I am a young Odia. After my education, against my innermost desire, I had to migrate outside Odisha for a living. I have been outside Odisha for more than 15 years now. I was forced to leave by birthplace and had to adapt in a new state. A little cosy corner of my heart still and will always beat for Odisha. I have been trying to come back but I can’t.

Why?

There is currently no IT company in Odisha which can pay me a salary commensurate with my skillset and experience. I am stranded.

For the last fifteen years, I have been waiting to see Odisha become one of the highest employment providers among all states in India.

For example: Karnataka exports more than 240 thousand crores in IT services (400 out of Global Fortune 500 companies outsource their IT services from Bengaluru alone, more than 85 Chip Design houses and 370+ R & D houses are based in Karnataka) providing direct employment to over 12 lakhs youth and indirect employment over to 27 lakhs as on 2016-17. As in 2016-17, Odisha has only a meagre 115 companies (one fifth of Karnataka) generating only 17000 units of employment in 2016-17 with only a measly 91 crores in IT exports.

Dead-slow policy making is creating a major handicap among the skilled and talented youth of Odisha. One can call it a major brain drain.

Do I as an Odia deserve this from the state where I was born and brought up?

Instead of that, I am being subjected to a hogwash of Smart City.

A state becomes smart when its people don’t have to migrate to other states for employment.

A state becomes smart when speed of policy making and its implementation takes top priority among all its activities.

A state becomes smart when its citizens share the vision of a highly efficient government.

A state becomes smart when the government has the motive and the drive to enable Odisha to leapfrog into the next era of holistic progress.

A state becomes smart when its people participate to converge all actions into a revolution that Odisha deserves.

With the current dispensation moving at a snail’s pace and its cronies wallowing in brazen overconfidence and completely ignoring the interests and aspirations of Odias, I am waiting for the day when a new Governing Team takes over the reins of administration of Odisha and moves at a speed which creates thousands of opportunities to employ Odias while creating a framework to allow thousands of Odias to become entrepreneurs. I am sure all of us want to go back home.

I want to go back home to Odisha.

I want to go back to a home with endless possibilities.

I want to go back home.