Giving direction to youth force

Owing to immense vibrancy, vigour, imagination and the verve to do, youth is the phase with highest potential.

For the receptivity, the inquisitiveness and the exploratory spirit is at the peak. Not surprising, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, the icons of software revolution and Facebook, respectively, who changed the ways world speaks, interacts and lives, were very young when they ushered in revolution. “Almost everything that is great has been done by the youth” said Benjamin Disraeli. Reason enough entry into civil services is for youth only. 

In this backdrop, India has the opportunity to come atop along development indicators, apropos the statistics: the country’s population in 15-34 age group is going to be over 64 per cent by 2020 with about 325 million people in working age group as against 16 million in US, 10 million in China, 9 million in Japan. 

India is on way to becoming a formidable economic power capable of adding a hefty 2 per cent annual GDP growth rate for several consecutive years. By that year India shall have surplus of 47 million people that can be considered to be deployed profitably abroad after suitable training! 

However, our youngsters can make milestones only if imbued with a fire within to do and outdo. Unfortunately, such fire is seldom seen these days with an overwhelming majority of youth engrossed for most of the day in chatting and listening on earphones. 

With growing intolerance of the aging generation to adjust with the young ones and vice versa, public notifications in arithmetic progression are being witnessed in daily newspapers with parents disowning their sons and daughters-in-law, severing links from them and legally debarring them from all their fixed and mobile assets. Aspersions on the young generation date back to Socratic era, if not earlier: "Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents.”

It shall be unfair though to blame the youth alone when they act in irresponsible manner. Many parents are not good enough at parenting. Rather than serving as role models first before preaching, they look at their children as modality to realise their own dreams without proper grooming and values training. They teach children just how to beat others, score best marks and somehow grab a job with high package, hardly anything beyond that. 

E-age grooming

As for employability of youth that tends to frustrate the future of youngsters, it is imperative to create new structures for best grooming of the e-age youth. As custodians of future of mankind and recalling follies of our time, we need to adopt a conciliatory stance. 

For, as J.K. Rowling said, “Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” In youth, due to heat in the blood, one is more likely to be led by illusions. 

Jon Krakauer said, “It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it.” It is ironical that one realises the follies of young age rather belatedly. “By the time a man realises that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong,” said Charles Wadsworth. 

On the parents’ part of the elderly, it advisable to understand what Benjamin Disraeli said, “the Youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity” and actively support and contribute to the endeavours of the youth and to partake of their ethos and never meddle with the fun they often resort to. 

In sharp contrast to countries like Japan and China wrestling with decline in youth population, India presently faces the challenge of providing proper direction to the youth force and taking care of their interests in timely manner. 

They need hearing, not strictures, as John Wooden said: “Young people need models, not critics.” We do not have capacity building and skill upgrading facilities to arm a million additional youths joining labour market every month with appropriate skills, like the projects currently introduced in Tamil Nadu.

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