According to the report of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), remittance contributes about 25% to the country's GDP and also according to the report of Department of Immigration of Tribhuvan International Airport 1500 plus Nepali youths migrate abroad daily to foreign job market. These two facts depict how severe is the situation of youth migration in Nepal.
The very low access to employment, unfavorable environment to grow entrepreneurship and capital constraints are the reasons that provoke youths to migrate. The political transformation period of Nepal contributes to these problems to a large extent. About 65.5% of people are engaged in agriculture (MOAD, 2013). The traditional inheritance of farming is no more charming to youths. The literates feel awkward to work in fields. The working in field has been matter of shame making youths to migrate in search of service oriented employment. It has been matter of social respect for anyone to find jobs in sectors other than agriculture.
Many youths migrate for abroad studies where they find good opportunities which bind them to stay there. Getting jobs according to qualification is the big constraint leading youths to migrate. Nepotism looms everywhere. Ex-British army with the provision of visa for settlement in UK has also caused migration. The rural to urban migration is associated with the more opportunities, facilities, exposures and so called attracting factor of the cities.
We can see productive agricultural farms left fallow. There are insufficient farm labor and industrial workforce. There are villages with children, elderly and women and without youths. As, the risk bearing group i.e. youths have migrated then, it is obvious that women and elderly are engaged in farm works producing just quarter of their need. In Nepali tradition, there used to be spontaneous participation of people in wedding and in the funeral process, for which payment is being a necessary code of conduct nowadays. This implies the pity situation of the society.
The dichotomy among couples has increased due to misunderstanding, as they remain far, leading even to suicide. This relates to the great social imbalance. Moreover, social securities are challenged. As, youths migrate at the most active working age , they spend their efficiency there and after returning they are incapable to perform tough works well due to disturbed health created with the climatic variability and high work load beyond their abilities. Many return back handicapped without remuneration. The uneven foreign diplomacy of the nation is not capable to justify the foreign employment issues.
There is drastic increase in per capita income due to increased remittance flow. The remittance has contributed significantly to reduce poverty from 41.8% to 25.2% just over a decade. But, it is essential to note that the remittance is not the long term solution. There is increment in import of luxurious goods and even the farm products. There is increment in consumption. With imbalance in import and export, trade deficit is prevalent and inflation has challenged Nepalese economy. The remittance is used in unproductive sector which is most sensitive to justify. But, the imported skills and technology are very important keys to unlock the development ideas and has been used successfully by some enthusiastic youths.
Introduction of cell phones services, internet and satellite access as DTH and mechanization are splendid ideas to encourage youths in Agriculture. The provision of microfinance and microcredit to mitigate capital constraints can be very essential tool to increase involvement of youth in agriculture. These make the farm works charming. I have worked to establish Wi-Fi service at IAAS, Paklihawa campus which has created essentially a pragmatic revolution. My trial to introduce vetiver ( a type of grass called as a living steel with medicinal and soil erosion control use) has succeeded. In developing countries, farming is associated with 24 hrs of tough job. ICT and mechanization can increase the productivity reducing the long tough working hours.
Development of any country depends upon the determination of the youths. Youths are the actual change agents. So, it is obvious that the adequate expenses in youth empowerment and in youth participation along with the adequate expenses in development of science and technology are essentially very important to address the present problems of migration. Difference in expenses in youths and difference in expenses in science and technology is the actual difference between the developed and developing countries and they determine the trend of the development of the country.
Picture courtesy: Przemek Siemion - some rights reserved