Like the tsunami of 94, it was a complete shock to see young people (female and males) begging on the streets of Male’, but its happening now. Increasingly we have desperate unemployed youth who are begging for money in the streets of Male’. Sometimes they will ask for 10 Rufiya and be gone with a smile when given. It started with the ‘paateys’ (drug addicts) who would ask for 100 or 50, but now the ceiling is lowered; real desperation is driving otherwise ‘nice’ youth to begging in the streets.
What was done about it:
The government with usual short sightedness introduced a ‘Hunaru’ (skills) program in 2011, supposedly to get more employment to youth. Here is the summary of what happened.
Cost of the program: 43,000,000
Number of youth who joined: 108
Number of youth who completed the courses: 10
Number of youth who got employed: 3
The numbers tell the original idea is a flop. A belly flop at that! What we need is not another round of training for simple every day jobs. We need is legislation to make it easy for locals to find jobs especially in resorts. Resorts are not in politics, so it’s unlikely that they will change any thing and start hiring more locals. Currently the only areas of employment expatriate visas cannot be obtained are:
- Working as fishermen
- As taxi drivers
- As boat captains
- As marine engineers
- As co-pilots and pilots
This list shows the incoherent rationale that makes laws and regulations in this country. We would have at most, less than a dozen pilots or co pilots in the whole country and yet there is a provision in regulation to protect their prospect of jobs, while thousands of youth who are begging in the street have no such advantage.