Continued migration affecting Govt scheme implementation
The unabated exodus of youth from the mountainous areas of the State is causing problems for successful implementation of State Government’s venture to support agro based industries in Uttarakhand. Young researchers of Doon University here have found this as one of the effects of the migration along with many other migration phenomenons.
The research is being done under ‘National Mission on Himalayan Studies’ funded by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change. The project is being implemented through School of Environment and Natural Resources and covers all districts of the State and under it the research scholars are currently undertaking a study on Out-migration patterns in Uttarakhand.
One of the researchers, Niyati Naudiyal said that they noticed that there is no young work force left in many villages. She said that narration of a young businessman of Dehradun, Sidharth Verma who wants to start an agro based start up in the hills summed up the things. “Where is the workforce? We struggle to find able workforce in the villages due to high migration of working age men. There are no young men in the villages, and most of the members of SHG groups that we are making are older than 60 years of age. It is a major problem to start a small business in the villages” said Verma to the researchers.
The team of Naudiyal and fellow researcher Ina Bahuguna also witnessed a peculiar pattern of migration in the region. They noticed that most young men from villages were employed in hotels in Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Muscat, Thailand, other international destinations. With no formal hotel education and training most of these young men get jobs of unskilled labour.
“The family members of these young men are considerably disillusioned by the system which has forced their sons to take up petty job in distant places, to support their families back home. Most of the families are surviving on inconsistent remittances, with no other major income source.
We noticed that these young men are paying hefty sums of money anywhere between Rs 80,000 to Rs 6 lakh rupees to agents. There have been incidents where people have lost large amounts of money to fraudulent recruiters”, said Naudiyal.
The researchers said that they met a woman of Silyara village whose husband burrowed a sum of Rs 6 lakh from a money lender for paying an agent to find a job in Japan. He got the job but has not returned as he hasn’t been paid his salary by the hotel owner where he works. The woman is one of many women forced to lead a lonely life under such circumstances. Many of these women struggle to pay the loan their husbands took. The team found that the hotel jobs these men get are temporary and can only stay for three to five years at a foreign location due to visa issues.
“Most of these men travel back and forth. They have to find a new employment each time they travel back. Every time they have to give a fixed amount of money to the agent, which is borrowed from money lenders at high interest rates sources. This often creates a debt trap for the person involved. The living conditions of these young men abroad are something no one wants to talk about. Their struggle with foreign languages, cultural differences, and possible cases of racism are unaccounted,’’ Naudiyal said.
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