YOUTH EMPOWERMENTThe Youth represent the most dynamic and vibrant segment of the population.
Youth empowerment aims to improve quality of life. Youth empowerment is achieved through participation in youth empowerment programs. A variety of youth empowerment initiatives are underway around the world. These programs can be through non-profit organizations, government organizations, schools or private organizations. Youth empowerment is different than youth development because development is centred on developing individuals, while empowerment is focused on creating greater community change relies on the development of individual capacity. The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UNCHS-Habitat) defines youth empowerment as “the circumstances and factors which enhance the development of citizenship and productiveness among young people as they move into adulthood. It is concerned with the adaptation of government structures and institutions to protect and deliver children’s, youths? and human rights, including the right to participation”. The word ’empowerment’ means giving power.
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Building vocational and technical skills is not enough, as marginalized youth need training in soft skills such as communication, leadership and in boosting self-confidence. The ambit covers interpersonal skills like communication skills, teamwork capability, conflict management, cultural awareness and negotiation skills, inter-personal skills like sociability, honesty and integrity, courtesy, work ethic, empathy, responsibility and good manners, and personal traits like imagination, curiosity, passion, persistence and determinationIndia is one of the youngest nations in the World, with about 65 per cent of the population being under 35 years of age. While most of these developed countries face the risk of an ageing workforce, India is expected to have a very favourable demographic profile.
It is estimated that by the year 2020, the population of India would have a median age of 28 years only as against 38 years for United States, 42 years for China and 48 years for Japan. This ‘demographic dividend’ offers a great opportunity. This demands the commitment of the entire nation to all-round development of the youth of India, so that they can realize their full potential and contribute productively to nation-building process.
This can be done by empowering youth. The National Youth Policy, 2014, seeks to define the vision of the government of India, for the youth of the country and identify the keys areas in which action is required to achieve their full potential and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations in the area of, education, employment and skill development, entrepreneurship, health and healthy lifestyle, sports, promotion of social values, community engagement, participation in politics and governance, youth engagement, inclusion and social justice.