Skip to main content

Labour shortage: How can inclusive growth in Odisha prevent large-scale out-migration

By Sudhansu R Das 

The State of Odisha has huge natural resources: a vibrant river network, coastline running over 450 km with coconut, cashew, areca nut and palm plantation on its coast. Wild life, cattle population, exotic tourist and pilgrim destinations etc., add muscles to the economy of Odisha.
The State can graduate from exclusive growth to inclusive growth if it develops the capacity to conceive original State specific development concepts. In fact, the development initiatives will not create inclusive employment opportunities in the state but the quality implementation of development works will increase the productivity hours of people which will increase the quality of life.
But for the quality implementation of different programs and development projects, a State needs quality human resources who can show commitment, a sense of belongingness to the State, to its people and its culture.
In spite of having so much potential for employment in different sectors, the State witnesses large-scale migration of young people from villages and towns to cities across the country. The State needs to create employment and prevent migration. The migration of educated, skilled, unskilled, semi-skilled and illiterate young work force to other States creates shortage of quality manpower in every sector.
There is an acute labour crisis in the agriculture sector which has made farming difficult. Free food, freebies and subsidies dissuade labourers from physical work; it also leads to the loss of entrepreneurship among people and creates many social problems. People have land and money to invest but they don’t get labor to work in the field. The majority of the ageing farmers feel that they are the last generation of farmers.
Thousands of farmers on the bank of the river Nua Nai in Puri district used to grow rice, vegetables and fruits; they used to catch a variety of sweet water fish from the Nua Nai which flows into the Bay of Bengal. The State government is dredging the Nua Nai to join it with the Bhargavi river with the objective of saving the paddy field from flood.
There are other means to check floods; understanding the root causes of floods is very important. Unfortunately, the dredging has filled the river with salt water from the sea; it has created acute drinking water shortage in the region and has adversely affected the agriculture production.
The sweet water fish from the Nua Nai have almost disappeared. There is a need to understand nature's engineering marvel which sustains lives and livelihood. The farmers in the region say if they get water for irrigation, they can happily grow two crops in a year.
There is an urgent need for dedicated research to know the root cause of the deteriorating art and craft traditions in the State. The State needs to replace the inefficient officials with honest and genuine handicraft experts for craft development. The tendency to create hype with the help of social media, photographs, seminars, powerpoint presentations and flowery speeches should be curbed; this rot in the form of gloss is spreading fast.
The economy of scale in art objects does not click. It is the quality, grace and artistry in handicraft and handloom products which sustains the demand in domestic and international markets. Besides, transparent marketing facilities should be created right from the purchase of yarn to the finished products.
The State has a vibrant pilgrim sector which can generate employment and boost the unorganized sector. Many ancient temples in the State are in a neglected State; the ancient architecture, sculptures, pristine look, the fine carvings and the spiritual aura around the temple should be preserved.
The Odisha government has developed good roads to the pilgrim destinations but the State has to do a lot in order to keep the temple surroundings free from unsocial activities which begin late at night. Special police force should be raised to curb unsocial activities around the ancient temples.
Migration of educated, skilled and unskilled young work force to other States creates shortage of quality manpower in every sector
There are contractors who mint money by selling arna prasad in some temples of Cuttack. Those contractors dump the leftover food, plates and plastic glasses outside the temples. Cuttack municipality should strictly advise those contractors to install their own bio-gas plant to dispose of the garbage.
Good roads free from encroachment, electric rickshaws, battery operated mini buses, vending zones, closed drains and cleanliness will create employment for local people in Cuttack city. The municipality, strong willed politicians, NGOs and the educated professionals of the city should educate residents how to keep the city clean.
Instead of delivering speeches in the seminars and meetings, they should move from ward to ward and make people aware of the importance of cleanliness. Hundreds of people die in the city due to kidney infection as they urinate in municipality drains regularly.
Out of 59 wards in Cuttack, not a single ward has closed drains. Cuttack municipality should showcase at least five wards with closed drains and good roads. Though the municipality puts cement slabs on the drains in a few wards, they keep gaps in between slabs which let plastic and garbage into the drains creating more problems than before.
The officials of the Cuttack municipality should not sit in their office, they should move from ward to ward on foot for monitoring the work. The historic municipality pond and the public park just opposite to Cuttack municipality office are glaring examples of neglect. Both the pond and the park have become garbage dumps for the local residents.
The economic condition of the original Cuttakites gets ruined due to mosquito menace, substandard roads with patches, potholes and broken slabs. They spend more on vehicle repair and on treatment of their body parts due to road accidents. The repeated digging and repair of roads shows that the contractors take decisions for the road work.
Quality monitoring of roads, schools, ponds, libraries, hospitals, playgrounds, heritage places and crop procurement centers etc. will achieve inclusive growth for the State.



'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

How GMOs would destroy non-GMO crops: Aruna Rodrigues' key submissions in SC

Counterview Desk The introduction of Bt and HT crops will harm the health of 1 billion Indians and their animals, believes Aruna Rodrigues, who has made some 60 submissions to the Supreme Court (SC) during the last 20 years. As lead petitioner who filed Public Interest Litigation in 2005, during a spate of intense hearings, which ended on 18 January 2024, she fought in the Apex Court to prevent the commercialization of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Indian agriculture. 

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .

Will Budget 2024 help empower city govts, make them India's growth engines?

By Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, Arjun Kumar* Cities in India are envisioned as engines of growth. Any meaningful long-term vision for India would be incomplete without planning for the cities and quite rightly, urbanization is considered as one of the country’s top developmental challenges. Realization of full potential of cities depends crucially on their ability to provide ‘enabling’ environment especially in terms of sustained provision of a wide range of urban infrastructure and services.

Interpreting UAPA bail provisions: Is Supreme Court setting the clock back?

By Kavita Srivastava*, Dr V Suresh** The Supreme Court in its ruling on 7th February, 2024 in   `Gurvinder Singh v State of Punjab’ held that its own well-developed jurisprudence that "Bail is the rule and jail the exception" will not apply to those charged under the UAPA.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".