Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday urged Kashmiri youth not to run after government jobs and instead try to revive traditional means of livelihood to contribute in nation building so that "the goal of making Jammu and Kashmir self-reliant is achieved."
"Today the scenario in Kashmir is very grim as youth are only running after government jobs while all the traditional means of earning livelihood are shrinking fast. This is a sorry state of affairs and the trend can have serious repercussions. Whatever resources we have at present are fast depleting and we are turning into a fully dependent state on New Delhi," Mirwaiz told Greater Kashmir on the side-lines of a Seerat Conference organised by the Anjuman-e- Nusratul Islam at Islamia High School, Rajouri Kadal here.
Mirwaiz said that the objective of the conference was to make youth of Kashmir aware of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) on the importance of self-reliance.
Elaborating he said in the light of Islam, a labour has high dignity and respect and his money is hard earned. "But the concept of skilled labour that was once very prominent in Kashmir has faded. We hardly see any skilled labour in the Valley. The number is miniscule," he said.
Mirwaiz said that if youth would take up traditional means of earning livelihood, they would earn much more than the government employee. "Unfortunate part is that our concept of education is limited to just finding a government job. There is no training being provided to youth on how they can become skilled labours," he said. "Now the situation is so grim that our youth feel ashamed to work in the fields."
He said the Agricultural production has come to a standstill as a very less crop production is registered from Kashmir. "The agricultural rate is shrinking fast as there is already a construction boom. We are losing a sector that has once been a backbone of Kashmir's economy," said Mirwaiz.
Earlier, speaking at the Seminar, Mirwaiz said that in 1947 Kashmir's import export ratio was 1:3 which has shrunk to 3:1 at present. "This is strange and reflects a sorry state of affairs. Once a fully independent state economically is now turning to be fully dependent. Our economy has been choked and one of the major reasons for that is that we have shunned our traditional means of earning livelihood," he said. "Our skills like paper machie, wood carving, and weaving pashmina are depleting at a fast rate."
He urged youth to put in best to revive the Kashmir's traditional means of earning. "See today, China is producing better carpets than Kashmir. Kashmir was once known as best carpet weaving place. Our once rich industrial units like HMT, Rajbagh silk factor and many other units are sick and there is no proposal to revive them. We should wake up before it is too late," he said.
Mirwaiz said the focus of the youth should be on increasing various agricultural produces. "If we won't do this, we would be left with no option other than to go with begging bowl," he said.
Meanwhile, dozens of students from various schools participated in the Seerat conference after which Mirwaiz distributed prizes among the children. Muneeb ur Rehman from Green Valley Educational Institute, Atif and Shaila from Islamia High School bagged first, second and third positions respectively.