Unemployment, stress: Kashmir youth switch to intoxication
The startling findings have surfaced in a survey conducted by Kashmir chapter of Action Aid International in Srinagar, Budgam and Pulwama districts of the valley over a period of four months last year.
According to the survey, 29 per cent of the unemployed youth (male) surveyed smoke cigarettes in order to relax themselves and reduce anxiety and tension.
"The reason for this is that cigarettes are cheap, easily available and smoking is not considered as a stringent social taboo," it said.
As many as 12 per cent of the respondents, which includes females take sleeping pills to overcome stress, the survey noted.
Two per cent of the respondents admitted that they resort to drinking alcohol in an effort to relieve their anxiety, whereas another two per cent take anti-cough syrups because of the alcohol contents in them.
Four per cent of the respondents take drugs to reduce mental stress, it said.
This shows that the youth tend to resort to negative measures to get out of this psychological burden, the NGO noted.
The survey was based on 400 respondents selected for the study with 63 per cent male and 37 per cent females taking part in the interview-based study.
More than half of the respondents interviewed were from Srinagar district followed by Budgam and Pulwama.
It was observed that almost 41 per cent of the respondents spend their free time in search of employment while 30 per cent of the respondents watch television. Another 24 per cent prefer reading books in their leisure time.
A good number of unemployed youth seek comfort in religion and religious activities to overcome the stress while almost an equal number of them surf Internet to kill time.
The analysis of data further reveals that the average number of earners in the families of unemployed persons is two while the average number of dependents is six, which shows that the number of dependents is three times more than the number of earners.
"From this it is evident that the families of unemployed persons will be benefited if they get employed as they would lend a helping hand to support their families," the NGO opined.
Half of the respondents said that their families are partially dependent on them, while 14 per cent said their families were fully dependent on them.
Over two-thirds of the respondents feel employment is the vital criterion for them to get married.
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