The backbone of any society is its youth; the empowerment of youth is a key milestone in the development of the society and state. Involving the youth in local decision-making and governance is not only enhancing the participation of future citizens in the growth of the state but also fostering essential confidence and foresight in them. In this matter, however, Haryana needs to go a long way. The involvement of youth in politics is elementary. In rural areas, the young men and women show extreme deference to the decisions made by the village elders. While this is accepted in the name of respect and regard, it fails to bring in innovation and out-of-box thinking and makes governance often removed from youthful fervor.
The Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD), conducted a study on Mainstreaming Youth in Local Governance . The study focused on youth participation in governance in the village of Utton, of Mewat District, Haryana. The study discovered that the participation of the youth in Gram Panchayat activities was negligible. They visit the Gram Panchayat office only for the purpose of collecting development benefits. The issue is further aggravated by the discrimination between the sexes. Young women are confined to household chores and deprived of both education and participation in social affairs. This is not an uncommon scenario in most regions of the state.
Empowerment of youth must start both at the family and school levels. As the children grow, they must be encouraged to participate in causes that contribute to society and in self-administering groups. With confidence, the youth must be educated about their rights and responsibilities and encouraged to participate in developmental activity.
To be able to realize the full potential of the Panchayati Raj in a Naya Haryana, it is necessary for the youth of the state to become aware of the immense potential they possess. Gram Panchayats of the state may operate a lot more effectively if the representatives are chosen from different interest groups such as different castes, religions, and genders, with adequate young men and women too. Sensitizing communities about youth participation and creating awareness campaigns is important in the state. Most of this can be achieved through youth groups in the state by creating an environment and the right conditions for participatory decision-making and governance.
Development of youth participation and activities must transcend the arena of sports and is an integral and necessary part of community building. It is only when the youth and young citizens of the state assume responsibility and are allowed to participate without fear of undue criticism. A new and progressive Haryana can only be attained when infused by youthful enthusiasm.