Gram Panchayats and the youth


A Government can be called a responsive and a successful Government that aspires for and takes cogent steps towards ensuring presence of youth engaged in constructive activities. These activities broadly described could aim at the development of the concerned areas as also the youth getting benefits from host of schemes sponsored by central and Union Territory Governments specially tailored for them for many purposes including earning a livelihood. Since youth is considered to determine the future of the country, their tremendous energies could be channelized in constructive pursuits which depends upon how the type of leadership both political , administrative as well social, looked at the involvement of the youth in this direction. Why should not their increased presence be ensured right in the activities from the grass root levels or in simpler parlance, from the Panchayat levels? It is, however, heartening, in this connection, to note that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has directed for establishing Youth Clubs in every Panchayat across Jammu and Kashmir, a novel idea indeed. Such Youth Clubs could indulge in activities of all sorts that were all constructive in nature and addressed almost all genuine concerns of the younger generation. Innovative ideas on modern thinking and new dimensions to policies and programmes which could generate interest and enthusiasm among the sections of the society were the hallmark of a better planning and strategies to achieve the desired aims in any administrative set up. What is, therefore, needed is proper investment in the youth starting with recognising their tremendous potential and how to harness it by giving necessary stimuli by starting schemes concerning their health, education, sports cum physical activities and how they could engage themselves in gainful employment. Yes, they must feel that they are to get necessary support as they are the core strength and a top source of working hands. If a proper planning is made, as looks from addressing the innovative scheme in phased manner by the UT Government, 22500 youth from 4290 Panchayats to be engaged in these Youth Clubs must really serve the purpose of the Youth Clubs which depends upon how those are shaped and steered to create success stories. An initial expenditure of Rs. 12 crore for this initiative is the biggest right step taken in this direction but other steps that of better organising, identification of goals and ambitions, enumerating various youth programmes, motivation and more involvement of the younger people and the stress on how most of such activities led to generation of employment and livelihood, are all needed to be considered. The biggest concern as also the leading interest, if in anything in respect of the youth, is how to get engaged in earning a livelihood. However, that being the prime concern of the Government, these youth clubs going to be the nerve centres for all youth programmes, community involvement, IEC, Sports and Cultural activities could play a tremendous role in building a sound base for fulfilment of youth aspirations. Communications and exchanging of information between the members at these clubs could also prove beneficial to them. “Mission Youth”, as such, is getting due attention of the UT Government as many schemes were recently accorded approval and which are going to be launched soon but it is to be seen that the magnitude of youth engagement and opportunities for generating livelihood programmes kept congruency with expectations.