Himachalis go crazy for foreign lands

Himachalis go crazy for foreign lands
More than 1.2 lakh people have obtained their passport from Regional Passport Office at Shimla in a period of past five years
Shimla/ January 23

It is not only the neighbouring state of Punjab, but the fever and craze for going abroad is also picking the pace in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.
As per the figures of Regional Passport office Shimla, more than 1.2 lakh people of the state have obtained their passport from the Regional Passport office at Shimla in the period of last five years.
Himachal had got its first passport office at Shimla in March 2007 as earlier one has to come to Chandigarh to file applications for passport. The, then Union Minister for State and External Affair Minister Anand Sharma had inaugurated the new passport office at Shimla in March 2007. Before opening of this office the people of the state were forced to go to the Regional Passport Office at Chandigarh to get their passports
“We are receiving more than 22000 applications every year and this figure is increasing every year,” the Regional Passport Officer RS Verma said.
He said that Shimla Passport office has issued more than one lakh passports to the Himachalis since March 2007(opening of new branch in Shimla).
Sources said that the passport office is receiving large number of applications from Una, Kangra, Mandi and Hamirpur district, which is constitute more than 50 percent of the total applications, the Shimla passport office receives every year.
“The people of Kinnaur, who practice Buddhism, are also applying for passports in good numbers as they are travelling to Singapore and other countries due to religious reasons. Many of the “Mathas” are located in these countries and where religious teachings are offered to them,” said a source.
As the age wise profile is concerned, the youth is found more desirous to travel aboard due to different reasons which include jobs, education. “Due to the expansion of technical and higher education, the avenues for jobs for Himachalis are increasing in metro cities in India and some of them are also eyeing suitable foreign destinations for work. They find the foreign countries more suitable for work as they see less favouritism and are aware of the fact that hard and quality work is the only criteria for rising up in hierarchy in abroad,” the source added.