India has several visionaries in the field of education, philanthropy, healthcare, livelihood and women empowerment, etc. But do we have enough, efficient and effective workforce available to execute the roadmap to achieve these goals, especially for a population as large as 130 Crore? The millennials can and should fill in this space. For two reasons; firstly, because ‘externally’ millennials are in the right stage of development and thus having the capacity to deliver for a long run. And secondly because ‘internally’ this age is the most appropriate time to think and act (primarily) towards contributing to a meaningful purpose in life.
We, millennials are not living in an era of survival anymore. It is a false notion of insecurity which our society makes us believe in. Rather we are in an era where we can think and achieve the visions of at least basic living standards and human rights to everyone. Right work gets paid too so better to have a career which gives a sense of contribution to others than only a salary. As many millennials are getting some sense of security in life and are able to realize this sense of contribution, a meaningful career becomes the most preferred choice for them.
Someone once had said, “whatever was easy to do has already been taken up and done, only the hard one is left”. Passionate people find their ways of achieving the vision but only a skilled one might not. Most of the extraordinary feats have been achieved by passionate people because they'll put each and every effort to gain the knowledge, skills and attitude to do that. But doing otherwise is not that one sees often. So, if the millennials have the passion, this workforce just needs right kind of knowledge, skills, attitude and value exposure to own this responsibility. And that is possible to deliver.
There are ample examples that this young workforce is passionate, now the question is are they being guided correctly. National Youth Policy 2014 (launched in February 2014) is the most updated policy, catering to 600 million young people in India, a 94-page document. The words like education, skills and employment have been referred for 106 times, 72 and 46 times respectively. While 'Harmony' is referred for just 5 times. The most shocking is that even after facing several challenges to keep peace in many areas of the country, the word 'peace' gets ZERO mention in the entire document.
It is time that we raise questions like, Do we have IIMs for Development Sector? If yes, then why no one has raised issues on policies like the above? If one has raised, then why such an incomplete approach is guiding the nation and its 600 million youth for the last five years?
I don't have answers to these questions. But certainly, we need systems thinking, reflective and visionary approach to face the huge task which lies in front of us of giving the right direction to the youth; provide the right training and develop the right leadership. We cannot afford to have multiple negative unintended consequences like what Green revolution had. And for this, we need academic institutions as good as IIMs but completely dedicated to social sector leadership and workforce development.
We need institutions where the workforce learns going to the root cause of an issue, keeping human factors above service delivery, reflection in action, revisiting the approaches with a scope of improvement, seeing things from both micro and macro perspectives, authentic professionalism, valuing the grey areas of situations and many more such things. Education institutions that teach more than just management. Institutions which give this passion a practical approach, without which the optimal impact cannot be achieved.
But why to think so much? Because understand the wisdom mentioned in the Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which shows deep connections with the references to "human family" and to "the spirit of brotherhood" when it says that 'everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.' Or think about Article 1: ‘All human beings are born free and equal. You are worth the same and have the same rights as anyone else.’
One is born with the ability to think and to know right from wrong. Thus, should act toward others in a spirit of friendliness. If all this is not sufficient to be good reasons for youth to help their motherland.
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