Shortage of skilled workers - A paradox of the Indian economy !
A recent study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania indicates that 92% of the employment in India comes from the unorganized sector. However, the government’s focus is on providing training to the organized sector, which is predominantly urban. In the earlier days, indigenous skill development happened through passing down hereditary skills in activities such as farming, masonry, weaving and craft. It has become the need of the hour to bring these dying skills back into the mainstream, as traditional skills are an important form of skill development, and highly instrumental in generating income. We have taken a step forward by imparting unique skills.
Dignity of labor is a major concern in today’s India. We have to challenge the norms of society to progress. Even though great Indian men like Mahatma Gandhi have said that work is worship, a deep-rooted prejudice about certain vocations that require physical labor remain. Manual labor is considered to be undignified menial work, a result of the caste system that still pervades our thought. Even the educated unemployed youth choose to remain jobless rather than take up a job that is looked down upon by society. The University of Pennsylvania suggest that white-collar jobs are sought after even when employability is low, while many jobs remain in the vocational sector. This leads to poverty and prejudice in ourcountry. Our mentoring session was a modest initiative to create a shift in the positive direction.
The mindset today, is on the brink of change. It can be argued that among India’s emerging middle class, consisting of about 50-75 million people, many believe that caste plays a less significant role in our society. Increased outreach through education is making people respect all kinds of manual work, which is a necessary activity to keep society going. Mass media and inter-cultural travel are clearly opening up people’s minds. Hopefully we are on the way to creating a modern and dynamic nation.