Agriculture fails to attract Newar youths

Kathmandu, May 15:

Agriculture is fast declining as an occupation among the Newars in the Valley who were renowned for the profession, thanks to the booming real estate business and the frustration among the youths at the meagre earning from the profession.

Most of the youths here are trying their best to go abroad for studies and employment.

Dhan Ram Maharjan (27) is a multi-skilled person and has expertise in making bronze statues and furniture. Trained to cook Chinese, Japanese and Continental cuisines, yet he thinks none of these skills are good enough to make a good living here.

“Unemployment is a major concern here,” he says. He is nowadays busy arranging papers for migration to Canada.

Harisiddhi is a traditional Newari settlement with 99 per cent population engaged in agriculture. Being close to capital, urbanisation has had lots of impact on this village and once fertile land is being used by over 12 of brick kilns and housing companies.

Lucrative real estate business in valley has encouraged the locals to get into fast money making business. Locals say they have observed lots of changes. The village has eight schools a campus. This has increased the level of education as well as the aspirations of the youths, says Satya Narayan Maharjan, a resource person at Patan Higher Secondary School. He says job opportunities are too low to retain these qualified human resources in the nation.

While young men look for bigger opportunities, most girls quietly take up even smaller jobs that they can accomplish from the home itself. Jamuna Maharjan, a student, says she has been meeting her educational expenditure on her own for five years by engaging herself in knitting woollen sweaters and caps.