India is a country teeming in youth, with 70 % of people below the age of 40 years. While 34% of India’s Gross National Income is contributed by the youth; there is a dire need to develop this percentage. In fact, youth today, is a major resource for not only development of financial prosperity but for social changes as well. Despite holding such importance, millennial often face hurdles on a daily basis, with their energy still not being channelized in the right direction. This challenge is not restricted to the Government, but also to the entire private section in the country.
The need to empower youth for a better tomorrow is connected both, to the financial elevation as well as increment of the standard of living. Awareness is a key factor for this empowerment, with guidance towards developing a wholesome outlook of life. Youth empowerment in any development is imperative not only for national development of an entire country but also for personal development of an individual. Youth empowerment is pursued by promoting youth rights, youth activism and in community decision making. Empowerment is necessarily a process of inculcating values to equip the learner lead a life that is satisfying to the individual while being in accordance with the cherished values and ideals of the society. At present it is the most effective mean that society possesses for confronting the challenges of the future.
Here are a few reasons why Youth Empowerment is essential-
• Poverty eradication: Youth empowerment can help reduce the rate of poverty to a significant level.
One of the keys to empowering the youth is with skill development. When a youth is equipped with essential skills, he can utilize them to feed, assist others, and even invest for future use, aiding the nation economically. This will in-turn contribute to the increase in employability and add to the GDP of the nation.
• Good education standard: Empowerment can help youth to understand the importance of education that leads to social improvement of the country.
When a youth is empowered, he understands the importance of education and helps uplift the sector, integral for a developing nation such as India. Such empowered youth can donate educational facilities to primary, secondary and even to tertiary institutions. Today, India lacks the proper infrastructure for education, which can easily be brought into existence only through empowerment.
• Good governance: With the inculcation of youth empowerment, the youth can reject the status quo and pave a path for a better future.
Today, the youth is claiming his right to a decent living by willing to take risks, which helps in the development of leadership skills. Starting from Martin Luther King Jr to Justin Trudeau, visionary leaders are noted to have taken risks from a tender age. In other words, to build a better tomorrow, we need to nurture the saplings of today. Hence, a radical government, which is pro-people, comes from harnessing bright minds capable of taking the nation into a brighter future.
• Crime reduction: Empowerment ensures that youth has the necessary skill to sustain a livelihood, preventing him to adopt the path of crime.
Presently, a lot has been spent in the name of fighting crime without understanding that crime affects the youth in an intrinsic level. It is easy for a young impressionable mind to get waylaid and get entrapped in anti-social activities because he was not empowered morally, academically as well as financially. There are serious social and economic consequences associated with not addressing the youth who is at the risk of negative circumstances – not only for the youth himself and his family, but also for the society at large. Empowerment enables a young mind to differentiate the wrong from the right, denouncing the path of injustice for a respectable living.
In today’s day and age, young minds should have access to resources to transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes. Then only can we believe in making our nation “shine”, even in times of adversity.
This article has been contributed by Ms Silky Jain, Executive Director, Tula's Institute