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The nation’s wealth

The nation’s wealth
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By:  M Ahmad

There is no universally agreed international definition of the youth age group. For statistical purposes, however, the United Nations—without prejudice to any other definitions made by Member States—defines ‘youth’ as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years. Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population.

In the arc of world history, young people have always played a dynamic and revolutionary role to create and build strong, prosperous, sustainable and vibrant societies. The pages of history are full with their glorious struggles in this regard. Over the past many years, in the USA, China, France, Spain, Mexico, Greece, Brazil, Iran and various parts of Africa and South Asia the world has experienced youth movements for the creation of better societies and civil liberties as well as equal rights.

The rapid changes currently taking place across the world have significant implications for our political, economic, financial and social systems. The disruptions posed by Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and big data, have led us to the cusp of a new technology paradigm.

With more literacy and youth power, they can surely be an asset for nation’s growth. It will help to improve the economic conditions but on the contrary if the population is illiterate it will result in being a liability for a nation. It is a well-known fact that the youth of any country is a great asset. They are indeed the future of the country and represent it at every level. The role of youths in nation-building is more important than one might think. In other words, the intelligence and work of the youth will take the country on the pathway of success. As every citizen is equally responsible, the youth is too. They are the building blocks of a country.

The youth is important because they will be our future. Today they might be our partners, tomorrow they will go on to become leaders. The youths are very energetic and enthusiastic. They have the ability to learn and adapt to the environment. Similarly, they are willing to learn and act on it as well to achieve their goals. Our youth can bring social reform and improvement in society.

We cannot make do without the youth of a country. Furthermore, the nation requires their participation to achieve the goals and help in taking the country towards progress. Likewise, we see how the development of any country requires active participation from the youth.

It does not matter which field we want to progress in, whether it is the technical field or sports field, youth is needed. It is up to us how to help the youth in playing this role properly. We must make all the youth aware of their power and the role they have to play in nation-building. Youth is the most dynamic and important segment of the population in any country.

Statistics show that the developing countries which have a huge youth population could be seeing tremendous growth in all the sectors of the countries provided they invest in young people’s education, health and protect and guarantee their rights. It is believed that today’s young minds and tomorrow’s leaders, creators, builders, and innovators.

For Youth to be good leaders, inventors and innovators, it is important that they are supported and are provided good health, training, and education to transform the future. There will be a boost in the economy of the country when the Youth is working and earning rather than being dependent on anyone.

The wheel of development of any country lies on the shoulder of how productive and creative the youthful population is. The youth in any society are the engine of growth and development, because, they provide the labour force for production of goods and service to take effect.

Many of the youth who are productive and energetic remain unemployed, continue to suffer from poor health, and lack sufficient support. Some of them have special needs that require attention. These include those living on the streets, those living with HIV/AID, the girls and those with disabilities. The responsibility of ensuring that the aspirations and hopes of the youths are met lies with a multiplicity of stakeholders.

Everyone in the community, both young and old, must play their role. The National Youths Policy recognizes that the youths are a key resource that can be tapped for the benefit of the whole country. Thus, the policy endeavors to address issues affecting young  people  by  including  broad-based  strategies that would  provide  the  youth meaningful  opportunities  to  realize  their  potential.

The policy provides a broad framework within which all stakeholders, including the private and civil society, will contribute to youth development. An implementation mechanism is inbuilt in the policy

The potentially important role of youths in development cannot be overemphasized. Youth could be a source  of  labor  inputs as  well  as  human  capital  in production,  which  would  improve  total  factor  productivity  in a region of  the  world  where capital formation is limited.

When employed, youth could be a reliable source of demand for the economy through their consumption activities. In addition, the  youths  could be critical  for the development  of  a new class  of  entrepreneurs  that  countries  need  to prosper. The youth of a nation are the backbone and the most powerful force within the nation. They are the hope of the future and can shape the destiny of a country.

History shows that countries subjected to alien rule have without exception sought the help of youth in times of crisis. The youth have also been instrumental in the change of governments, whenever need for such a change has been felt. They have always been in the forefront in the building of political, social and economic orders of a society. They play a positive role for the cause of a nation and national integration. Today‘s generation faces greater challenges in national building due to the force and pressure of internal politics and external conflicts.

Today‘s youth can contribute immensely to the politics of the country. If a nation does not rejuvenate its political leadership profile it would be-come old in thought and slow in action. The youth are the future of a nation and its future leaders. The opportunity provided at educational level to contribute to politics should be encouraged and the youth should learn and follow clean and meaningful politics which can thereafter be translated into greater national aim.

Young men and women are the reservoirs of unbounded energy and enthusiasm. Youth should accept all the challenges faced by the country. Let the youth be put to best use. For this, their energies, skills and talents have to be properly harnessed, channelised and put to right use for the common good of the country.

Approximately 70 million young people are unemployed worldwide. The economic growth rate has not been sufficient to create enough employment opportunities to absorb the increasing labour force of about 500,000 annually.

Only about 25% of youths are absorbed, leaving 75% to bear the burden of unemployment. Furthermore, some of those absorbed in the labour market have jobs that do not match their qualifications and personal development goals. Similarly, citizens must make sure to encourage our youth to do better in every field. When we constantly discourage our youth and don’t believe in them, they will lose their spark. We all must make sure that they should be given the wind beneath their wings to fly high instead of bringing them down by tying chains to their wings.

In short, our youth has the power to build a nation so we must give them the opportunity. They are the future and they have the perspective which the older generations lack. Their zeal and enthusiasm must be channelized properly to help a nation prosper and flourish.

“My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation and out of them will come to my workers”…….. Swami Vivekananda

(The author is an educationist and can be reached at [email protected])

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