“It is best to work among the youth in whom lies our hope — patiently, steadily, and without noise”. – Swami Vivekananda
Every year August 12 is observed as International Youth Day. It is the day for addressing and creating awareness about the issues faced by youth worldwide. It is designated by United Nations focusing on 15 priority areas with some being Education and Employment, Youth and Conflict, Health, Drug Abuse, Juvenile delinquency. The theme for this year is Youth Building Peace which aims to recognize the contributions of youth to prevent and transform conflicts , support inclusion, social justice and maintain peace.
As part of youth development in India , State Bank of India has initiated a fellowship programme called SBI Youth of India, in partnership with NGOs. In this, young people work with rural communities in areas like skill development, sanitation, education and e-governance across 9 states of the country presently.
There are 1.8 billion young people in the world between the ages 15-29, according to the UN Report. And India becomes the country which has the world’s largest youth population with nearly 345 million young people that accounts 28% of the country’s population. Though having large youth population gives potential for economic and social progress, India still remains in the critical phase. This is proved by India’s rank in Global Youth Development Index 2016 complied by Commonwealth Secretariat.
India ranked 133rd among 183 participating countries with neighboring countries SriLanka(31), Bhutan(69), Nepal(77). The report highlights that youth development falls behind mainly in education, employment and health. Looking at the stats, unemployment rate stands at 5%. And 13.2% people belonging to the age group 18-29 did not manage to find jobs in 2015-2016 according to the survey conducted by Labour Bureau. When it comes to health, more than 60% women between age groups 15-49 are anemic. Assam ranks the lowest in the Health Outcome Index. And Overall youth literacy rate stands at 89.95% between 15-24 age group.
India spends very less on youth development compared to its size of population.According to the RBI, expenditure on Education and Health remains at 2.9 and 1.4 as a proportion of country’s GDP in 2016-2017 which is same as last year. In fact, there is no significant improvement on expenditure on both from fiscal years 2009-2010. All these reiterates the need to increase public spending on youth developmental issues to reap demographic dividend.
People tend to go for Education in conventional domains , example Engineering. When students in large number go for Engineering , they end up jobless or forced to settle with IT jobs. This is due to the reason that India is more into service sector and no relevant jobs available in existing industries.Awareness about wide career courses and opportunities available should be created among Indian Youths. And government should focus on job creation. These are also the reasons why we can find Indians migrating to foreign nations for Employment. It is known that those nations which employ Indians praise their potential and skills. What would happen if half of these population work and become entrepreneurs in India creating jobs rather waiting for government to do its part? Although this is gaining momentum in recent times, it still is not enough compared to having world’s largest youth population.
Social and Ethical Values are to be inculcated among the young people for they are the future of India. The sense of social responsibility is slowly but steadily creeping in the minds of Indian youth.They can be the tides of change, they can work towards eliminating crimes and social injustice and maintain peace.
Power of Youth is indubitable. They can achieve anything and everything they want. Protest in favour of Jallikattu in TamilNadu is simple example of what youth can do.If they are properly guided and provided with adequate resources and opportunities, they can contribute to the Economic Growth and can as well help realize the Vision of Developed India.