ACT Essay: If Youth Knew, If Age Could
If old and experienced people are eyes and ears of a nation, the youth is their limbs. A young mans energy, enthusiasm, vigor and vitality make him one of the most important cogs in the wheel of development. India is a large nation its population by 1991 census is 833 million. Of this, 55% is the population of people between 18 years and 35 years who can be technically called the youth. The young men of India come from various strata and are engaged in a variety of occupations but all of them have one thing in common their energy and their idealism. It is their uncorrupted mind and unspent strength which can be of immense use in the nation building activities.
Nation building is a vast task consisting of varied jobs. All these jobs lead to one goal a more prosperous, clean and safe nation. One of the prerequisites for using youth in the nation building activities is that they are gainfully employed. For this, it becomes important not only to have sufficient and varied employment opportunities but also proper training for them. Another necessary pre-requisite is that the youth is well educated, well fed and healthy and has a personality and individuality of his own. A young man with healthy mind and healthy body is virtually indispensable for the nation. However, all his energy; his idealism is of no use if it is not directed properly. Therefore, it is also important to have enlightened and honest leaders who can channel the energy of the youth in the nation building activities.
One of the biggest problems facing India today is illiteracy. Uneducated man is a liability and education is an asset to the nation. So it becomes important to spread the light of learning everywhere. And who is more suitable for this stupendous task than the youth? Young men and women can not only spend their time and energy in teaching others but can act as a catalyst to start literacy mission as a mass movement. The experiences of Kerala, Burdwan and Kolhapur have shown that the school going teenagers and the college going young men and women could do in one year what all the governments machinery could not do in 40 years.
Another great task that can be done by the youth is rural development. The spreading of the message of cleanliness, child care and healthy living can be done very well by the youth. Also, they can be used to spread the information about better agricultural techniques, better animal husbandry techniques etc. They can also be used to educate villagers about new avenues of employment open to them like agro-based and forest-based Industries. A young man has the knowledge and technical skills to understand intricacies of new developments and also has the enthusiasm to transmit his knowledge in simple words to the villagers. Youth can also be used in providing safe and clean drinking water, better dwellings and in other works of rural construction. A young man has the energy, it only needs to be tapped. This can be done by having special Shram-Daan classes in schools and colleges and using their vacation time fruitfully.
The youth can be very effective in checking crimes. Their idealism coupled with their courage can be used by the police to check petty crimes, eve-teasing and also drug-trafficking etc. Youth vigilance committees can keep a check on the doubtful characters of the locality, they can also be used to prevent a misguided youth from taking to crimes and drugs. At the time of disturbances and riots, these committees, can be very helpful. In fact, they can act as a very good source of information to the police in keeping rioters in check. The youth can also be helpful to prevent hoarding and black-marketing by the merchants.
A number of irrational and obscurantist social customs and taboos can be broken by the youth power; Dowry, a big menace that it is, can be prevented only by the young men and women, if they refuse to give or take dowry themselves and form associations which help in bringing to book dowry seekers, the demise of this brutal custom cannot be far. Female infanticide, womens educational deprivation and widow remarriage restrictions are other social evils, that can be prevented by youth. A young mans mind always wants good reasons and rationale to accept any theory. Therefore, youth is most effective in fighting the evil of Casteism and communalism. They can even be used to prevent electoral malpractices.
However, for all this work, it is a healthy and happy young man is what is required. So, his childhood should not be deprived of healthy upbringing and good education. Also, frustrated and unemployed youth are most easily exploited by selfish elements and they are most prone to incitement to violence and destruction. So, it is important that he is so trained that he is gainfully employed. The example of Germany is very clear. The same young men who fought against communism and won their freedom are becoming xenophobic and racist. The reason is their frustration with the system. Let us prevent our young men from going the same way. For this, our parents, teachers and leaders have a great responsibility.
As examples of Indonesia where students overthrew Sukarno, Philippines where they helped overthrew, Marcos and usher in democracy, or E. Europe where they were in forefront of movement for democracy, or Burma-where they are relentlessly fighting for democracy and freedom show that youth power is great. Even in our own struggle for freedom, students and young lawyers played an important role. Who can forget the selfless sacrifices of Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Rajguru and many others. Nehru and Bose were the representatives of the Indian youth in freedom struggle. Today the nation which goes independent by youths efforts needs them to become great once again. Youth should take up the challenge.