I think if we want to do something for our state then the most important thing is to generate more jobs. We know government can not provide jobs to each individual. We have to come up with ideas and help government and individual to generate more jobs.
Here are some things that I can think of, to create more jobs. You can add more to this list and suggest better way to achieve this.
1) I think very first thing should be to tell young guys, how capable are they. We should inspire them and we should tell how they could help in nation building. I have seen that Himachali guys lack in confidence. We should tell them how they could make a difference in one’s life with their positive attitude. We should tell them how government could help them. What are the government’s policies to get loan on low interest rates? We should tell them how they could get help from agriculture university Palampur, Y S Parmar horticulture university Solan etc….
2) Bio-Diesel: Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Biodiesel is better for the environment because it is made from renewable resources and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as fast as sugar.
In Himachal Pradesh, we can produce Bio-Diesel using Jetropha (Ratanjot) tree. Jetropha trees can be planted in wasteland. We should encourage people to grow Jetropha trees in Himachal. Prof. Udipi Shrinivasa and his organisation SuTRA, at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has already proven the idea of using straight vegetable oils [SVO] as diesel engine fuels. You can get more details on bio-diesel on www.goodnewsindia.com
3) There are thousands of Gharats (watermills) in Himachal. If you convert one Gharat into Power generating unit then one Gharat can generate electricity to light up atleast 40-50 houses. It takes only Rs. 20,000-30,000 to convert a Gharat to power generating unit. A Gharat needs atleast three people to generate it. If someone start charging Rs.10 for each house and provide electricity to 4-5 village he can make good money from electricity while grinding grains from Gharats. Same Gharat can be used for Chakki Aatta.
We can use waterfalls and Kuhls(small rivers) for the same purpose. One can search more on Gharats on : http://www.hescoindia.com/ or http://www.goodnewsindia.com
4) There are some areas in Himachal e.g. Palampur those are very good for floriculture. We should encourage people to grow flowers and ask Himachal government to find markets for this inside and outside India.
5) I read somewhere that last year India imported million tons of Kiwi fruit. We should tell Himchali people (students or un-employed) to start growing these fruits beside apples and choose growing fruits as Career.
6) In late 80’s former CM Shata Kumar had started a very nice scheme ‘ BAN LAGAO ROJI KAMAO’. We should tell students to grow trees and choose this as a career. There is a tree called Khair (Pahari name). It grows itself in the forests (even in my village). After every 4-5 years some Kair tree contractors come to my village and buy these trees and each house in my village get at least Rs. 10,000 for 9-10 trees.
People make furniture and other household things from pine trees, oak, Devdar trees and so many other trees. We should encourage student to choose this as career.
7) There are already many people involved in Handicrafts and they can choose this as a career.
8) Forests in Himachal are full of herbs. These herbs are needed for Ayurveda medicines. We should teach these students to find out these herbs and even start their own green houses to grow these herbs. Last year, I saw one program on Zee TV about the huge market (crores in Rs.) for these herbs.
9) Himachali students have very good stamina because of hills and therefore are very good in games (boxing). They can perform good in boxing, cycling, athletics, swimming, volleyball etc. Shooters from Himachal have done a splendid job in the commonwealth games this year. We should encourage Himachali youth (students) to opt sports as career.
10) These days’ people are crazy for adventurous sports such as Hand gliding, river rafting, camping, mountaineering, skiing. Mountain biking etc….. One can get training in these sports and then buy the equipments on easy loans and start these as a career. In areas like Palampur and Dharamshalla, people can also use tubing (just like river rafting) as a career.
11) There are a lot of lakes in himachal so one can buy their own boats and other water equipments and start water sports as career such as boating, jet ski, para-sailing etc.
12) Lot of Indian as well as foreign tourist visits Himachal Pradesh for trekking and mountaineering. If someone is good in trekking itineraries he can choose tourist guide as a career.
13) In hill stations where a lot of foreign tourist visits, one can start taking yoga classes, giving massages after getting good training in Yoga, massage centers.
14) Himachal is a place of Gods and is full of temples. We should try to find out ways to capitalize pilgrimage tourism as a career.
15) Food processing units: we have the raw material for the pickles, jams etc. why not have small-scale units for making the same. Tinned Himachali vegetables & pulses will also sell great in the markets like Mumbai & Delhi.
16) The other export product from HP is Guchhi, I hope most of the Himachali people know what it is. It has the potential in overseas market.
17) Wine Industries: As per Business Standard as on 28th Dec 2005, Indage group of industries are setting up a wine unit at Nagwain in the Mandi district. Same group is also setting up a fruit wine unit in Pragatinagar in Shimla district. The two prominent wine grape varieties to be grown in Himachal are Cherdomy and Penortnair. Fruit wine will be produced from local fruits like peach, plum, pear and apricot among others (but not grapes). As a group we can inspire farmers in Himachal to start growing these fruits.
18) In USA, fruit industry for berries like Black berries (Sahtoot in Hindi), Blue berries is of worth millions of dollars. While in India it is zero. In my village only, we get Sahtoot (Black Berries), Blue berries, Dhhoode (Pahari name), Jaamuns, peaches, pears, grapefruits (Changotra pahari name) etc. We should grow these plants as a profession now and start selling them outside Himachal.
19) Mushrooms and Silk worms. People should be encouraged to grow mushrooms in Himachal. There is a huge market for this. People should be encouraged to exploit silkworm to produce more silk.
20) There is a very good scope of Tourism in Himachal Pradesh. They can choose tourist guide as a career. A person involved in tourism can list different types of jobs in tourism industry.
If anyone of you is already working in this area, then please let me know I want to explore more on this. Also provide me your thoughts on these points. If I can think of these 20 points then you can suggest even more. Your inputs are welcome.