Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pakistan - Land of opportunity (Demographics)

Presently, Pakistan is going through a turbulent time. There are more than a few serious issues going on ranging from flooding in Sindh, being a party in the war on terror and Dengue fever in Lahore in particular and rest of the country in general. These issues are immediate concerns, apart from the routine concerns like load shedding, poverty, unemployment, illeteracy, lack of governance or in some cases, no governance at all. These are on going issues facing Pakistan.

I have mentioned some of the real concerns our public is facing, however, I have hardly heard people talk about the kind of opportunities which are present in Pakistan. In this series of "Pakistan - Land of Opportunity", I will be publishing a few areas of opportunity present in Pakistan. Our demographics provide a big opportunity for us. The most prevalent age group we have is between 15-64 years which is about 60.4 percent ( Also, the fertility rate among our women is 3.17 children, mashAllah. These demographic figures provide opportunity in itself. We just have to place ourselves in a position where we can utilize our young population.

Initially, in India, when their population was growing at a fast pace, they took that as a hurdle to their prosperity and growth. In those years, India was truly struggling and trying hard to find a place in the developed countries. But nothing was working out for them. And when the big industrialized countries like U.S. and U.K. wanted to find alternate market for their products and place to do business, they realized how much Indian population has to offer to them in terms of work force and growth potential. Since India has a population over one billion heads, even if ten percent of their population is educated, that is quite easily more than 100 million people. Same goes for market potential, that if the U.S. and U.K companies can sell their products to merely a few people in India, that's much more than what they can sell in their own countries.

So, the outcomes were, that the U.S. companies moved many of their offices, like customer service and manufacturing jobs to India. They call it "out sourcing" in the U.S.  The Indians were benefited for having a large population and are being rewarded for that now. It is like having a big family in a house. Even if a few or a couple of kids become successful, they will be able to translate their success into better quality of life for the whole house.

In our case, we are big enough  that we can take advantage of it and use our man power, labor and skillful work force. And small enough to manage ourselves in Pakistan as well. When we see around in cities, suburbs, and rural areas, we can find plenty of our educated and skillful youth sitting around doing nothing. That's the opportunity in its regards and wastage of raw manpower, energized and full of life, ready to become productive members of skillful workforce.These kids want to be working and earning for themselves and their families and want to have respectable place in the society. But the idea is to materialize this opportunity and turn it into a strength for the country.

When one youth is educated and provided a job, he/she not only contributes to the betterment of the industry and the country, but also provides for his household for food, health, education and many other necessities of life. On the other hand, if that individual is not provided the opportunity to contribute positively to the society, than that same individual could become an outlaw in the society. This would bring shame and sorrow not only to the family but also to the society.

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