Today is celebrated as the International Youth Day, in its 18th year after the United Nations General Assembly declared August 12 as the International Youth day, in 1999. Youth- the people between ages 15 and 25, as defined by UNESCO United Nations’ Universal Definition. According to our country’s constitution, the people between the age group 15 to 29 are known as youths. Youths, the pillars of society and future carriers of their respective motherland. Our country Nepal, presents today’s youths in a similar fashion.
Our country’s population totals to around 26.6 million. Out of such a large group 28% were found to represent the youths of Nepal. These consist of youths currently unemployed as well as employed, those who are still in educational institutes or those who are dropouts. Such a large figure consist of nearly one-fourth of our country’s population but the country has been passive regarding the development of such youths. The constant political strife and national issues in fields of education, economy have caused many such youths to go abroad in search for further studies and job opportunities. Out of the 28%, the share of youths in the national population, only about 18% are able to utilize and exploit their potential in our own country. The remaining 10% consist of youths in abroad as well as those that are inaccessible for country’s youths especially in really rural areas.
The current situation of youths in our country is somewhat pathetic. The government is ignorant of the International Youth Day and so are many of the youths themselves. Our government has no specific programs planned to help youths discover themselves, the only positive thing being done is from different organizations like Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON), Youth Initiative (YI), that have been working passionately for last few years for youth development. Many youths don’t even have an idea about today, the International Youth Day, various youth councils formed, or even the Ministry of Youth.
The organizations like AYON, YI have conducted a lot of campaigns regarding youths. The government should go hand-in-hand with these organizations to get a better communication system to the youths. Organizations like UNFPA are working with governments and civil society organizations to ensure that adolescents and young people have the knowledge and life skills needed for a healthy, productive future. Such activities need wider media coverage including social networking sites for wide transmission of information. The youths that are builders of the country tomorrow need to raise their self-awareness regarding their status and potential in the country. After all the youths are pillars of the society.
By Atul Bhattarai