India World Foundation,(IWF) New Delhi with Centre for Women’s Studies,(CWS),Kumaun University, Nainital,Uttarakhand,& Indian Council of Social Science Research,Govt of India,New Delhi organized Two Days National Seminar/Panel discussion on the CHALLENGES OF WOMEN IN THE HIMALAYAN REGION on 1st & 2nd September 2015 at Nainital Club & Kumaun University Campus, Nainital, Uttarakhand,India.
In this great events , dignitaries of 18 states participated in this events.
Following issues had been discussed accordingly with more than 100 research papers. related to Women in Himalayan region of India & other parts of world.
Many MP,MLAs,Women Activists,Doctors,Academicians,Research Scholars,Media Experts,Policy makers & prominent personalities from Culture, Judiciary,Police,Human Rights,Social Activists had been presented their views.
Chairperson/Members of State Commissions of Women/Social Activist from Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunanchal Pradesh, Assam Gujrat, Delhi, Himanchal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jammu Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, odisha, Maharastra and others attended this national seminar with their inputs and provoking thoughts.
Academicians & Research Scholars from more than 20 Universities from India also participated & presented their papers.
It was decided all important Suggestions/Papers will be sent to Govt of India & concerned state governments accordingly for proper attention & actions with implementation for welfare of women in Himalayan region.
On this occasion,we are going to publish a Souvenir with Blessings & Best wishes of dignitaries of the country.that will be released by HE President Pranab Mukherji,Vice President Md Hamid Ansari,PM Narendra Modi,,BJP President Amit Shah,Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi & others.
These souvenirs will be distributed among all MPs. Ministers, Diganatories, Universities,Colleges,schools of country,states & other parts of world.
Articles for Souvenir have been invited from all experts/ social activists/ social organization till 12 Oct 2015.
Kumar Rakesh Prof(Dr) Neeta B Sharma
Founder Trustee & Chairman Director,Centre for Women Studies(CWS)
India World Foundation,New Delhi Kumaun University,Nainital,Uttarakhand
Ph-+91-9811157282, +91-9911157282 Ph-+91-9410907753, +91-9837418108
National Coordination Team:
Delhi (HQ) - Ms Shipra-+91-9910188039, Ms Archana-+91-9899540465, Mr.Amit - +91-8802167729
Nainital - Mr Hridesh-+91-7579207649, Ms Neha-+91-7579213050
FROM THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY
12 August 2009
Message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The theme of this year’s International Youth Day -- “Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future” -- is a global call to action for young men and women. Our world faces multiple interconnected crises with severe and far-reaching impacts that fall disproportionately on the young.
In 2007, for example, youth comprised 25 per cent of the world’s working age population, yet accounted for 40 per cent of the unemployed. The global economic downturn means that, in the near term, youth unemployment will continue to climb. Unemployment rates tell only part of the story, especially for the vast majority of youth who live in developing countries. For them, informal, insecure and low-wage employment is the norm, not the exception.
Climate change, meanwhile, continues to compromise economies and threaten tremendous upheaval, saddling young people everywhere with an unjust “ecological debt”. This is a potentially crushing burden. At the same time, I am encouraged by the contributions that young people have made to the debate on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Their views and proposals can help build the momentum necessary to “seal the deal” in Copenhagen later this year.
Indeed, young people have proven themselves to be key partners in sustainable development. They have got involved in international forums such as the Commission on Sustainable Development, and have helped their Governments and communities to formulate poverty reduction strategies, entrepreneurial schemes and many other policies and initiatives.
Young people often lead by example: practising green and healthy lifestyles, or promoting innovative uses of new technologies, such as mobile devices and online social networks. They deserve our full commitment -- full access to education, adequate health care, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life. On International Youth Day, let us renew our pledge to support young people in their development. Sustainability is the most promising path forward, and youth can lead the way.
SPEECH OF HON’BLE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, RAJYA SABHA, SHRI K. RAHMAN KHAN, AT THE SE,OMAR PM “ROLE OF YOUTH IN PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT” ORGANISED BY INDIA WORLD FOUNDATION (IWF) IN ASSOCIATION WITH UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION CENTRE (UNIC), NEW DELHI ON 12 AUGUST 2009
I am happy to be here on the eve of the International Youth Day, which is being celebrated today. I take this opportunity to compliment the India World Foundation and the United Nations Information Centre, India Office for taking this initiative to organize the International Round Table Seminar on the “Role of Youth in Peace and Development’. The deliberations of the Seminar, I believe, would go a long way in promoting awareness among people on various issues relating to youth.
Today, we see a new India, young in its demographic profile and youthful in its spirit. Youth symbolizes energy, vigour, vibrancy and talent, which need to be properly harnessed for a better and peaceful world order not only for the present but also for the future generation. Peace and development are inextricably interlinked. Without the existence of peaceful conditions, the prospects for development become bleak. The role of youth in the promotion of peace and development can hardly be over emphasized. The ideals of peace and development have been proclaimed in its Charter by the United Nations. It is our collective responsibility to remain committed to these ideals.
I believe that youth ought to be made the vibrant engines of our peaceful development. How the nation prospers in the decades ahead; whether it attains all round peace and socio-economic development inclusive of all sections of the social inequalities and economic disparities will largely depend on how peace loving, progressive and forward looking is our youth.
Today, the role of youth in promoting peace and development has assumed greater significance in wake of the recurring incidents of ethnic conflicts, extremism, intolerance and terrorism with alarming proportions, which threaten peace and wellbeing of people in many parts of the world. Children and youth are often the innocent victims of senseless and cruel violence. It is essential for all of us, particularly the youth to stand united against such forces which are inimical to peace and development of the world community. Emphasising the close relationships between peace and prosperity of the nations of the world way back in 1947 when India gained Independence, the first Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, who was a humanist and an internationalist said and I quote “All the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One world that can no longer be spilt into isolated fragments.” He believed that solutions to all our problems lie in our cooperative endeavours. In this era of globalization, it is, therefore, essential that we rededicate ourselves to this vision of Nehru. We must always be vigilant in safeguarding the values of freedom, human rights, tolerance, mutual respect, human dignity to ensure that the various communities in the world live together in peace and harmony. The anti-social forces, which seek to disturb the ethos of communal harmony, must not be given any chance for having their objectives achieved. And those who resort to violence in the name of religion are doing a disservice to their faith and to humanity and our common civilization and heritage. Therefore, I feel that it is very essential that our youth should stand committed to the ideals enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
Today, we are confronting the challenges of climate change, global warming, environmental degradation, HIV/AIDS, epidemics, etc. which adversely affect large number of population, especially our children and youth. It is essential that these problems are addressed by active involvement of youth. In this context, the sustainable development also assumes greater importance as it is inextricably linked with addressing these problems. It is indispensable that the youth should take proactive o\role in promoting sustainable development. Young people who are well informed and highly motivated can be very effective agents of change in society. Their full participation in addressing these problems has the potential to transform the world into a safer, peaceful and happier place to live in.
Today, all young people irrespective of their nationalities and other identities aspire to lead full and productive lives. However, the challenges of unemployment, insecurity, ill health, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and social exclusion faced by the young generation are enormous. Each of these problems, has a debilitating impact on the development process and the future of the youth, thus making them vulnerable to take to the path of drugs, violence and other anti-social activities. I strongly feel that none of these problems can be addressed successfully without the active involvement of the youth. For this, providing employment, educational and training opportunities besides other capacity building measures to develop confidence and optimism among them hold the key to their bright and secure future.
As you know, India has significant young population constituting 40 percent of the total population. We have the great advantage of this exceptionally young demographic profile compared to other countries of the world. However, this demographic dividend could become our disadvantage if the youth are not adequately empowered and their energies and talents are not properly channelized. We have great challenge to make this a vibrant and strong resource as valuable partners in our nation building. It is important that the young men and women effectively take part in the national endeavors. The Government is also committed to the welfare of the youth. For this, a national Youth Policy has been formulated to address the concerns of the youth and to keep pace with the fast changing socio-economic scenario.
I would like to mention here that our Parliament is very much alive to the problems and concerns of the youth. Apart from conducting structured and constructive debates and discussions on the issues relating to the youth, we have Parliamentary Forum on Youth, which has been working to have focused deliberations on strategies to leverage human capital among the youth for accelerating development initiative; to build greater awareness amongst public leaders and at the grassroots levels on the potential of youth power for effecting socio-economic change; to interact on a regular basis with youth representatives and leaders, in order to better appreciate their hopes, aspirations, concerns and problems; and to consider ways for improving Parliament’s out-reach to different sections of youth, in order to reinforce their faith and commitment in democratic institutions and encourage their active participation.
Before I conclude, I would like to stress that our main objective should be to motivate and empower youth in the promotion of peace and development through promotion of knowledge among youth with regard to significance of peace building; to encourage them to develop creative and positive thinking; to inculcate a sense of responsibility towards society and world at large; to build bridges between urban and rural youth; and strengthen solidarity among them. I would like to recall the words of Swami Vivekanda, who had said “the future of our country rested in the hands of our youth”. May God bless our youth with ‘nerves of steel, muscles of iron and minds like thunderbolt’ as Swmaiji had envisaged.
I hope that the deliberations in the Seminar will be productive and helpful in understanding the role of youth in the promotion of peace and development in proper perspective. I wish the seminar and the International Youth Day Celebrations all success.
Speech of Noted Journalist & Director,IWF,Mr, Ajay N Jha at the Seminar on “ROLE OF YOUTH IN PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT” Organized by India World Foundation (IWF) in Association with UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION CENTER (UNIC) , New Delhi on 12th August 2009.
“Om asato ma sad gamayah, Tamso ma jyotir gamayah”, (O Lord lead us from untruth to truth, lead us from darkness to light). I invoke these lines with a specific purpose. In our nation, we discuss, debate and enact a lot of laws, but do precious little by means of action. I sincerely hope that the discussions today will lead to some concrete and practical action – or at the very least, some action plan that leads us to light and leaves us enlightened, at the same time.
On the “Role of youth in peace and development”, the words of Rachel Jackson, wife of former US President Andrew Jackson, ring true in our ears. She said, "Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare." Today, at a time when the ancient Indian concept of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam” is being reflected in Marshal McLuhan’s conception of the world being a ‘Global Village’, the role of the juniors of the ‘Kutumb’ is bound to hold centre-stage.
Indeed, just as the economic health of a nation is known by the state of its infrastructure and the level of civility of any country, is known by its music, so is the health of a nation known by the state of its youth. Youth is called the trustee of posterity and the future, as also the hope and development of any country. Given the materialistic times we are living in, youth can be likened to a recurring, savings bank account. But as in a bank account, we need to save and invest.
Similarly, the success of a nation can be measured by the investments made in opportunities for skill development for the youth for a better living and for avenues of creativity, innovation and enterprise to enable the youth to realize its fullest potential. Sadly however, that does not seem to be happening with us in a substantive measure. Often, youth is also reduced to mere slogan-mongering lot and used as a ruse to feel good about ourselves and our nation.
Unfortunately, our growth as a nation in terms of development of youth has been quite haphazard and unsteady. India has moved from a traditionally agrarian society to a highly developed, industrial and space society. There is a marked change from rural to urban living, with diverse cultures, religions, economic status, languages, lifestyles. With the changing times, the youth of this country is experiencing difficulty in adapting to the changing role and value systems.
At the risk of indulgence, may I ask the distinguished gathering present here the definition of youth? The responses may vary from individual to individual. While most may settle for the biological age, others may feel that it is a mindset and has got nothing to do with the biological age. The exact definition of youth may lie in the realm of abstract, but for practical purposes it would be prudent to go with the definition of the United Nations of ‘youth’, as persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years, without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. This definition was coined in the run-up to the International Youth Year in 1985.
Even by UN parameters, youth population constituted 41.05% of the total population, according to the 2001 Census. Presently, over 58 per cent population of India is below the age of 24 years. That means the number of persons below the age of 24 years stands at 564 million. In effect, it means that the number of unemployed people by 2012 in India would be double the population of USA.!! During the present decade alone, India would add 130 million workers to the global market in this decade. The working population of India is going be approximately 800 million people by the year 2016, posing an enormous challenge for providing adequate education and employment.
India is home to the largest youth population on earth: 600 million people are under the age of 25. Some experts refer to this as “Demographic Dividend”, while skeptics say it is a ‘demographic disaster.’ This predominance of youth in our population is likely to last until 2050. By then, it will be “advantage” India, even in comparison to the most populated country - China. While the average age of an Indian in 2020 is expected to be 29 years, the average age for China is expected to be 37. But the question remains – what do we propose do with this advantage?
As of today, we seem to be frittering away this advantage. On the one hand, we take pride in the fact that we have the highest youth force in the world. There is no doubt that our youth is the brain behind the tremendous IT software boom and that India is leader in BPO and KPO sectors. Our progress in higher education and science and technology has been truly phenomenal. Yet, we have not been able to take 350 million Indians out of illiteracy. We also have the largest number of young and unemployed too. It is also true that the Indian youth has made a significant contribution in management, finance, banking, retail, telecommunications and entertainment sectors. In overall terms however, it does not even reach 29 per cent in terms of the employment generation scenario.
Our education system needs a sea-change. The universities have failed to arouse a sense of national fervour or purpose in life and ignite the young minds. Instead of igniting their minds and soul to do something spectacular, they have been reduce to mere agencies for distributing degrees which, in most cases are not even worth the paper they are printed on. By and large, there is a gross mismatch between the system of education and the job requirements of any given sphere. Institutes seldom teach what industries require. Industries do not require all that Institutes teach. There is very little interface between the educational institutions and industries. That is the reason many big industries have set up their own training programmes to suit their specific job profile.
The present system of education is providing an ever-increasing Army of ill-educated and frustrated youth. A radical change in the syllabus, regular interaction between the government and the All India Committee on technical Education and private institutions to draw up the exact future needs of the employment matrix and a futuristic roadmap is the only way to solve the problem of unemployment and increase qualitative productivity.
The health care indices for youth too present a dismal picture. More than 35 million youth, even today, do not have ready access to health care. More than that, there has been an alarming decline in the male-female ratio. There are only 927 women against 1000 men in at least 5 states including UP, ,Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar and the ratio is tilting more against the girl child. Misuse of advanced pre natal diagnostic techniques has led to sex selection with the widespread termination of female fetuses, contributing to a rapidly declining girl to boy child ratio. Every 7 minutes a woman dies due to complications arising from pregnancy and child birth in our country. This translates to 301 deaths for every 10000 deliveries.
Due to a host of socio-economic and political reasons, there have been an increasing number of health problems among the youth. Unemployment, suicide alcoholism, sex related offences and social adjustment problems have been on the rise. Today, the youth in India forms one of the most vulnerable groups who, on the one hand, are expected to be the leaders to determine the destiny of India and on the other hand, .are a confused and an exploited lot. Frustration and anger against the system has forced many youth to form, or join anti-social groups and become terrorists.
The Naxal problem is one of the ugliest manifestations of such a phenomenon. It has been identified as one of single largest problems facing the nation today. Naxal ideology owes its origin to abject penury and stems from the all-pervasive poverty in the Indian hinterland. The insurgency is fuelled by the exploitation of the peasants and poor tribals by the landlords and different kinds of mafia, as well as corruption and neglect by government officials. The lack of social economic development is an issue that Naxalites frequently exploit in their call for a violent revolution.
No wonder then, that the disgruntled youth are easily getting lured into anti-national, or subversive activities. Many young men have unfortunately allowed themselves to become willing tools in the hands of certain misguided elements with nefarious elements. The script of the story is more or less the same in Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, North East and even Pakistan, Sri Lanka and even in Nepal.
As with most challenges, the solution lies within – in this case, with the youth themselves. The youth has to play a major role in furthering peace, eliminating social customs and evils, contributing to India’s overall economic development, participating in political life and protecting the environment. Youth is the most precious strategic resource of any country and it needs to be harnessed though investment in their gainful employment and education. As Maria Montessori, the pioneering educationist once said, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is - keep us out of war.” The youth of India really has a big task to prepare itself for the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead in realizing the dream of Late Rajiv Gandhi and Dr APJ Kalam’s vision of 2020.
For that, the youth force has to inculcate a sense of discipline, a spirit of tolerance, a quest for knowledge, a positive mind and respect for fellow human beings. Swami Vivekananda said – ‘What the world today needs is character.” Our youth must be made to realize that the true purpose of human life is to realize one's inner strength and channelise it effectively.
It is said that children always learn from the example of the senior family members at home. The same holds true for the younger generation in diverse spheres of life. One of the major challenges before the youth today is to look up to an inspiring “role model”. Most of them have been searching for core value systems of the Indian culture are and for the prominent role models in different spheres of life. A major chunk of today’s youth is stressed, distressed and even confused in choosing the right path. The younger lot is revolting against the oldies because it finds them out of date and even hypocritical.
There is an ever-widening chasm between the young and the old in terms of perceptions, as well as in practical terms. The youth no longer find oldies worthy of emulation. We must not try to pin down the blame on ‘generation gap’. Corruption, poor governance, political instability at various levels and the malevolent impact of modern media have also played their respective parts in making our youth a frustrated lot and this problem needs to be addressed on an urgent basis.
In the pre-Independence period, youth was in the forefront of our freedom movement. The national scene was flooded with role models, who led by personal example. There is no better example than the Father of the Nation. We have to do serious introspection, whether or not we have imparted to the modern-day generation, the right ‘Sanskar’. Have the youth failed us, or have we failed our youth?
To understand any issue comprehensively, it is always convenient to adopt a ‘bottoms-up approach’ and start from the smallest unit of society – the family. The break-up of the joint family and the emergence of nuclear family is the single biggest factor in the stunted upbringing of our children and youth and development of their lop-sided personality. The first lessons in forging relationships and social behaviour are best learnt in a family with harmonious relationships. Most of the modern-day parents seldom spend quality time with their children and do not try to gauge their dreams, hopes, aspirations and frustrations. It is then that the youth tries to answer these issues outside the family confines – with peer group and these days – by surfing the internet. Lack of authentic and reliable information thus, leaves the youth more confused and frustrated, without realizing the evils and pitfalls of technology. Youth power thus has to be harnessed first at the family level – then on to the society and the nation. Educational institutions and work places come next. Concepts of peace, harmony, brotherhood and peaceful coexistence ingrained in the family can be cemented in schools and colleges. Peace, tolerance, harmony and co-existence must become an integral part of the curriculum in universities across the nation – and indeed the world over.
Violence is the by-product of an insecure mind and insecurity stems from poverty. Poverty is truly one of the biggest impediments to youth empowerment. When I talk of poverty, it is not just in the financial sense of the term – but poverty of the spirit and the mind. India, which had once been a ‘spiritual leader’ for centuries, has today become ‘spiritually poor, if not bankrupt.’ Youth empowerment can be best brought about by rooting out poverty – particularly the spiritual aspect. We have to invest ‘spiritual capital’ in our youth to insulate them from social evils plaguing the society. Youth must be involved more and more in community participation, mobilizing the society and collectively handling the bad impact of mass media and modern technology.
Formulation of strategies for youth has to begin with youth and be prepared by youth themselves. Youth at various levels – starting from village level, to block, district, state, national and international level must be actively involved in social, cultural, economic and political activities. Peace and development can only be ensured when the youth at various levels have stakes in it. Elders can at best be a ‘guiding hand’. Governments, civic organizations, civil society, NGOs and communities must collectively share the onus of youth development.
Our youth must develop a catholicity of temperament, discipline that comes from within, but at the same time, be open-minded. As Gandhi ji used to say – “I would let the winds of the world blow through the doors and windows of my house but I will not be blown away." Our youth needs to harness the energy and vigour and combine with it patience and perseverance. Youth should be encouraged to be peaceful and non-violent. They should be made to realize the virtues of an environment of peace, tolerance and non-violence. Peace and non-violence must be in-built into our systems of elementary education, training and work ethics. Our education systems must concentrate on spiritual growth and development, instill sensitivities and aim to churn out good human beings and citizens, rather than well-read snobs. Peace ought to be cultivated from within and not be super-imposed from the outside.
The youth of our country should aim to become ‘peace builders’, irrespective of their professional field, or workplace. The youth must work tirelessly to erase all differences based on region, religion, caste, ethnicity, language et al. India has always been a votary of secularism, but care should be taken to ensure that secularism is not reduced to a political gimmick – which it normally is and it is here that the youth can play a leading role.
Youth have to take the lead in the conceptualization, planning and implementation stages of any policy, programme, or initiative launched by the government. Young people must indulge in community activity starting with their families, homes, schools and colleges – particularly in rural areas.
It is often said that 21st century will be the century of Asia – and India. However, effective communication with and by the youth holds the key to this idea becoming a reality. It is in this context that the role of media assumes a critical importance than never before. Our youth has more than a ‘working’ fascination with the modern means of mass media. Media and mediapersons should both collectively, as well as individually, shun any form of violence, intolerance and disharmony. Technology should not be allowed to become the proverbial knife that kills, instead of cutting!! It is indeed high time that we do not ‘fail’ our youth and still, accuse it of failing the nation. !!