational and job opportunities have not increased equally. While we have a lot more educational opportunities, we have a lot less job opportunities. Therefore people are forced to seek employment elsewhere.
—— Mandeep Sodhi , Retd Govt Employee
I am a firm believer in destiny and I think it all depends on what your destiny has in store for you. Someone people are meant to travel and work away from their home so, they find better job opportunities away from home. On the other hand, those people who are meant to stay closer to home, find amazing job opportunities right outside their door.
—— Adeeba Yusuf , MSW Student
We have very less job opportunities here and unemployment has been getting worse with each passing day. It is really heart-breaking to see well qualified youth sitting at home because there are no jobs in our state. Going elsewhere at least gives them an opportunity to earn and not be a burden on their parents.
—— Rutba Amin , Homemaker
We have ample work opportunities available in our valley but people of Kashmir are quite lazy and want everything to be delivered to them on a silver platter. Also, working in other countries means making easy money so, most people prefer not working in Kashmir.
—— Seema Shafi , Employee, ICICI Bank
It has become a trend. Every person in Kashmir wants to work somewhere else, preferably a foreign country as NRIs are looked up upon in our society. People think if you choose to work in Kashmir, you are not as competent as those working elsewhere.
—— Raju Shagoo, Banker
First of all, it isn’t possible for the Government to employ everyone. Secondly, our private sector pays peanuts for salaries. I mean in today’s time, how is it possible for a person to manage on mere six thousand or eight thousand rupees a month? Not only does one earn more outside Kashmir, the opportunities are also more.
—— Mohammed Waseel , Engineer

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