Monday, October 24, 2011

Youthful Nation

Power of Sports for Development (S4D) 

The nation is always young and has many of us in transition. The young aspire for a better world the nations must evolve and keep up with the needs and aspirations of the youth. Youth development is really the crux of nation building, the country that takes care of the young people develops and goes on to become not only rich in wealth and culture but evolves as a real welfare state. There is thus the necessity of having a healthy and more fit young populace. The core of the youthful nation will only be strengthened by promoting physical recreation in the life of the young people.

Education many a times is touted and promoted as literacy; promotes the need to read and write for a better future, this is not enough.
 We need thinking and understanding and that is really the bottom line for a better future. There is the growing need for mentors to help the young, empower them to live in harmony with nature, encourage them to serve the community and more so be physically fit and better skilled than simply educated in the read and write way. We all have to work to equip for life the young, challenge them to achieve their true potential and keep the nation young, dynamic and on the growth path always.

India's rise in economic terms is closely linked to the youth power, and all investments in building youth capital will help the young equip for life. Yes, inclusive growth the mantra of governments is enshrined on building up the quality of life for the young people, and we all need to partner to help the young achieve their true potential. How do we do this? Let us invest in our youth and help them all live a healthy life. The best investment in youth will be in the form of pushing sports, not necessarily at the professional level, but for better health and wellbeing, we have endless research to show that poor health will not give us the desired academic results. India today needs to give same regard to sports as it does to any of the key economic activity that generates the millions for the states exchequer.

What does industry mean? Wikipedia refers industry as an activity that brings about the production of an economic good or service within an economy. An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the laborcapital and land resources; and the manufacturingtradedistribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area. An economy may also be described as a spatially limited and social network where goods and services are exchanged according to demand and supply between participants by barter or a medium of exchange with a credit or debit value accepted within the network. Sport very much fulfils this criterion, and for the youthful nation must thus be regarded as an industry and a major service that adds to the GDP of a nation. Any nation that uses sport as a development plank not only has a healthy lifestyle, is a youthful nation in itself. These nations today are major economic powers and believe in their young people.

Physical recreation with its emphasis on both individual sport and team games is designed to build the sinews as well as team spirit. Learning to function together with other to build a team is an invaluable art. Beyond just being an industrious activity, sport is the biggest catalyst in nation building, and is the best way for social inclusion and economic development. A nation must stay young to lead in the world, and the best way is to use sport as a key development initiative. Many developed nations have even used a term of military / services training as a compulsory activity for the youth, they thus work to build on achieving the goal of inculcating patriotic sentiment, but more is done to encourage physical fitness and the love for the outdoor. All this helps the young people to be equipped for life, and this again is the only way to build a better citizenry.

The International Award for Young People (IAYP), is a tool to ‘equip for life’ young people in India and a major components of the programme are targeted at using sport and outward bound activity as key enablers. The Award Programme is the most adaptable and successful youth empowerment program. We have no religious, political or strategic affiliations. We have an established capacity for identifying hard issues and challenges associated with youth. Schools, youth organisations, community groups, correctional services, employers and government departments nationwide use the Programme framework. Around the world, over 130 countries use this model for positive youth empowerment. We draw together and connect people, institutions and generations with the common purpose of youth development and inclusion. IAYP is the Programme of choice for over 9 million people in the world today.

The prescription for a youthful nation is only one, challenge young people everywhere. The vision of any sport for development initiative should be to equip for life all young Indians and to help achieve their full potential. We see the possibility of a nation where every school offers young Indian the opportunity to be rewarded for challenging themselves, rewarded for engaging with adult mentors, rewarded when finishing school, and rewarded for giving back to their communities. This really is the spirit for a youthful nation. We all need to ensure that we work to create best ecosystem to enable our youth, and there is no better way to do this than making sport for development a key agenda in all our initiatives.

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