GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
It is said foundation of every state is the education of its youth. A nation’s youth are the trustees of its posterity. The United Nations has defined youth as those falling in the age group of 15 to 24 though it is said that a youth has no age. The International Youth Day is observed on August 12 and similar to every year a theme is selected to make the day memorable. ‘Safe spaces for youth’ is the latest whereas in 2017 ‘youth building peace’ slogan dominated the day. We all know the world was never so young. There are approximately 1.8 billion youngsters in the age group of 10 to 24 across the globe. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says “ Hopes of the world rest on the young people”. That only means the world cannot prosper in each and every field without the active contribution of the youth. Therefore, world leaders should focus on “youth contribution” to the society. This year’s ‘safe space’ phrase for IYD is very innovative, commendable and thoughtful. Free and safe space are the words for the youngsters to express their creativity irrespective of race, gender, religion and culture. “Safe space is an autonomous space formed for the sake of individuals who feel marginalised, to come together to express their voice. Safe space is intended to be free of bias or criticism. Youth are potent instruments in nation building where they substantially offer inputs to politics, society, civics and sports. The world recognises youth as ‘change partners’ who play a significant part in fostering peace and harmony. Youth do not know enough to be ‘prudent’; therefore they attempt the impossible and achieve it generation after generation. That’s the youth power and, therefore, empowering them is imperative. Making available and providing access to common ground for the youth to display ingenuity is the responsibility of every government. Correspondingly, the youth must be used to spread awareness on education, environment, drug abuse to name a few. They themselves must be freed from the clutches of vices and distractions so that their energy and foresight are channelised in the right direction without being lost. Eighty-seven per cent of the world’s youngsters live in developing countries, which emphasises their vitality to bring in positive changes in the community.