Says Pushkar Singh Dhami from Udham Singh Nagar district and a minister, “Markets in Dehradun and other cities are flooded with customers. People want to improve their standard of living.” This is echoed by Kumaun University Vice-chancellor V.P.S. Arora, “Food habits of Uttarakhandis have changed. One finds exotic food in households which once only cooked the traditional local fare.” The creation of Uttarakhand has given many a shot at prosperity. Even small farmers have diversified into horticulture and growing fruits and vegetables. The new-found wealth has opened up the market for houses and cars.
Uttarakhand’s terrain shapes the occupations of its 1.01 crore population, as per 2011 Census. While people from the plains districts like Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun depend on agriculture and industries, those in hill districts have to venture outside to find employment. The large number of men in the armed forces from the hill region add significantly to local wealth creation. As do people looking to settle down post-retirement, for whom Dehradun is a big draw.
Uttarakhand, one of the smallest states in the country, has shown that it is no pushover when it comes to consumer spending.