By Nidhi Khurana:

The lure of lucre has always been there in man. And when it comes to his career, this statement becomes even more valid. As per the Indian mentality, one should either be a sarkari babu or an engineer or a doctor sahib. Or the newer category is manager sahib. There is a mad race to get admissions in IITs and IIMs, like always. These careers seem promising and attractive because of the social acceptance and prestige they enjoy in our society and also because of the package worth lakhs they ensure in ones life.

Social Worker

Over the last few years, there has been a constant discussion on ‘alternative careers available to the youth’, whether in the media or by the intellectual lot in colleges. New careers that are available are numerous- Photography, Journalism, Fashion Designing, Charted Accountancy, Law and so on. However, the road less travelled or the road not taken is that of careers in the development sector. Today, NGOs have emerged as an unconventional option among the youth. But what is so disturbing is that fact that one cannot carve a beautiful niche in the development or social sector.

Well, I don’t know how feasible it is to pursue such a career in life, but the one thing I am always trying to sort out is why the development sector is so unpopular. Why are subjects like social work and sociology a stock of laughter for some?

Probably the answer lies in the fact that subjects like these have nothing lucrative to offer. There are not enough number of opportunities available to social science students without pursuing any professional course or training. And another reason is the lack of awareness among the youth. Youth especially in rural and less urban areas are not even aware about such subjects and the opportunities it has to offer. Yes, one option of course is to take up some job in NGO’s and research organizations. But options like this are the most challenging because jobs in this sector are not even well paid and more importantly because of the social mockery it suffers from. No one likes to be called as jholachaps or chappalchaps wandering in ghettos and shanty places to bring about the change, the change that we all speak of but no one ever does anything to bring it.

Today there is need to recognize that the development sector offers several opportunities, some of which we are unaware of and there is an urgent need to create awareness through social media and other sources. I am ready to work for it, to take such a career to its glorious heights. I am happy to contribute to the empowerment of other people. I want to take the road less travelled. The question is: Are you okay with it? I pose this question before everyone who has ever questioned my pursuit in life.

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