Thursday, February 22, 2024

Empowering youth: unlocking tomorrow’s potential

Kashmir’s Renowned Educational Columnist Aubaid Akhoon has rightly said “The youth’s journey is a tumultuous path, filled with challenges and hidden battles. Let us strive to understand and support them, for within their struggles lies the potential for remarkable growth and transformation.” (Aubaid Akhoon)
It is common to hear statements like “youth kharab ho gaya hai” (the youth has gone astray), “they don’t know what struggle is,” or “they are 17 or 25 but act like they’re 40,” and so on. However, it is important to understand the age groups that fall under the category of “youth.” The United Nations defines youth as individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, while India’s National Youth Policy 2023 defines youth as individuals between the ages of 13 and 35.
Criticizing:As humans, we tend to be good at criticizing others and being judgmental because it is easy to spot flaws in people or things we encounter. Appreciation, on the other hand, requires a critical perspective and thinking behind it, and it takes time to pause and truly listen or observe something in order to appreciate or understand it. Perhaps this is why we choose to say “youth kharab ho gaya hai” (the youth has gone astray) instead of asking why the youth is going astray.
Financial Problems: When a youth faces financial crisis and is forced to drop out of college or school, do we understand their pain and frustration? Family crises, such as disputes between parents or the serious illness of a family member, can push them into taking on responsibilities at an earlier age. The fear of the future due to various reasons like unemployment and other issues also burdens the youth in their day-to-day lives. These hidden reasons can lead them towards destructive paths such as drug abuse, suicide, or other forms of distraction. We often talk about rehablitation centers and counseling sessions, but these are steps taken after a storm has hit. What needs to be done is to create a peaceful and positive environment within our institutions like colleges, schools, campuses, offices, and other sectors where a significant portion of the youth works or studies. The inspirational figures in the lives of the youth, such as teachers, professors, academicians, parents, and others, need to contribute and understand their roles as well because the youth is going through a lot. Furthermore , fostering open lines of communication is essential. Creating spaces where the youth feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking guidance without fear of judgement is vital. Encouraging dialogue and active listening enables us to gain insights into their struggles and tailor support accordingly
“The youth, unencumbered by preconceived limitations, possess the audacity to challenge norms, break barriers, and redefine what is possible. Let us unleash their boundless potential and watch them soar to new heights of innovation and inspiration.”
Aubaid Akhoon, Educational Columnist
(Suman Lone is a student of Amar Singh College and can be reached at sumanlone86@gmail.com).

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