Elections are contested to win. But fight for some abstract future is more difficult than for a clear vision. Therefore, we need to articulate a convincing vision to galvanise the cadre and attract the people.
For convincing vision and effective action plan we need to appreciate the ground realities.
The poor economic condition of youth does not allow them to leave the village and start business activities in urban areas. Youth with no hope of gainful employment and no prospect of getting a girl for marriage is potential time-bomb and danger to the society.
No leader with foresight and vision can overlook this not-so-visible but bleak scenario. Moreover, this section of youth is full of energy and is desperate to have a future. It is the most appropriate time to engage with them, identify their aspirations and steer them towards desirable path. The reward is prosperous: happy people, respected society and acceptance of leadership with a sense of gratefulness and affection.
The challenge is, how can this onerous task be managed successfully?
The untold story of our rural youth is its successful stride into non-agricultural activities while remaining in villages. The employment in enterprises in rural areas was increasing at 5.35 percent per annum between 1998 and 2005, taking the share of employment in rural establishments from 38.18 percent in 1998 and to 49.51 percent in 2005. The share of rural enterprises to total enterprises increased from 44.56 percent in 1998 to 54.92 percent in 2005. The annual growth rate of establishments was 9.84 percent in rural areas and 3.50 percent in urban areas during 1998-2005.
The rise of rural non-agricultural establishments (RNAE) signals that youth of Haryana is willing as well as capable of negotiating the unfolding scenario successfully. However, we shall have to concede that a large section may not be having the requisite resources and/or training to voyage into this unchartered water of business world. Further, without handholding, a number of such businesses may not really succeed or realise their true potential.
One additional issue confronting the youth of the state is unreliable quality of education and gross politicisation and resultant corruption in government job recruitment, acting as huge disincentive to take education seriously and sincerely.
Taking into account the above said realities, following vision and action plan is proposed:
1.The party cadre can be sensitised about the realities and possibilities in the state with a view to engage with the local youth to steer their aspiration into making Haryana a great place to live and work.
2. We can form youth clubs involving local youth at various levels for taking various activities including discussion on new ideas, exploration of business ideas, and career options.
3. Interaction with university students by visiting the universities and promise to improve the quality of education so that they are truly employable.
4. A credible assurance to the students that government jobs shall be purely on merit.
5. The party cadre/youth clubs can also be activated to keep a watch on schools in the area for ensuring teachers attendance.
6. In fact, improvement in the quality of education can be made a mass movement by involving stakeholders including teachers, students, parents and active club members.
7. Handholding of rural non-agricultural enterprises (RNAE) by providing proper training, financial support through banks, marketing support through various channels including cooperative societies, assured power supply in rural areas, good quality road connectivity, storage, transport and other facilities.
8. The universities the world over are acting as growth centres for the economy in general and local economy in particular.
The above plans for local youths and RNAE can be taken up by the universities, provided necessary thrust and nudging is done.
With just one stroke we can solve the problem of quality and relevance of education and disorientation of our youth on the one hand, and development of local economy on the other. This way, most inclusive (socially as well as geographically) growth can be ensured. Intertwiningly, this shall also address the issues of social backwardness including caste system and gender biasness.