Nicaragua-bound chartered plane with Indian passengers back in India

A chartered plane carrying 303 Indian passengers from Fujairah airport in the United Arab Emirates to Nicaragua had stopped for a technical halt in France last week. The French authorities detained the flight based on a tip-off that this was a case of human trafficking. It was suspected that the passengers were mainly workers in UAE who were moving to Nicaragua and were trying to attempt illegal entry to the US or Canada. The passengers included some unaccompanied minors and even a 21-month-old infant as well.

Nicaragua is a Central American nation set between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea which is considered one of the major transit routes for undocumented migration to the US and Canada.

After investigations, the flight was allowed to leave France and it returned to Mumbai rather than continuing its flight to Nicaragua. It has been reported that at least 27 people did not take the flight back home.  While some applied for political asylum, others wanted to continue the journey to Nicaragua.

Is there an unemployment crisis in India?

While the real motive behind the travel to Nicaragua is unknown yet, any attempted migration is in search of a better life and livelihood. But is there an unemployment crisis in India that warrants a risky immigration?

Recently, several newspapers and media outlets have covered the unemployment crisis in India, mainly about jobless growth and the growing disparity between haves and have-nots. However, one of the most neglected topics is the surprising anomaly in the Indian labor market. On one side, we find that educated youth complain about a lack of suitable employment opportunities, on the other side, employers complain about a lack of reliable workforce at all levels, unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled.

While there are many interventions by government and non-government agencies to bridge the gap, it is the individual who can make a difference. In this era of smartphones and high-speed internet, opportunities to learn a new skill are many. Also, a change of outlook is required on the assumed reputation and status associated with various jobs. In this era of bloated degrees with no real-life skills, many unemployed youth would not want to take up an opportunity that is considered below his/her education status. A change of mindset is required which will enable us to take a fresh look where no job is considered higher or lower in status and all jobs help us move forward as individuals and as a society.

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