TODAY -

12th January is National Youth Day
Youth must take Actions for Social Change

Ranjan K Baruah *

National Youth Day & Youth Week 2014 at Khuman Lampak kangshang, Imphal :: 12 January 2014
National Youth Day at Khuman Lampak kangshang, Imphal on 12 January 2014 :: Pic - Jinendra Maibam



Every young people want a society which is developed and peaceful. No one wants to live in poverty or violence. There are divisions amongst young people like rich (as their parents are rich) and poor and some struggle daily for bread and butter. Some stays in cities or metros while majority live in rural areas.

When we look at young people in India we can make out the differences easily. In a country like India, it is a challenge for young people to get established as the population is increasing day by day. Apart from establishing, young people also have the responsibilities to contribute for change in the society and bring development.

We could not achieve all MDGs or Millennium Development Goals as 2015 was the target year. Though there was progresses made but many things are yet to be achieved globally.

Now there are Sustainable Development Goals (SDFs) which covers most of issues like poverty, hunger and food security, health, education, gender equality and women’s empowerment, water and sanitation, energy, inequality, climate change, sustainable consumption and production, biodiversity, forests, desertification, peace and justice, etc.

Youths must be aware of these SDFs and contribute towards the achievements of the goals.

The vision of India’s National Youth Policy-2014 is to empower youth to achieve their full potential, and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations. For achieving this vision, the Policy identifies five well-defined objectives and 11 priority areas and suggests policy interventions in each priority area.

The priority areas are education, skill development and employment, entrepreneurship, health and healthy lifestyle, sports, promotion of social values, community engagement, participation in politics and governance, youth engagement, inclusion and social justice.

In India, any one up to the age of 15 to 29 is termed as youth which was 35 till few years back. United Nations defines any young people in between 15 to 24 years of as youth. The definition of youth varies from nations to nation. Different countries observe or celebrates youth day. Internationally 12th August is celebrated as International Youth Day.

However in India, 12th January is celebrated as National Youth Day. It is celebrated in India on 12 January on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. In 1984 the Government of India declared the day as the National Youth Day and since 1985 the event is celebrated in India every year.

Ministry of Youth and Sports confers some of the young people as National Youth Award for their outstanding services to community and society. Every year National Youth Festival is being organised which one of the largest youth programme in the country.

Youth day is a day when young people think of their commitment for building a vibrant society. As a youth all those who are student may focus more in studies or careers but at the same time they must contribute for social change in whatever possible ways or with limited time.

Youths are seen engaging in different social activities or action oriented projects. It is important that we think more of change which is tangible. We have to move ahead of social networking sites to bring real change. Social media sites helps in networking but discussions should not be limited to virtual world but they must be executed. There should not be any digital divide amongst young people if we want to see change with the help of technology.

To build a vibrant civil society we have to move ahead from awareness to action if we want to make SDFs a reality. Youths must get engaged to actions that brings change. There are many positive stories around the country and we need learn from them to bring change in our regions.

I have been associated with youth activities for more than decades and I could see that we need to take action and make changes instead of just discussions. We must work in the field which we like so that we may contribute more and in this regard choosing the right career is important.

On the occasion of National Youth Day, let all youths commit for bringing social change and making a strong society and a strong nation.


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a recipient of National Youth Award. He can be reached at bkranjan(at)gmail(doT)com This article was posted on January 12, 2016.


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