Address Concerns Of Youths

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With insufficient jobs and other livelihood opportunities within the country, Nepali jobseekers, especially youths, have kept losing their hopes. So, they are forced to go abroad in pursuit of better life prospects. But this is also not easy. A lot of youths are often found fallen prey to mafias. Such vulnerable lots time and again go through difficulties in the course of getting to job destinations. This is because human traffickers mostly use illegal means while sending people from one country to another. Many of such victims have got swindled while some others have lost their lives in foreign countries. There have been instances where Nepali trafficking victims have languished in foreign jails. Despite frequent disclosure of horrible stories of the victims of trafficking, other poor and deprived youths easily fall into the trap of swindlers as they want to go overseas to do something for themselves and their family. 

Unfortunate incident

The Korean job market is considered more lucrative than others in terms of salary, job security and other facilities. This is the reason behind a growing interest among youths to get to Korea.  Employers in the Republic of Korea (RoK) have also loved to hire Nepali workers because the latter are regarded as more honest and hardworking than others. But, an unfortunate incident took place in Balkumari of Lalitpur on Friday when two youths lost their lives in a clash with police. A lot of disappointed youths were taking to the streets at Balkumari to protest the alleged obstacles to their participation in Employment Permit System (EPS) examination. The protesters demanded that those who failed in shipbuilding job selection process be allowed to appear in manufacturing sector job selection exams. 

But things turned horrible when the irate demonstrators set a vehicle of Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala on fire. To stop the protesters from causing further damage, the police personnel on duty resorted to firing, killing the two and injuring several others. That incident has disappointed youths further as their demand was genuine. However, having realised the mistake, the government has formed an investigation panel to find out how such a disastrous situation had emerged. If the concerned authorities had handled the situation tactfully, such an adversity would have been prevented.     

A host of Nepali youths are suspected to have stuck in Russia and Ukraine as well. Some of them have already been killed in the war while few are now under the control of Ukraine. After the breakout of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022, the Russian government adopted the policy of recruiting Nepalis and other foreign nationals in its military service. Russia also announced to issue its citizenship to such persons for their contribution to it in a critical time. With the announcement of this policy, manpower agencies and other traffickers seem to have cashed in on it by sending Nepalis to Russia via India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries. 

Although the families of those trapped in foreign nations have requested the government to make every possible effort for their rescue, no solid step appear to have so far been taken in this connection. Neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) possesses the information about the number of Nepalis serving the Russian army nor has it been successful in bringing the dead home. However, the police have lately arrested some manpower agents allegedly involved in sending Nepali youths to Russia for joining the military service. Had the National Investigation Department and other related bodies played a proactive role in preventing human trafficking, the youths should not have died. 

Rising incidences of corruption and other political anomalies have also created a sense of dissatisfaction among youths. Despite the government’s measures to crack down on corruption, the country has witnessed numerous fiscal and other irregularities one after another. The controversial purchase and sale of shares of Ncell is a fresh example of corruption. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the House of Representatives has recently directed the government to halt this. The government has also formed a committee to investigate the issue. The committee must bring the fact to light and the government needs to stop the purchase and sale of this private telecommunication company’s shares as there is something wrong with it. Even Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, while speaking at a meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee recently, said that the transaction of shares was unnatural.  

Wrong tendency

Likewise, unwanted political interferences in universities have crippled the higher education sector. There is a wrong tendency of sharing top university positions among political parties. This practice has caused huge damage to these institutions. Instead of imparting quality education, the universities appear to have turned out to be venues for political ploys. Although there are many universities and colleges across the nation, the number of students getting enrollment there is reported to be falling sharply. Most private colleges in Nepal seem to have named after reputed foreign colleges to attract more students. But there has been a growing trend among students to go abroad for higher studies because of commercialisation of education and unnecessary political interventions in knowledge imparting institutions.   

Since youths’ contribution to the task of nation building is very important, it is necessary for all the three-tier governments to create a congenial environment for such an energetic section of the society to retain within the country. All concerns of youths must be addressed so as to encourage them to join hands with governments for taking the country to the path of development and prosperity.


(The author is a former deputy executive editor of this daily.)

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