Proper orientation and positive steps are needed to engage the youth of the country in nation-building activities. Their zeal, enthusiasm and energy need to be channelized in developmental activities and social reconstruction.
The Indian youth, full of inexhaustible power, is always eager to do something positive, constructive and appreciable for the society and the nation. In order to harness the youth-power of the country, a National Youth Policy has been framed to instill in the youth a deep awareness of national ideals of secularism, non-violence, integration and our ancient historical and cultural heritage. It also aims at developing qualities of discipline, self-reliance, leadership, justice, fair play, sporting spirit and scientific temper so as to enable them to combat superstitions, obscurantism and other numerous social ills and evils. With the above objectives in view, adventure institutions, cultural centres, Yuvak Kendras, and sports centres, etc. have been established in various important cities and towns of the country. For example, Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi and National Adventure Foundation are two important institutions for promotion of adventure.
These provide training. -jetties and financial assistance for undertaking mountaineering, hiking- trekking, expeditions, explorations, cycle-tours, etc. to remote a feeling of oneness and unity. The young men and women from one part of the country exchange visits with their counterparts from other parts.
It helps them to familiarize themselves with different environments, lifestyles and social customs. Then there is the National Service Scheme (NSS). Its main objective is to involve the college and +2 level students on a voluntary and selective basis in the programme of social service and national development. Started in 1969, now it is being implemented in all the states and union territories and covers over 5,000 colleges. Under this scheme, rural and slum reconstruction, repair of roads and school-buildings, village ponds, tanks, tree plantation, conservation of environment, health and family welfare, and adult and women education, etc. are undertaken. NSS students also help local authorities in implementing various relief and rehabilitation programmes.
At times of natural calamities, like floods, droughts, famines and earthquakes, NSS students and volunteers play a very important, positive and constructive role. There are special schemes for the tribal youth to give them vocational training and to update their skills to help them in self-employment. There are youth hostels strewn all over the country to promote travel among young men and women, by providing cheap accommodation when on educational tours and excursions to historical and cultural places. The Nehru Yuvak Kendras, about 446 in number and spread all over the country, serve non-students and rural youth to improve their personality and employment capability. Under the international scouting and guiding movement, the Bharat Scouts and Guides and All India Boys Scouts Association are inculcating in the Indian youth a spirit of loyalty, patriotism and thoughtfulness for others. But still more and vigorous efforts are needed to solve the Problems of the youth.
They are a frustrated lot for want of Proper employment opportunities. Our education system does not take note of their requirements and, therefore, fails to prepare them well for life and career. The red-tapism nepotism, caste considerations and favoritism further add to their problems and frustration.
For want of proper leadership and ideals, they suffer from lack of direction, purpose and decisiveness. The task of tackling these and other problems of the youth is difficult and challenging but not impossible. It is the duty of the government, voluntary agencies, corporate world and the society to see that youth-power is properly harnessed, that young men and women are properly educated and trained and subsequently satisfactorily employed. The advanced and developed countries have been investing heavily for the last many decades in schemes and programmes related to the training, education, orientation and welfare of their youth. With the passage of time, the number of young people in India is likely to increase and so it becomes imperative that more effective ways and means are found to use their vast energy in economical reconstruction and social regeneration activities. Perhaps, one of the best ways can be their greater involvement in welfare schemes, community development programmes and nation-building activities so as to generate in them a sense of purpose, pride, self-confidence and relevance.
It is only by such means and efforts that the young people in India can be given the much needed self-confidence and a sense of fulfillment and belonging. They can be inspired to work in the slums, villages and hamlets in their spare time. They can be urged to adopt families, villages or clusters of houses to improve sanitation, education, social awareness, economic condition and skills of the people residing in them.