Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
One can notice that in all towns of Arunachal Pradesh almost all shops are manned by non-natives. Grocery stores, garment shops, gift shops, stationery shops, shoe shops are all manned by non-natives. Chemists, hardware shops, motor spare parts shops are also manned by non-natives. Likewise, fruit shops, vegetable shops, meat shops are manned by non-natives. Staffs of hotels and restaurants are also mostly non-natives.
Most major dealerships/ distributorships are with non-natives. Wholesale supply of vegetables, fruits, eggs, poultry, fish, potato, etc, are controlled by non-natives.
There are a few rare exceptions. A few natives are stepping into a few fields like mobile networks, vehicle dealership, etc. Local vegetables, some meat shops are slowly being manned by natives. In localised areas, very few small grocery shops/gift shops are gradually being manned by natives.
Most skilled personnel like mechanics, electricians, plumbers, construction workers and barbers are also non-natives. To build houses, to build boundary walls/fences, to repair cycles, motorcycles, scooters, cars, trucks, autos, TVs, refrigerators, generators, dish TV sets, mobiles, etc, we rely on non-natives.
In many cases, the licenses are with natives, but the ventures are being managed/run by non-natives. That means the real skill or learning or managing of the ventures is by non-natives. That also means that the majority profit is being made by non-natives.
So what could be the repercussions? Every time we pay for groceries, gifts, clothes, fish, eggs, etc, majority of the payments are channelled outside the state. Every time we pay for services like mistris, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc, a major portion of the fees paid by us are sent back to respective home towns outside the state. Many of them have become rich and have invested most of their money outside our state. Our hard earned money is being drained outside the state.
This domination of economic activities by non-natives need to change. If we ourselves start manning shops, start
working as mistris, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc, the money paid for items/services would remain circulated inside the state. This money can directly contribute to the development of our state.
Recently, many new projects/ventures are coming up in the state. There is an increasing demand for qualified professionals like chartered accountants, architects, bank empanelled lawyers, certified valuators, etc. It is high time some natives started taking up these jobs.
We must realise that, instead of remaining unemployed, it is better to start doing all kinds of jobs ourselves. There are many freelance electricians, mistris, etc, who are earning decent money by working in new houses, buildings and projects. Many of our youths could lead decent and comfortable lives by gradually taking over these roles.
To develop as a robust and economically self-reliant society, we should inculcate dignity of labour and do it ourselves. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)