TOPICS: The elusive hopes of youths

Radio Nepal’s claim that no youngster is to be found in Duruwa

Village across the Rapti River in

Dang District comes as a surprising piece of news.

The youths did not leave the village due to the decade-long Maoist insurgency, which ended recently, nor were they forcefully driven out.

They left for greener pastures because of their families’ miserable conditions. This can be proven by the absence of youths during social gatherings. It’s the elderly, mostly women, who have to trudge along during funeral processions. The village women are the ones who have to come forward for any event.

Some 150 households of Chaudharis and Dalits live in Duruwa, which has a population of 1,500 people, according to the National Census (2001).

The reason for the youths’ absence in their village is that they have

all gone abroad to Malaysia, Iraq

and Gulf countries in pursuit of

jobs. This shows the darker side of the

picture. The males, mostly youths, have gone abroad. Yet many

families have not received any money because the foreign employment holders have difficulty managing a square meal in a foreign land.

The women lament that only if the lure of foreign employment had

not been there, the male members would have been able to eke out

a living in Duruwa itself.

This plain narrative is a concrete reality of the rural areas across the nation. What a plight!

The government has established a separate Ministry for Youth to address the problems of the younger generation and draft necessary strategies for their development.

However, with nothing really happening except for reports, thousands of youths are forced to leave their dear family members in search of jobs in foreign land. The earning they make is for the most part paltry, not even enough to feed themselves.

It’s all in the paper-talking about

the grand role of youths for the

overall development of the country. The leaders have a knack for paying lip service about the plans for engaging the country’s youths. But, there seems to be little genuine opening for the youths, except for getting into the youth wings of the various political parties and play around with violence. This is a sad picture.