Brain drain! Staring at bleak future, highly educated youth consider leaving valley

Srinagar:  Thirty one year old Umar (name changed) was on top of the world when he completed PhD in English from the University of Kashmir.  With three years of untiring efforts and compact research work, Umar was hoping to land a job in the academics.

Luck however had other things in store for Umar. A complete communication blockade and a series of restrictions since August 5 have frustrated Umar to the extent that he has decided to look for job outside Jammu and Kashmir to earn his living.


“A feeling of frustration and purposelessness continuously haunts me. Did I finish my PhD thesis only to sit at home and brood over it?” he asked.

Staring at bleak future, Umar has applied for a job in Pune and Qatar. He visits his neighbour’s place every day to make a call from their land-line to check for any response to his job application.

“The struggle to find any means of earning livelihood continues. Besides, what are my chances of employment at 31? I am not getting any younger,” he rued.

Umar is not an isolated case. Imran (name changed) worked as a private school to fulfill his dream of getting a degree from Amity University, Lucknow. The 28 year old recently finished his M Phil in child psychology. But he now seems clueless about his future prospects.

“I am from an underprivileged family. I used to work as a teacher in a private school. Two years back, I decided to quit the job and went to study further. This was purely done to get myself a better job and help my family to overcome financial strains. Look what has happened now. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel,” Imran said with a voice heavy with emotions.

With uncertainty looming large, Imran has also made up his mind to leave his home for better career options. He has applied for job in the middle-east and plans to take his family along.

“This decision will again cost me financially but I am all up for it. Financial losses can be recovered, but the loss of mental health which is already deteriorating with each passing day cannot be regained,” he asserted.

A noted educationist warned that this crisis will leave a long term and lasting impact on the students and youth.  “The loss of classes will mean that they will miss out on crucial conceptual clarity and always play catch up. On the other hand, it will lead to a brain drain as bright young people will look to work elsewhere where there is less uncertainty,” he said.

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About the Author

When the world fails to make sense, Hirra Azmat seeks solace in words. Both worlds, literary and the physical lend color to her journalism.

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