Youth must change mindset to meet challenges of global meltdown
Odisha's youth is not different than the rest of India as the global meltdown has them badly. The current batch of engineering and management institutes of the state are seeing a bleak future for their placement opportunities in the industry because the existing ones working within and outside the Odisha are loosing jobs left, right and centre.
Both global and national media reports convey that the frustration, anxiety and anger is being easily seen and experienced throughout the globe in the current global economic crisis which is even greater in magnitude than the Great Depression of 1930s. Job cuts, lay-offs, pink slips are the kind of unpleasant words which have become so frequent these days that it cast a shadow on our very survival in this competitive world. The news dailies are replete with reports of demonstrations by jobless youth, right from US to Germany and France in Europe to several regions in Asia. The situation in India too does not present a rosy picture. Soon after the meltdown shockwaves, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex tumbled bringing the business tycoons many steps down the profit ladder. There have been sudden brakes in the business activities of manufacturing and service sectors. Everyone is asking now: what next?
Odisha: Development Issue
Odisha unfortunately has not undergone any significant developmental change in the last 60 years. A comparative study of the neighboring states like Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal can be done in this regard to understand the actual situation of the state. Andhra Pradesh is known internationally as the progressive state both in terms of IT, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and for the forward thinking of the youth.
On the other hand, West Bengal, though a Communist-led state, has seen the sincere efforts of the pragmatic chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya for the economic growth of the state. Moreover, Bengali youth, shaking off their nostalgia are scattered throughout the globe, thus contributing to the welfare of their home state.
Odisha needs development on many fronts starting with the desire to develop first. And the desire takes place when we ponder sincerely over gain and loss. No country or state, in this fast shrinking global world, can afford to remain aloof. There are genuine development requirements in the thinking level of the Odisha people, especially the youth. Development of the self is what required the most at the collective level. We can take inspiration from the youth of Bihar. Though their state is in shambles, their contribution in national politics as well as union civil services are of great significance. They feel proud to be known as Bihari whereas a person from Odisha, living in West Bengal, New Delhi or Mumbai for years, prefers to give a pseudo identity! There is a big question mark on the self-respect. Whom to blame? The so-called politicians who have failed to give a proper identity to Odisha at the national level or the parents who have not taught their children to be proud of Odisha and its culture? It is high time for the youth to change their mindset to actively participate in the future development of Odisha.
Odisha: Youth Mindset
Once ensconced in the cool comfort of their surrounding, the youth, today find themselves trapped with the onslaught of globalization. It is like suddenly changing pace and be on the fast track! The progress in Information and Communication Technology vis-a-vis cutting edge technology have caught them, lagging behind in the race.
In addition to that, the advent of multinational companies in Odisha has further compounded their task of competing with their counterparts at the highest level! The state requires technical manpower not only to develop infrastructure but also to set up its own manufacturing units at various levels to lessen dependency on other states.
The youth can ill-afford to remain in a regressive mindset when they have a greater role to play for the welfare of their state. Gone are the days when they would enjoy the notion that only fathers were required to work to run as big a family as a volleyball team! Ignorance is no more bliss especially when the very question of existence arises with alarming proportions.
Secondly, an attitude which borders on the periphery of fatalism is equally dangerous as it takes the logic out rendering the thoughts irrational and out of sync with the facts. This is known as back-ward thinking due to which not only the individual's progress is blocked but state too, as a whole, has to pay the price.
Though there is no harm in having faith in God and practicing spiritualism, it is the overdose of religious intoxicants that is really hazardous to one's own development as a contributing citizen of the state.
The youth in Odisha has to realize fact that the Time is slipping out of hand. The youth from other states like Bihar, Jharkhand and others are capturing more number of seats not only in premier educational institutions but also grabbing jobs both in public andprivate companies in Odisha.
Odisha: Way Forward For Youth
It is not too late. In order to measure up to the desired expectation, the youth would do well to pull its socks together by taking corrective steps. Taking cue from the Darwin theory that 'survival is the art of the fittest', the youth has to equip himself with the required arsenal to cope with the challenges ahead in the global meltdown. The steps to be taken are as follows:
1.Political Awareness: It is the political leadership of our country which takes decisions of our day-to-day life right from what we should eat, drink, wear to what we should watch on TV or where we can smoke to and what type of education we should have. It is, therefore, imperative for the youth to take active participation in the political debate and discussions. For example, the youth in West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar and other state are politically literate and they not only take active part in political debate and discussions, but also express their opinion. Political awareness is the power to choose between right and wrong.
2.Communication Skill: Communication is a vast subject and it has several connotations. But the topic which is very relevant for the youth of Odisha, in general, is to have a sound understanding and command over English, which is now the language of the global world. Certain manners and etiquettes associated with English should also be learnt. The economic crisis has made the selection process tougher. 'Creamy layer' is fast becoming the buzzword in the recruiting companies.
3.Information & Communication Technology: In the wake of the global economic crisis, the major IT companies like Microsoft have taken a beating. This gives the understanding that something advanced like Information & Communication Technology is the call of the day. The first step in this regard for scores of computer-ignorant youth would be to learn the basics of computer and get to know about Internet, emailing and MS-office applications like working on Windows, Excel and PowerPoint. One of the pre-requisites in the professional world today is to be a computer literate.
4.Entrepreneurial Attitude: A study of the Indian youth suggests that in metro cities youth are opting for 'self-employment' ways leaving behind the 'employment seekers' mindset . Instead, they are generate employment through self-employment. This is a healthy trend for a country like India where more than thirty crore educated youth are unemployed! In Odisha, entrepreneurial mindset can be developed to work in the field of agriculture, floriculture, fisheries, tourism, small scale industries and several other untapped sectors.