Role of Youth in Bringing Social Change
Swami Vivekanand gave a clarion call to the youth, "Go, all of you, wherever there is an outbreak of plague or famine, or wherever the people are in distress, and mitigate their sufferings…Preach this ideal from door to door, and you will yourselves be benefited by it at the same time that you are doing good to your country. On you lie the future hopes of our country." His bold and energetic words still stand relevant today and urge us to go out and look for opportunities to contribute and make a difference, for the world to emerge better. The theme of the National Conference 2019, 'Role of Youth in Bringing Social Change' endows to spread this spirit of Swami Vivekanand wherein youth emerge as flagbearers of change. Since India has an immensely large youth population, therefore it becomes integral to understand the roles and responsibilities, the hidden possibilities, the challenges encountered, the desired impact in context of social change keeping youth at the center. The theme is followed by four subthemes, which further elaborate different domains of social change wherein youth have an extensive part to play.
In a country with more than one billion population, it is a herculean task to manage the well-being of every individual. Moreover, India is a country with several kind of differences in language, literature, festival, food, rituals, etc. However, these differences often take the form of discrimination. When this discrimination widens, it expands to societal, economic, and political levels as well. The gap between the haves and the have-nots increases, religious fanaticism upsurges, regional tensions rise, gender insensitivities gain prominence, digital divide emerges, and so on. Thus, there is a need to make society more inclusive, where people adjust and accommodate with the existing differences. The present day youth can and must play a crucial role in emerging as the flagbearer of a more inclusive society. This subtheme invites papers dealing with the issue of increasing disparity, suggesting various approaches and methods for dealing with it, and role of youth involvement and participation in addressing this concern.
Occurrence of several social, political, and economic events in the past led to several ill practices in the Indian society. These ill practices severely impacted the societal structure. Though several of them have been abolished such the Sati and the Pardah system. However, many of them still exist. Child marriage, dowry, untouchability among the persisting older problems, while domestic violence, drug addiction, cybercrimes, bonded labour, corruption among the recent ones. Apart from these ill practices, there are several others which have creeped the Indian society. Therefore, interventions at different ladders are required to address these issues. Several initiatives have been taken across the country to tackle these issues, especially by youth masses. The subtheme invites papers addressing social ill practices which are confronting the Indian society and the possible strategies and interventions at personal, local, regional, state, and national level wherein youth can contribute for minimizing and eradicating these issues.
India is experiencing a massive demographic opportunity in terms of its huge youth population. This population requires proper channelization with respect to its immense potential, in order to have right outcomes for the country. The youth population requires enough opportunities to generate right attitude, appropriate skillset and knowledge, and confidence and pride in themselves to evolve as worthful human beings and potential resource for the nation. But, the opportunities available to the youth are scant and unfairly distributed. Be it in terms of education or employment or self-growth opportunities. There are several obstacles which lead to either absence or negligible or unjust opportunities. This subtheme invites papers discussing the cause, solution, and impact of the challenge of opportunities. Since this issue addresses the youth directly, what could be the possible propositions which may involve youth itself in tackling this concern, such as entrepreneurship, and what are the policy level interventions that need to be taken up.
With economic and technological development in the country, specific cultural changes have occurred in the country. One of the prominent changes being the shift in the value of collectivism to individualism. Though this shift is not yet omnipresent, but especially the youth masses seem to have been adopting it a rapid pace. The Indian culture has always focused and emphasized on the welfare of all, it underscored the importance of holistic and symbiotic living. But with changing lifestyle, self-centeredness started dominating. This kind of cultural shift has drastic and deep-rooted consequences. This subtheme invites papers deliberating on the issue of change in values and emerging cultural shift. The outcomes and implications are required to be discussed, and strategies need to be designed in order to sustain the value of altruism among youth.
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