INCLUSION OF DISADVANTAGED YOUTH IN THE POPULATION DIVIDEND
A Multi-Stakeholder national dialogue
India is the youngest nation of the world; this demographic dividend has raised high expectations from the nation – “empowering the youth of the country to achieve their full potential and through them enabling India to find its rightful place in the country of nations” (NYP2014).
Youth in India is not uniform category, but complex and dynamic group with multiple challenges. While a small section is able to pursue their aspirations, talents and needs, the large majority struggle with higher education, participation, unemployment and underemployment. The development indicators are the lowest for youth from socially excluded communities – Dalits, Advasis, Muslim Minority and Nomadic communities.
Demographically Dalit, Adivasi and Muslim youth comprise 35%, 23.8% and 33.1% of population respectively in their communities (in the 15 to 34 age group). Many of them live in extreme poverty, with limited marketable qualifications or skills. They form the bulk of the unorganised working sector in India, who constitutes 92% of the work force of our country. These youth highlight their every-day experiences of poverty, discrimination, exclusion in educational institutions, government programmes, businesses and industry. Only 5% Dalit, 3% Adivasi and another 4% among Muslims graduate. It is estimated that only 2.3% of the total workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68% in UK, 75% in Germany, 52% in USA, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea.
According to Census of India 2011, there are currently 47 million unemployed youth in the 15-24 years age group, of which 26 million are male and 21 million are female. While the overall unemployment rate in the 15-59 working age population has been 14.5%; in the 25-29 years age group, the unemployment rate has been nearly 18%. The 30-34 years age group – supposedly the most productive age nearly 6% were unemployed, numbering over 12 million. These figures reveal the deep and pervasive unemployment that has gripped India for the past decade, even while the economic growth continues to be at around 8% per annum. Within the overall figures, the conditions for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) for the same period is worse with 21% SCs and 22% STs reported to be unemployed in the 15-34 age group.
In addition to employment, entrepreneurship opportunities have emerged as an important source of meeting the aspirations of the youth. Here again youth from socially excluded communities face a number of challenges to initiate enterprises. Certain Affirmative Actions have been put in place for easy and priority access by disadvantaged community women and youth to various provisions, but Equity measures seem to be absent. In other words the sensitivity that these measures require from implementing administration is not there and implementing officers have not been trained to be sensitive and proactive towards the communities making these provisions non-accessible and difficult for them to reach. Clearly, the majority of children & youth in the country do not enjoy the promises laid out in policies.
Despite the above disadvantages, it is important to recognise the potential of the young people from Dalit, Tribal ad Muslim minority communities as change agents in their communities. As mentioned earlier children and young people below 25 years constitute more than half the population in these communities. Further they are important link in the cusp of the possibilities in these communities. Since majority of youth from the disadvantaged communities today have been admitted to schools before they drop out, had some engagement with public institutions and also some engagement with members of other social groups. A small number have accessed certain levels of education and employment. These young persons have awareness about the Constitution and rights; they also have some level of information about state resources and provisions. They have experienced local governance and its functioning. They have been engaged with organisations and programmes that promote inclusion, equality & human rights. They have greater access to media and information. They have had the possibility of voicing their dreams and aspirations and have a strong sense of a new society based on dignity, human rights and social justice.
The government, civil society organisations and the private sector are key actors in empowering youth. The private sector has come into the process through its voluntary and obligatory actions under Affirmative Action & Corporate social Responsibility provisions. Youth inclusion and empowerment is particularly important in empowering socially excluded communities since the young people in socially excluded communities are considered to be the anchors and bridges in empowering their communities.
As stakeholders CSEI makes a special mention of the civil society organisations where the leadership is from the community members themselves (Community Led Organisations-CLOs); working at the community level, particularly with young people from the marginalised communities.
National Multi-stakeholder Dialogue 2018
In this regard, it is proposed to hold National Multi-stakeholder Dialogue 2018 among diverse stakeholders on realising ‘Inclusive and Equitable Youth Population Dividend’. This Multi-stakeholder dialogue brings together Civil Society groups working on and with youth around empowerment and inclusion, Government agencies, Corporate Bodies and their foundations, CSR, representatives from Community Led Organisations (CLOs) and the community youth themselves. The consultation shall have participation from multi-stakeholders engaged with youth – a). Government Departments (NSIC, MSME, NSDC, NSFDC, Directorate of Technical & Vocational education, etc.) engaged with youth work. It shall have participation from Corporate & industrial representatives engaged in youth empowerment through – business, employment and other activities. Other business entities from their CSR activities directed towards youth.
The Focus of National Dialogue:
1.Provide a platform for diverse stakeholders to share experiences on existing Youth development and empowerment opportunities and moving towards inclusion of marginalized communities into mainstream development processes
2.To brainstorm & discuss creation of opportunities for youth from marginalized communities on employability, employment & entrepreneurship along with representatives from private sector and government representatives.
3.Interface to build forward-looking strategies to work with communities towards inclusion of the disadvantaged youth in the population dividend.
The purpose of the dialogue would be on building an understanding to the following: i) youth expectations and challenges, ii) Industry models and equity measures, iii) Current CSR-CLO models, iv) Evolving Guidelines for CSR engagements and finally through an v)informal dialogue Inclusion and growth possibilities for the marginalized communities.
CSEI values and appreciates your engagements and efforts to empower youth, enabling and preparing them for possible growth and development to join into mainstream processes. We look forward to your participation and contribution in this import national debate towards inclusion.
About Organizing Partners – NYEF & CSEI
The National Youth Equity Forum (NYEF) provides the state and national platform for disadvantaged youth to come together and engage in their leadership and career journey and community empowerment.
Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI) is a not- for – profit organisation engaged with children and youth from the marginalised communities, promoting education and leadership building, and facilitating employability, employment and entrepreneurship.
About Knowledge & Support partner – Change Alliance
Change Alliance aims to change lives through inclusive growth and sustainable development for a better tomorrow. Change Alliance provides market-leading development services and training, high quality technical and advisory consultancy, and capacity building to the development and private sectors and to government. The organisation is connected with more than 300 partners, institutions, organisations and communities in most parts of India who can help to deliver all types of development programmes. Change Alliance is based in New Delhi, but they work on projects across South Asia and beyond.
Magnolia Hall, India Habitat Centre
Lodhi Institutional Area
Date: 30th April 2018
Contact: 9013340125/ 9312649375