Friday, June 14, 2024

Our future

Youth form the centre of gravity of all development in the world. Right from a nuclear family to nations and from a new born child to college going students, it is the young ones who hold centre stage. Parents about to admit their children in a nursery school are as worried and stressed out as those whose children are preparing to leave college and look for jobs. Governments across the world are more bothered about education, creation of jobs, etc. than anything else; this is all the more relevant in developing democracies like India. The importance of youth is further accentuated in areas experiencing instability! It is so because of the desire to leave for the upcoming generation a situation better than that experienced by the elders. It also pertains to the hope that the youth would bring about a change for the better. It is against this backdrop that engagement of youth in our State takes predominance! It is a generation that wishes to grow wings and fly out but is not getting the right opportunity or the environment to do so; it is suffering due to no fault of its own. With youth forming majority of the State’s population, chronic unemployment and under-employment has spawned problems here. The deficiency of job prospects has led to too many young people remaining idle. The situation is being exploited by the forces inimical to the development of the State. The younger generation is being led along the wrong path where vices like drug addiction and a bias towards counter-productive ideas are being imbibed in them. Sadly, a segment of the youth, however small, becomes disenchanted enough to stake its very life on the altar of a misplaced and self destructive ideology. Once this segment is brought back into the mainstream everything else will automatically fall in place. The situation needs to be reversed and the sooner the better. Our new age generation is intelligent, hardworking and forward looking, this much is obvious by the large numbers that are achieving laurels in various fields at the regional and national level, be it in academics, sports or any other field. Each and every youngster who is being given the opportunity seems to be making the best of the same. There is no dearth of aspirations among the younger lot; the need of hour is a little trust in their abilities and impetus in the right direction. A two pronged strategy based on cultivation of the right skill set and then providing the platform for its exploitation would pay excellent dividends. Let us take an example: training youth in hospitality will open avenues for them. Handicraft sector here is labour intensive and can generate a lot of employment. What is required is reforms that ensure the elimination of middle men and competition from machine woven fabric. Professional branding and a contemporary business model would help the people to benefit and take their products to a larger market in the rest of India. Education, training and opening up of the economy is imperative; sectors that have potential of huge employment generation within the State need to be given impetus. It is true that people living in mountainous regions invariably find it difficult to adjust to a cosmopolitan culture. Such integration is all the more difficult for us because of a very unfortunate feeling of distrust. There is a need to understand the fault line and deal with the same with sensitivity since it is very important to get our youth to shed their inhibition and move out in search of greener pastures. They need to be inspired to become a part of the larger Indian success story. They have to be given the motivation to see the whole of India and beyond as the right platform for fructification of their aspirations. Every person who goes out feels the pinch and suffers hardship, our youth will need to be made aware of this reality and learn to cope with it. With the right skills under their belt they could and should give wings to their dreams throughout the country. Somewhere, sometime a beginning has to be made and the time is right now.