August 11, 2020

Int’l Youth Day 2020: Inclusive engagement of youth

Abrar Ul Mustafa

Out of nearly 7.8 billion people of the world, over 1.2 billion are between 15 and 24 years of age. This means that one in every six persons is below 24. Besides, a major chunk of the world population is between 25 and 35 years of age. In some African and Asian countries like India, this percentage is even higher. These are the dreamers of tomorrow. Almost everything that is outstanding has been executed by these young men and women. It is not only their rosy lips and pink cheeks or the prime of their age that is worth a remark; they have played unforgettable functions in past and they continue to do so today. The world observes August 12 as the International Youth Day. It’s celebrated every year to reward the qualities of our youth and to address their challenges. This year’s International Youth Day carries the theme “Youth engagement for global action.” The chronicle of the spree of this day dates back to as early as 1985 when the celebration of the ‘International Year of the Youth’ commenced. United Nations (UN), in 1995, officially decided to consider a dedicated youth day. Later on, in 1998, ’World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth’ was held out in Lisbon from August 08 to 12. This conference put forward a recommendation to observe an International Youth Day on August 12 every year. This was a historical submission. Consequently, on December 17, 1999, a resolution 54/120 was passed by the UN General Assembly which endorsed the idea. Therefore, the IYD began to be recognized globally. Back to IYD 2020. This year, the world talks about the involvement and participation of youth in a myriad of activities. This twelvemonth, we emphasise the participation of youth in formal institutions like politics. The underlying bedrock to this theme is a fact that today the global public institutions have lost their credibility. People, especially the youth, don’t confide in these establishments anymore. The youth speculate that it’s the old folk that starts wars and it’s the youth who have to die. This year’s IYD aims at motivating the youth to take part in politics and processes at the local and community level. It further attempts to propel them to participate in national and international policies concerning the law, health, politics, etc. These are the spotlights of the theme this year. Dispensing with the issues concerning youth has become all the more relevant to the United Nations given the fact that only 10 years are left to their 2030 agenda: the accomplishment of all Sustainable Development Goals. UN is turning 75 this year. At an individual level, what could be done to impart some meaning to this day? The answer lies in a couple of moments’ thought.
On this International Youth Day, let’s involve everyone. Let’s talk and discuss each other’s problems. And do our best to solve them. Let’s brainstorm. Let’s give rise to new ideas. It’s an idea that transforms the world. This would give some respite and may prove effective in the long run.
Each and every individual may think of creative ways to perceive and understand this day. These activities may, in one or the other way, help in developing the attributes of the youngsters. Here are some propositions that may be practically implemented to achieve the same purpose:Let’s develop an inter-generational understanding. The history, the present and the past of a civilization or a race are connected by linking pins. These links are people in different age groups and generations. An understanding of the thought processes of people of other age groups gives us an awareness of our culture, heritage and existence. No civilisation survives unless and until its people know and value their past and their bequest. Let’s talk to our seniors and comprehend our culture and history. Likewise, discussions and debates should be organised to achieve the same purpose. Proceeding further, the world must realize and acknowledge that the youth are facing challenges. These challenges have left the youth high and dry. The problems of lack of education and job opportunities have waned the morale of our youth. These issues must be dealt with without any further delay. They are quite serious. They cause depression, distress and disinterest. Postscript: On this International Youth Day, let’s involve everyone. Let’s talk and discuss each other’s problems. And do our best to solve them. Let’s brainstorm. Let’s give rise to new ideas. It’s an idea that transforms the world. This would give some respite and may prove effective in the long run. The youth want a decent standard of living and a peaceful atmosphere. If this is achieved, they will create wonders in all domains. Long live the youth folk!

(The author, a former Lecturer and Event Manager, is an MBA, NET & IBPS-CWE. He works as Manager in a reputed PSU Bank. The views are personal.)
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