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Life besides engineering (Addendum)

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Life besides engineering (Addendum)  Empty Life besides engineering (Addendum)

Post by Seva Lamberdar Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:50 am

People these days and even with engineering and management degrees and work experience are struggling to make ends meet by working manually in farms, etc., after they had lost the well-paying jobs as economy around the world took a downturn because of Covid-19 pandemic. 

There is nothing in this as unheard before, because the great inventor Nikola Tesla also once dug ditches in New York City to survive when he fell on hard times between the jobs and, according to the Mahabharata, the Pandava princes had to take up jobs as cooks in the kitchen and cleaners of the stables, etc., to survive during the final year of their exile in Virata kingdom. 

I myself decided to travel quite far for a teaching assignment in Tripoli (Libya) during the 1980s hoping to improve my professional and financial situation*, with very limited success though. Libya, unfortunately, then was experiencing strict international embargoes and sanctions which caused many shortages in goods imported there from other countries and also severely reduced its earnings from oil exports.  That naturally resulted in the difficulty to many foreign workers in Libya, like myself on an independent teaching contract,  to earn full salary as hard currency remittance (in U.S. dollars) while also continuously facing shortages of imported items (daily necessities) in stores and markets.   

Another possibility I explored in the hope of pursuing a long term activity in business and farming  etc. then (1980s) was to move permanently to India where I was born and had received my initial education (including B.Tech). I had gone to USA for graduate studies (M.S.) in 1970, traveling there on an Indian passport and as Indian citizen. But when I moved later from U.S. to Canada as landed immigrant in 1974 to pursue Ph.D. and became a Canadian citizen in 1979, my Indian citizenship automatically lapsed as India did not allow dual citizenship. I therefore needed first to have my Indian citizenship restored before going to India permanently to pursue a long-term career. But this idea did not get off the ground as I learnt from the Consulate General of India in Toronto that I, like any new applicant for Indian citizenship (in spite of my birth in India and having held a valid Indian passport previously, 1970-79), would have to wait for about five years for decision on my citizenship application after initial submission.  

Meanwhile, I paid also a visit to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Dept. near Niagara Falls during the 1980s and  explained my difficult professional situation*, hoping for a quick entry into the U.S.A. as immigrant and thus able to pursue jobs there in engineering, but I did not succeed. It was only later, fortunately, with the signing of NAFTA  (the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, USA and Mexico in the early 1990s) which made it easy for nationals of Canada, USA and Mexico to obtain permits to work temporarily in other partnering countries, thus enabling me also later as a Canadian citizen to work on contract basis in the USA under NAFTA. 

In conclusion, there is nothing like having a job or any gainful activity to maintain the well-being of body, mind and pocket.  Remember, as 'Godfrey' said in the movie 'My Man Godfrey' (1936), "The only difference between a derelict and a man is a job."

"Life besides engineering," (Subhash C. Sharma: Sept. 19, 2020), http://creative.sulekha.com/life-besides-engineering_638714_blog
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6251
Join date : 2012-11-29

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