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Bangalore draws youths from NE
Published on 13 Aug. 2009 12:18 AM IST
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When Josephine Ao, a resident of Dimapur in Nagaland, completed her graduation, she decided to migrate to Bangalore to pursue a course in fashion designing. That was almost three years ago. Armed with a degree, Josephine is now hunting for a job in the city. “Be it education or employment, back home in Nagaland or in other northeastern states, the opportunities are very few. So youths from the region are forced to migrate to different cities of the country,” Josephine, 24, told IANS. She is among hundreds of youths from India’s northeast who can be spotted in Bangalore, which seems to have become a preferred destination after Delhi and Kolkata. Tikramjit Singha, a 19-year-old from Imphal, Manipur, pursuing his bachelors in business administration here, said the northeastern region lacks good educational institutions. “Apart from a few degree course colleges, the region has a shortage of institutions providing specialised courses. Be it management, engineering or fashion designing courses, the northeastern region does not have good institutes to provide education to youths,” said Singha. “Thus we come to cities like Bangalore and Delhi, where opportunities are plenty. Be it getting degrees in varied courses or getting jobs, metros across India provide us the opportunity, which is missing in our native place,” he added. There is no estimate of the number of northeastern youths in Bangalore but they are increasingly visible in college campuses and at the city’s popular youth hangouts such as M.G. Road, adjoining Brigade Road, Commercial Street, a kilometre away, and in multiplexes and shopping malls. With such a noticeable increase in their presence in the city, the Bangalore-based Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) is conducting a study to assess whether it is only educational and employment opportunities that are driving migration or socio-political changes in the region are also a factor. This study is an extension of the one concluded in July this year, based only the census data of 1981, 1991 and 2001. U.A. Shimray and M.D. Usha Devi of the Institute, who did the study on “Migration of Northeastern Youths”, told IANS that earlier northeastern youths would choose to migrate to Kolkata. But lately cities like Delhi and Bangalore have turned into preferred destinations. “The reason perhaps is because Bangalore and Delhi provide better employment and educational opportunities to the youths,” Shimray said. “The second phase of the study, to be released by early next year, will be based on primary data, as we’re conducting interviews through a set of questions to northeastern youths staying in these two cities (Delhi and Bangalore),” said Devi. Around 1,000 youths from Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura will be interviewed. “The northeast is a volatile place and militancy and ethnic violence have become part and parcel of the region. So we want to know if reasons like violence in the region is behind the mass migration of youths,” added Shimray. “The northeast offers very few job opportunities, and educational institutes are also few. Thus youths are forced to leave their homes and hearths in search of greener pastures,” said Ester Rupa, a native of Shillong who works as a BPO executive in Bangalore. Rupa’s friend Takam Talo, 24, who hails from Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, and is working in a call centre here, said after graduation she “struggled two years to get a job in my native place”.

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