Agence India Press
April 23, 2011
Srinagar: Growing unemployment in Kashmir valley is taking a toll on the health of educated jobless youth. Good chunks of educated jobless youth in the Valley are seeking respite in drugs and other toxic substances to overcome stress and anxiety.
Unable to find avenues of earning livelihood, which most of the educated youth see in government jobs, youth reeling under stress resort to drugs to feel much-needed respite.
“Many youth in the evening come to my shop asking for sedative drugs like cough syrups having codeine content. Few ask for diazepam and alprozolam tablets as they complain of sleeplessness during nights. At times youth pretend to be suffering from serious chest complications to get codeine, which otherwise chemists cannot sell without a doctors’ prescription,” a chemist in Jawahar Nagar here told Agence India press.
Some other youth who have not been able to find government jobs or whose search for jobs is not yielding any results resort to liquor. Good number of youth, most of whom had abandoned studies and are jobless could be seen buying liquor in the evening hours along the boulevard road for consumption.
“Yes, we waive of the tension with the help of liquor. We collect money as a group of five or six and consume liquor to fight the stress. Cigarette smoking does not help but liquor helps to feel respite,” a group of youth wishing anonymity confessed.
Due to nearly defunct private sector in the valley, most of youth rely on government jobs for their survival and sustenance. Due to over two decades of turmoil, the private sector in Kashmir valley has got badly affected rendering a good chunk of youth jobless.
It may be recalled here that a survey conducted by Kashmir chapter of Action Aid International in Srinagar, Budgam and Pulwama districts had revealed that 29 per cent of the unemployed youth (male) surveyed smoke cigarettes in order to relax themselves and reduce anxiety and tension.
Cigarettes being cheap and easily available are smoke by youth at large. The study further said that at least 12 per cent of the youth, which includes females take sleeping pills to overcome stress. \
Despite some much-hyped measures even the present coalition government so far has not been able to deal properly with the problem. The Sheri Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) introduced in 2009 to address the problem of unemployment seem to have lost momentum due to the half-hearted measures of the government. .
The policy document was launched on the December 5, 2009, the 105th birthday of the great visionary of the State, the Sher-e-Kashmir, and Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and hence named SKEWPY. Besides taking initiatives like SKEWPY, revival of the affected private sector is a must to deal with the problem.
Conceding that the growing unemployment in the state was a serious challenge for the government, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah had even asked the Jammu and Kashmir Oversees Employment Corporation (JKOEC) to fix realistic targets for the year ahead regarding placement of skilled and educated youth in the job market outside the country.
Under SKEWPY, lakhs of jobless youth have registered themselves for different job- oriented courses. The recruitment drive by Jammu and Kashmir police at early this year Khanyar in summer capital of the state had evoked a huge response from jobless youth, who in early 1990’s hesitated to join the belt force. This gives an indication of desperation of jobless youth in valley for government jobs. (AIP) Copyright © 2011 AIPTV. All rights reserved.