TODAY -

Reorientation (Skills and Minds) - The need of the hour

Lt Col L Manongba *



There is a favourite phrase amongst many –the New Normal. The implication of such a term, is what we need to interpret correctly and intelligently. Many eminent and wise citizens have spoken of the issue of returnees & unemployment to respective states country wide. One felt the need to add on & express further.

Focusing on the state in particular, many have rightly highlighted the availability of 'jobs in the state' which at present are being taken up by approx 40,000 non local workforce. There has also been return of an equal number or more of youth in the age group of 25 to 40 Yrs, who had been engaged in various jobs in all parts of the country.

A comprehensive data is already available with the Govt, thanks to the Covid -19 scares & our positive responses in attempts to segregate the negatives effectively. The pandemic of Covid - 19 is showing no sign of retreat and 'series of Lock-Downs' is probably going to stay in these parts for much longer than expected or desired.

There is an urgent need for REORIENTATION & READJUSTMENTS.

The boys and girls who were in a financially 'Self- Propelling - Mode' pre March 2020, will certainly find it hard to reorient themselves in the kind of work that they may take up locally. These are mostly in jobs like construction sector requiring unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour.

Masonry, carpentry, tiles work, plumbing work, electrical fitting, painting works, petty shop keeping, etc. The local boys & girls earlier worked in numerous cities, and were engaged in job sectors of private security guards, staff jobs in hotel, restaurant, shopping malls and tourism sectors.

Few of them who probably were with higher educational qualifications & with knowledge of English, computer skills etc may have worked in call centres.

REORIENTATION would involve - skill training & learning which is much easier for these highly skilled youth with very observant eyes and characteristics.

The other aspect of this is 'Mental Conditioning' - which will take more than just mere words of counsel, because such expectation would be contradictory to the very reasons why these boys and girls went out in search of opportunities.

Lastly, the favourite 'Punching Bag' of Non Locals taking up Local Jobs - is a universal phenomenon. To use this recently 'Acquired'' Weaponry in form of ILPS (Inner Line Permit System, gifted by the respected HM Shri Amit Shah), to justify 'Cries of Foul' in 'inward movement' of the much needed workforce would be Unwanted as well as Unwarranted.

This movement of peoples should not be translated into a fear of being overwhelmed, however right sounding or imagined; it certainly cannot be stopped if we want developmental activities to continue.

This is a worldwide activity – may be Mexico Vs USA, India Vs Bangladesh or elsewhere. Chinese movements worldwide is of course another matter altogether; that is with an intense intent of much dreaded 'Overshadow Effect' (refer Bertil Lintner's World Wide Web – Chinese Migration in 21st Century).

For us, one may only attempt to regulate it legally, which is already being done by the Govt with best of intent & earnest since 01st Jan 2020. Appreciations must be credited to the Govt, both central and state. The Govt must be allowed to do what it does best.

As one understands, the purpose of ILPS regime is not for the fiduciary gains. Nor is it justified to use it as a 'NO ENTRY' signboard to the rest of the countrymen. This is different from RAP (Restricted Area Permit) meant for Foreign citizens visiting these areas.

In both the cases, the Govt is the legal entity which is ensuring proper implementation. (As per the author Rs 1 Crore was collected as state Govt revenue, in 7 months since 01st Jan 2020 from 33,500 people who came into the state for various purposes.)

If one may add, this amount may just as well meet the overhead expenses of manpower & other expenses in manning the state's 7 ILP check gates and others. This though is welcome, but it can't be the mainstay of our economy where 91% of Revenue comes from Central funds to the tune of Rs 16,500 Crores.)

The two major benefits of the same (ILPS) may be, safety provisions to unregulated sale / purchase of already limited space and land (which is still debatable & is subject to interpretations / implementation); Secondly & more important is the mental 'Kavach' suiting Xenophobic mind-set of many.

Without going into the merits and demerits of such a system, one feels that necessary workforce flowing into the state for various development works, cannot and should not be blunted by use of the new arsenal.

Before that the state's youth must learn to Re-Orient their Minds, pick up necessary tools and tackles & proceed towards the opportunities that lie ahead, if they want to survive in days of or post Covid 19.

That will be a reality of oft quoted – NEW NORMAL. Lest, the 50,000 plus & growing youth would find themselves unprepared; and there would be none else to blame except themselves. REORIENTATION (Skills and Minds) is the urgent need of the Hour.


*** The author is a socially concerned, responsible well-wisher of the state, country nation. He is President, Tri Services Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, Manipur (TSEWA - Manipur) & General Secretary, Armed Forces Ex-Servicemen Association Manipur (AFESAM). The contents are personal reflections.


* Lt Col L Manongba (Indian Army veteran) wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be contacted at colmanongba(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 15 2020 .



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