Empowering rural youth helps develop the nation

India is one of the youngest countries in the world (Youth in India 2017). The population of rural youth forms the majority share in India’s youth population.

Youth play a crucial and substantial role in the development of the nation. Growing number of youths in rural India require the right educational infrastructure to develop skills and adequate opportunities to get employed and to become entrepreneurs. Youth are seen as ‘vital resources of manpower for development.’

Although agriculture and allied activities constitute a bulk of the rural economy, its dominance is diminishing over the years. Engaging youth in productive activities will help India reap the benefits of the demographic dividend.

Factors that make rural youth unemployable:

  • Rapid increase in population:

It is expected that within 20 years, the population of India will be doubled and no country can guarantee employment to its growing population in such a rapid rate. Thus new ways to handle this issue needs to be planned to accommodate the increasing population.

  • Pressure on land:

There is great pressure on land due to the increasing population. In rural India, most of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and this situation makes them unemployable as they are lacking the modern techniques of agriculture.

  • Lack of awareness of modern agriculture:

Rural people lack awareness on modern methods of agriculture, making their task cumbersome and time consuming.

  • Seasonal agriculture:

Agriculture is seasonal in nature. People in rural areas get employed only for a few months. This has an adverse impact on the earnings of farmers and their standard of living.

  • Lack of job oriented courses:

Many rural youth join any course without proper guidelines. Such courses do not bear compatibility to the innate talent of youth that remain as a degree for them without any kind of job and hence they again go back to their villages and do agriculture.

Developing opportunities for rural youth:

There is a need to have a systematic approach to creating a suitable environment to develop opportunities for gainful employment of the rural youth.

  • Development of modern technologies:

Although agriculture may not be a highly remunerative occupation, many employment and entrepreneurial opportunities can be created by innovation, capacity building, partnership and participatory approaches, better market linkages and by developing a synergy with other sectors of the economy.

  • Skilling of rural youth:

The percentage of rural youth who did not receive vocational training of any sort stood at 93.7% in 2017-18 (NSSO data). This shortage of skill not only reduces the employability of rural youth, but is also detrimental to technology absorption. Thus skilling of rural youth is of utmost importance.

  • Creating an ecosystem for entrepreneurship:

The skills acquired by the youth need to be linked to their engagement in some livelihood option. This would require a responsive entrepreneurial ecosystem that identifies their talent and absorbs them in economic activity.

  • Improving soft skills:

Improving their soft skills such as the ability to experiment with new ideas, spot business opportunities, sales and marketing skills etc. would make them more productive and employable.

(Sources: journalijcar.org, drishtiias.com)

Disability Entrepreneurship And Leadership (DEAL) Foundation works across the districts of Bengaluru and Gadag. We provide training in farm-based and non-farm-based activities to the rural youth to promote sustainable livelihoods.

In collaboration with Agriculture Extension Education Center (AEEC) Gadag and MANAGE Hyderabad, we held a three day skill training for rural youth this month. Training was provided in the areas of beekeeping, vermicompost production, kitchen gardening, dairy farming, preparation of paper bags, biscuits etc.

For any questions one might have regarding the blog, please write to us at info@deal-foundation.com

To know more about the work we do, visit www.deal-foundation.com

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