Urban youth

The world is changing rapidly and with it the population trends. When we talk about developing nations and the world population burst there are two main points to ponder; youth and urban population.

Countries like India are constantly seeing an increase in both urban and youth population. In the year 1961 about 17.97% of total population of India lived in urban areas. This number grew to 19.91% in 1971, 23.34% in 1981, 25.71% in 1991 and as per the last census of 2001 it stands at 27.71%. Similarly the 2001 census puts the youth population [age group of 15-35] at approximately 355 million out of which 26% lives in urban areas. This number is expected to rise to 510 million by 2016. The increasing population of youth in the country makes the contribution of youth towards the society bigger and more important.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi with an area of approximately 1438 sq km and a population of nearly 14 million, of which 93.18% is urban, has the highest percentage of urban population in India. When compared to States like Himachal Pradesh with only 9.8% urban population, the whole concept of city, youth population and the urban problems become more important and complex here.

With the huge population burst, city’s infrastructure is beginning to crumble. With the limited resources available at disposal of local civic body, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) managing the city is becoming more and more difficult. The infrastructure building and other development schemes don’t seem to be enough in light of the ever increasing population.

Every year the population of Delhi is increasing by 600,000; out of which 200,000 are the people migrating from rural areas. They come in search of jobs, food and better living condition. Majority of this migrating population are the unskilled or the semi skilled labor with minimal or almost zilch education. Also the remaining 400,000 indigenous population comprises both skilled and unskilled workforce. This huge addition to the workforce and population is creating immense pressure on the city for providing basic living conditions and amenities to people on one hand and on other creating job opportunities and providing everyone with opportunity to realize their full creative potential is easier said then done.

The rate of growth of working population is a boon for the country if it can be properly harnessed. Unless we achieve a significant improvement in the pace of creation of work opportunities there will be an unprecedented increase in the level of unemployment.

Unemployment in cities and towns not only lead to social disruption and put enormous stress on the fabric of the society but is also responsible for the crumbling infrastructure. Unemployed youth on one hand is not able to add to the total value of the country, on the contrary it is a burden on the economy as well.

In management we say that competent human resource is the most important asset of any organization. Similarly the youth and the workforce is the most valuable resource of the country and hence there can be no greater shame than to let it go waste for the lack of will and determination.

It is therefore important to enhance urban growth leading to better resources which are then used for improving infrastructure which in turn will lead to further growth of the cities resulting in enhanced economic activity and growth. The youth need to participate in the developmental activities and planning of the cities. With the self initiative like the Cooperative societies and other such social forums the youth can themselves generate opportunities for their self employment and can also act as major influencer in the overall planning and development of the society.

Rapid growth and development, exploring every conceivable way to accelerate the rate of growth of the economy to actualize the latent potentialities of our great country and more importantly speeding the infrastructure building and managing the finances for the urban infrastructure development are the need of the hour.

Two different schools of thoughts define urban cities in different ways. One see them as unavoidable evil, in light of growing slums and squatter colonies, congestion on roads, environmental degradation etc. The increasing burden and crumbling infrastructure due to unplanned growth further demeans them. Whereas for the other they are engines of growth, with lively and prospering formal and informal sectors, their contribution to the economy and the diversification of occupations away from traditional ones with newer forms of production and services.

Cities everywhere across the globe are synonymous with development; they act as nodal centers for providing services in marketing, healthcare, education and contribute substantially to the economic, social and infrastructural needs of the country. They offer higher and better standards of amenities to the city dwellers and also have an important role in providing a range of services to the rural by creating demand for rural output and providing inputs. Hence it is important to manage and develop the cities and urban population in an effective way and provide the youth with equal and robust opportunities.

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