India’s Youth: Its Most Influential Asset To Make Positive Change

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – With 356 million 10 to 24 year-olds, India has the world's largest youth population. Despite having a smaller population than China, India is set to become the youngest country by 2020. India’s youth are its best and most influential asset, as many are in engaged in their local communities, are politically motivated, and want to create positive change to improve the quality of lives. The challenges facing India disproportionately affect young people, yet the potential of these young people is powerful, as their abilities the possibilities of improving things are infinite. Particularly, this generation is adept at using popular culture to reach a wider audience for their campaigns and initiatives.

Take the recent example of the female rapper, Sofia Ashraf, whose protest song on YouTube about corporate pollution in Kodaikanal, a hill town in southern India, has put both this issue and the town under the spotlight. Sofia’s video, Kodaikanal Won’t, has been viewed nearly two million times on YouTube. The song is a parody of the Nicki Minaj song, “Anaconda,” where Sofia sings about the town’s contamination by mercury from a thermometer factory. The video features Sofia demanding that Unilever clean it up; its phenomenal success has prompted a personal response from the CEO of Unilever.

Young people in India are considered to be vital, as they bring new ideas and with it change to improve things for the country. India is keen for its youth to become involved. Like Diya Shah, a 17-year-old strong-willed and determined girl who wanted to work with rural people to help make a difference to their lives.

Diya worked with the Swades Foundation, founded by Ronnie and Zarina Screwvala, who have a single-minded mission to empower rural India. The Foundation believes that India cannot rise to its true potential without fully transforming the lives of people living in rural areas, and is well on its way to achieving its goal of transforming the lives of one million people in these communities in the next five years. Through Swades, Diya taught Basic English to the poor communities in the District of Raighad, in the state of Maharashtra.

India's current young adults grew up after the 1991 liberalisation of the Indian economy, ushered in by India's previous prime minister, Manmohan Singh. They have been the only generation in the 68-year history of India to come of age in an atmosphere of unabated optimism because of continued growth. However, India’s youth are restless, as the problems facing them have not yet been resolved. The youth across the nation share this restless determination to make things better: change is coming.

Photo Credit: YouTube