The youth constitute about 40 percent of the total population of India. The youth of every country are its valuable human resource. The conscientiousness for change, progress and innovation lies on their shoulders. Youth can build or spoil society. There has always been a altercation between tradition and modernity and the youth have often been misunderstood by the elders. The elders feel that, being immature and inexperienced, the youth usually indulge in thoughtless activities. However, the youth have the passion to initiate revolutions. The youth of our country also played a significant role in the freedom struggle.
The population of India has crossed the staggering one billion mark. The economic progress of the country, as a result, has been nullified. The government has initiated various programs to bring the economically backward people into the national mainstream, but the reforms have failed to get into to the masses. Family planning programs of the government have not been totally accepted and adopted by the masses. The governmental machinery has failed to reach out to the grassroots. Youth organizations should take up the responsibility of educating the poor about the benefits of family planning. It has been found that the rural folk are usually doubtful about the intentions of the government officials, nurses and doctors. Hence, it is the duty of the youth to further the government’s efforts.
Low status of women in society, high degree of illiteracy and denial of basic amenities to the rural folk has been a result of unawareness among the masses about their rights and privileges. The schemes framed by the government for their benefit never reach the needy. The educated youth should initiate steps to teach the illiterate people in their neighborhood. They could teach them elementary reading and writing and also educate them about hygiene and the need for sanitation. They should also be informed about the harmful effects of drinking, smoking and chewing tobacco.
The government has become conscious of the need to tap the youth power. With the lowering of the voting age to 18 years, the youth have suddenly become politically important because they can decisively tilt the political scales in a general election. Realizing this, all the political parties are trying to woo the youth by including the issues relating to the youth in their political agenda. The youth should not become a pawn in the hands of the politicians, but should remain judicious. The youth should cast their vote after serious deliberations on the character and policies of the politicians. Undoubtedly, in the India of tomorrow the youth are going to play a decisive role in choosing their leaders.
The youth are the most vital human resource of the nation on whom the present and future of the country depend. The Department of Youth Affairs and Sports is implementing a number of schemes for youth development. Our Five Year Plans have also laid emphasis on the importance of the youth in national development, the needs of the youth and training of the youth leadership and to harness their vast potential for creative causes. A National Youth Policy was framed in the Seventh Plan and a plan of action formulated in 1992. The National Youth Policy seeks to provide the youth with new opportunities to participate in nation building.
We are all passionate about making India better, so we can discuss this forever. But today I wanted to leave you with just three thoughts – politics of similarities, less elitism and more English that we need to build consensus on. If you agree with me, please do whatever you can in your capacity to make the consensus happen. It could be just a discussion with all your friends, or spreading these thoughts in a broader manner, if you have the means and power to do so. For the fact that we are sitting in this wonderful venue means our country has been kind to us. Let’s see what we can give back to our nation.