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Uttarakhand

Posted at: Apr 17, 2018, 12:41 AM; last updated: Apr 17, 2018, 12:41 AM (IST)

Youths’ ongoing exodus undermines state govt’s agri-based industries

Youths’ ongoing exodus undermines state govt’s agri-based industries
Kotgi village in Bhilangna block of Tehri. A large number of youth from the village have migrated in search of work.

Jotirmay Thapliyal

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, April 16

Migration continues to be the biggest challenge before agrarian Uttarakhand even as its youth heavily disillusioned with the agriculture sector is looking at viable livelihood option outside, which could be in other parts of the country or even abroad.

A study by Doon University on out-migration patterns in Uttarakhand has revealed a distinct shift from farm to non-farm sectors, particularly towards the service industry with a large number of people from Uttarakhand employed in hotels and dhabas across the country.

While travelling to Bhilangna block of Tehri Garhwal, Doon University’s researchers Dr Niyati Naudiyal and Ina Bahuguna witnessed a peculiar pattern of outmigration in the region. Most young men from villages across Bal Ganga and Dharam Ganga valley in Bhilangna are employed in hotels in Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Muscat, Thailand and other international destinations.

With no formal hotel education and training most of these young men can be presumed to be travelling as unskilled labourers. “The family members of most the out-migrating young men are considerably disillusioned by the system which has forced their sons to take up odd jobs, particularly in hotel industry, in distant places to support their families back home”, Dr Niyati Naudiyal told The Tribune.

Finding jobs abroad is no big issue as it involves paying hefty sums to agents. “Most of these agents are our own acquaintances from the surrounding villages who have been working abroad for years now and we trust them. Though there have been incidents where people have lost large amounts of money to fraudulent recruiters, the number of such cases is very small”, says Vikas Kumar, a resident of Ghansali town, whose brother works in a hotel in Japan.

The continuous exodus of young working force from the hill districts of Uttarakhand paints a grim picture for successful implementation of state government ventures to support agri-based industries in the hill areas state.

“Where is the workforce? We struggle to find able workforce in the villages due to high out-migration of working men. There are no young men in the villages and most of the members of self help groups set up by us are elderly with more than 60 years of age. It is a major problem to start a small business in the villages”, recounts Siddarth Verma, a young entrepreneurs from Dehradun, who wants to start an agri based startup in the hills.

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