Sarai Meer, Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh), Sep.29 : While Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh district has hogged news headlines after arrest of some youth in relation to Delhi bomb blasts, few are aware that there are not many career opportunities for most of them locally And, they are craving to take up jobs in Arab countries.
Almost every second young man in the area has a strong craving to go abroad for greener pastures in life. And, their desperation makes them a vulnerable lot.
"Azamgarh district has nothing to offer. No mode of income at all. This would obviously encourage the youths either to turn towards robbery or else go abroad in search of job opportunities. Youth of the city have no other options left but to go abroad for income," said Iftkhaar Ahmad, Principal, Shibli National College, Azamgarh.
Youngsters say the wish to take up employment in abroad because their native place has nothing much to offer them for livelihood.
"We are not leaving for abroad just like that. If government offers us employment, we have no interest in going abroad and leaving our families behind. We know that we are not even respected in those alien countries. Not just Muslims but even Hindus go abroad in search of work as the value of foreign currencies is higher in our country," said Mohammad Nazab Sayed, one student of Shibli National College.
Besides, the projection of this place being a home to terror-mongers has outraged the local youth. But local residents are holding discussions among them over the reasons that have brought disrepute to this place.
In a few localities or areas like Sarai Meer in Azamgarh, the families lead a good life. Finding luxury cars zooming around in the lanes here is only a surprise for the newcomer.
Such a lifestyle is unthinkable for others living in the nearby areas. For, virtually every family in Sarai Meer has at least one member employed in foreign countries like Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
These youth employed in foreign countries send back a part of their income to their families. Therefore, Sarai Meer has the largest number of banks than other parts of Azamgarh.
" We have no idea why the youth of this city are wanting to go abroad. But I must say that from the year 2002 the number of the people going abroad has increased," said Ashwini Kumar Shrivastava, District passport officer, Azamgarh.
The number of people seeking passport to go abroad from the city has also increased.
According to the passport office statistics, the number of people applying for passport in 433 in 2002, 446 (2003), 1,237 (2004), 3282 (2005), 4397 (2006), 5000 (2007) and by September 25, the figures had already risen to 6,568. Police, however, perceive such a growing trend with suspicion without negating its probable fallouts.
"I think the situation of Azamgarh needs to be controlled carefully so that the youth of the city are not diverted towards the wrong path," said Vijay Kumar, the Deputy Inspector General of police in Azamgarh. It is a matter of concern that the youngsters in lower middle-class families here are a vulnerable lot. And, in the wake of being unemployed for long, the desperation to go abroad at any cost to take up any job may have its repercussions in future. By Girish Kumar Dubey