(GIST OF YOJANA) Involving Youth in Community Welfare [JULY-2018]


(GIST OF YOJANA) Involving Youth in Community Welfare

[JULY-2018]


Involving Youth in Community Welfare

Youth has been defined in the National Youth Policy, 2014,as a person in the age group of 15 to 29 years But youth cannot 'be termed as a homogenous group; it is bound to be heterogeneous owning to the reasons emanating from society, cultural background, socioeconomic status, educational status, geographical areas that they come from and above all, their own perceptions and aspirations.

The word “Youth” has three clear connotations: First, it refers to a particular age group. Second, it indicates a group of individuals who are at a transitory stage from the point of view of education and employment. And last , but not the least, it also means a group that has special social, cultural and psycho-somatic factors affecting their life.

Priority Areas for the Group

It is this special aspect of the youth, that has been recognized by Government of India in the National Youth Policy, 20142. It identihes the objectives and the Priority Areas.

Each of the priority areas is important and needs to be worked upon for the holistic and constructive development of Youth. And much has been written and continues to be written on education, employment, health, sports, etc. Here, only two of the priority areas will be discussed:

  1. Promotion of social values

  2. Community engagement.

Table 1 makes it clear that under the objective “ Instil social values and promote community service to build national ownership”, these two priority areas have been listed.

Promotion of Social Values

Youth constitute the productive work force and with experience, would become the leaders in their respective walks of life. India as a nation is diverse in culture, ethnicity, language, society and religion. It is diverse geographically too, latently determining different ways in which the societies respond to the geographical challenges and shape their life style. But despite these diversities, there are common threads running through different societies and ethnicities of the country.

Probably the best examples of this are the epic texts Mahabharat and Ramayan, which have been translated in all the Indian languages and the main story line remains the same; only sub stories (called Upakhyan in Mahabharat) may have different shades revolving around the same subject matter. Moving to the contemporary times, use of IT and general feelings of youth and their perception about various issues facing them; follow a similar streak throughout the country.

The youth today talks about development, Communication, engagements, opportunities to demonstrate his potential in similar tone. Irrespective of his nativity or ethnicity. This similarity obtains mainly because India as a nation has one distinct culture and centers around certain traditions and customs that have been preserved through the ages, which constitute the social values. These social values are the binding material for the Indian society in general and the Indian youth in particular.

Community Engagement

The second priority area is community engagement for the youth. This emanates from the social values as also from the socio-economic fabric of this society. Community engagement indeed traverses through a diverse arena of activities as the activities undertaken by N SS and NYKS demonstrate. Youth, most obviously, represent the largest segment of population that can be mobilized for community services

Department of Youth Affairs has two main organizations under it, namely. Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (N SS) which help organize community engagement of the youth, on voluntary basis. And this is essentially based on enhancing the sense of volunteerism among the youth. It is community engagement of youth on voluntary basis. That voluntarism is the preferable mode of engagement over conscription for such services has been demonstrated by the vast areas of activities; it has been emphasized by the unconventional areas of activities that the NSS/NYKS volunteers have taken up. And it is in this mechanism of response of the youth to the situation that social values come to fore, in their social bonding through such engagements.

Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)

NYKS, launched in 1972, is one of the largest youth organizations in the world. NYKS currently has 8.7 million youth enrolled through over 1.29 lakh youth clubs. NYKS has presence in 623
districts through Nehru Yuva Kendras. The objective is to develop the personality and leadership qualities of the youth and to engage them in nation-building activities. The activities of NYKS are carried out through a District Youth Coordinator in each District and 2 National Youth volunteers in each Block. In addition, NYKS has 29 Zonal Offices at State Level besides its National Headquarters at New Delhi. Out of a number of activities, a few ones are briefly indicated below:

  1. Training on Youth Leadership and Community Development: The Programme aims at enhancing the capacity of young people to take up leadership roles to help others to live a meaningful life and contribute towards nation-building. This is a 5-day programme. In 2017-18, over 450 such programmes were organized, involving over 19000 youth.

  2. Youth Convention and Yuva Kriti: The Programme is organized annually by all District NYKs, to provide opportunity and platform to rural youth readers to display products and express themselves, share experiences and suggest best practices for youth empowerment. During 2017-18, over 300 programmes were organized, involving over 2,06,000 youth.

  3. Yuva Aadarsh Gram Vikas Karyakram; The Programme aims at developing one village in selected Districts as a model village by the youth for the youth. The activities would include making the villages Open defecation free, 100 per cent immunization, 100 per cent enrolment of children in primary school, cleanliness, preventive healthcare, popularization of flagship programmes of the government, etc. This was a yearlong programme during 201718 (upto 31.12.2017), and has been conducted in 78 selected districts.

  4. Tribal Youth Exchange Programme (TYEP): The Programme is organized every year with funding from the Ministry of Home Affairs. In this Programme, tribal youth drawn from areas, affected by Left-wing extremist activities are taken to other parts of the country to sensitize them to the rich cultural heritage of the country, to expose them to development activities and to enable them to develop emotional linkage with the people in other parts of the country. During 2017-18, 10 such programmes for over 2000 tribal youth, were organized.

  5. Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (Inter State Youth Exchange Programme): “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” was announced by the Prime Minister on 318‘ October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The main objective of the programme is to celebrate the Unity in Diversity of our Nation and to maintain and strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of our country. It aims to promote the spirit of National Integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian States and Union Territories through a yearlong planned engagement between States, to showcase the rich heritage and culture. customs and traditions of either state for enabling people to understand and appreciate the diversity of India. This programme is under the administrative coordination by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

  6. Other Activities: NYKS also takes up various activities in collaboration with other Ministries such as plantations, blood donation camps and enrolment of voluntary blood donors,
    immuization of children (Operation Indradhanush), immunization of mother, observance of lntemational Yoga Day, etc. Most recent is the involvement of the youth in the Swachha Bharat Summer Internship which is under the aegis of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. in which youth would be putting in 100 hours of voluntary work in swachhata related issues and health and hygiene advocacy. Similarly, under the aegis of Ministry of Water Resources, NYKS youth are engaged in Namami Ganga Programme under the Mission for Clean Ganga.

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National Service Scheme (N88):

N88 was launched in 1969 with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service. ‘Education through Service’ is the purpose of the NSS. The ideological orientation of the NSS is inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. Very appropriately, the motto of NSS is “Not Me, But You”. NSS was launched in 1969 in 37 Universities involving about 40,000 volunteers. Currently, NSS has 3.66 million volunteers enrolled in 39,695 NSS units spread over 391 Universities/+2 Councils and 16,278 Senior Secondary Schools.

Basic Design/Programme Structure: The design of the NSS envisages that each educational institution covered under the scheme has at least one NSS unit comprising of 100 student volunteers (normally), led by a teacher designated as Programme Officer (PO). Each NSS unit adopts a village or slum for taking up its activities. Each NSS volunteer is required to put in minimum 120 hours of service per year for two years, i.e. total 240 hours. In addition, each volunteer is required to participate in a Special Camp of 7 days’ duration, organized by the NSS unit, in the adopted village or urban slum.

Activities under NSS: The core activity of NSS is to render community service. The precise nature of activities continues to evolve in response to the needs of the community. Some areas in which NSS volunteers work are education, health, family welfare and sanitation, environment conservation, social service programmes, programmes for improving the status of women, production-oriented programmes, relief and rehabilitation during disasters/ calamities, etc. Besides, NSS volunteers also participate in other important activities like Republic Day Parade Camps, Adventure camps, National Integration Camps and North East NSS Festivals, ‘Suvichar’ and ‘Youth Convention’ events during the National Youth Festival.

Girivikas Project: Realizing the role that education/literacy can play in enabling the tribal population to mingle with the national mainstreams, the Girivikas Project was taken up on an experimental basis by Nehru Yuva Kendra, Palakkad, Kerala with the support of the District Adminstration. 1.5 acres of Girivikas Campus consisting of academic and administrative block, girl and boys hostel is situated at Malampuzha village, Palakkad. Kerala State ST Development Department supported the project.

Prevention of Drug Abuse and Alcoholism: NYKS implemented a yearlong pilot project, entitled “Awareness and Education for the Prevention of Drug Abuse & Alcoholism”. With the financial support of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The project was implemented in 3000 villages under 75 Blocks of 10 districts in
Punjab and 750 villages under 25 Blocks in 7 districts in Manipur.

The project focused on adolescents and youth, high risk and vulnerable groups as well as their family and community members on the one hand mobilized support and partnership of variety stakeholder’s viz. village based NYKS Youth clubs, women groups, gram panchayats, local political and religious leaders, village influencers and services providers on the other hand, for addressing drugs and alcohol dependency, collectively.

Namami Gange and Youth: Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan has signed an MOU with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) for creating awareness on abatement of pollution, rejuvenation of National River Ganga on 8th June 2015 and accordingly is implementing the project entitled “Involvement of Youth in Namami Gange Programme”.

The objective of the project is to develop a cadre of trained and highly motivated. Local youth, sensitize and mobilize support of people from all walks of life, generate awareness and educate target audiences about the consequences and impact of polluted Ganga and provide information on existing government schemes and services pertaining to clean Ganga. At present the project covers 1203 Gram Panchayats and 2336 Villages along river Ganga of 29 districts of 4 States viz. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Under the project 2426 Youth clubs have been formed in the villages on the banks of River Ganga, with over 13000 Ganga Doots to work as part of the project.

Water Quality Issues: NSS Volunteers of Karim City college, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand took the initiative for collecting and testing of sources of water used for drinking and other purposes by the people of an adopted village. The testing was done in the Chemistry laboratory of the college. The report was submitted to the District authority. The distn'ct authority took the intiative to retest the water and necessary measures were taken to minimise the pollution and provide safe water to the villagers.

The N88 unit of Alagappa Chettiar Govt. College of Engg. & Technology, Karaikud Tamilnadu surveyed the water channels and encroachments and analysed chances for linking channels for all the tanks at Palavangudi village, It did contour mapping at Palavangudi village with the help from the Civil Engg. Dept. With the help of local people, deepening works, removal of encroachments, debris etc. too was undertaken. Finally, it worked and tanks filled with rain water. All water channels are now levelled for water flow. This offered permanent solutions for rainwater harvesting water needs of the village.

Sidhi Upliftment Project: Sidhi Muslim community lives in an urban slum Sidhi Basti in Ahmedabad. NSS Unit of Saraspur Arts and Commerce Colleges adopted this urban slum which was a garbage dumping zone for more than a decade and life was difficult for them. NSS volunteers of Saraspur college cleaned the dirt and garbage of the area, started a cleanliness drive and movement to keep this area neat and clean. Sidhi urban slum area was made garbage free zone by the constant and continuous 4 years’ efforts of N88 volunteers. More than 300 Sidhi people and more than 2000 students of nearby college benefited. NSS Volunteers of Saraspur
Arts and Commerce College, Ahmedabad cleaned and colored their houses, renovated their toilets and made them functional. Besides, N.S.S. Unit also helped in promoting their ‘ folk dance “SidiDhamal”, organizing Computer Education class for more than two hundred Sidhis including girls and helped organizing “Learn with Fun” at the door step in Sidhi basti to enable Sidhi girls, women and children pick up fun learning games and cultural activities at their homes.

LED Bulbs Camps: 308 summer camps of 2 day duration by the NSS units of the Directorate of Vocational Higher Secondary Education were conducted in the 14 districts of Kerela in different spells with variety of projects and programmes such as LED bulb making, collection of damaged and discarded LED bulbs from the households for repairing, distribution of LED bulbs to the socio-economically marginalized people, conduct of Awareness Programmes on Energy Consumption among the villagers, etc. Over 4 hours were devoted regularly for the training of NSS volunteers on LED Bulb making and its Repair by the Kerala Energy Management Centre. 15400 NSS Volunteers and 308 Projects Officers were involved in these Camps.

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