Boys arise; Girls are awake

The land’s legendary monk Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) is regularly cited for his inspirational prescription to the youth in particular and the world in general with the words, “Arise, awake; stop not until the goal is reached.” Two other quotes attributed to him may be appropriate for this column’s topic: “Every thing is easy, when you are busy. But nothing is easy when you are lazy.” “The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women.” Sadly, these quotes serve as ammunition to public speakers at large whose image in society is what is common knowledge. Even the maxim that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop doesn’t seem to tickle the land’s youth at large, particularly the boys, to engage themselves in one activity or the other that keeps them on their toes while causing euphoric feelings to their family members. Reports in dailies about incidents of female foeticide and also Khap Panchayats in some regions of North setting girls ablaze for not falling in line with time-honoured customs relating to marriage mirror the morbid outlook of society towards the gentle gender.

Even as the worsening scenario witnessing a steadily expanding mass of unemployed youth in the country is being regularly featured by the media and debated in academic circles, often with hints of saving the day for the youth and the nation, the missions of skilling the country’s potential workforce of several crores launched by both the Union government and many State governments including Karnataka’s augurs well for the future.

A skilling module has been designed and also adopted by the National Skills Development Corporation according to a report in a section of the press a few weeks ago. Further, funds needed for implementing the programme is learnt to be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Koushal Vikas Yojana. In a new initiative, as part of the mission of skilling the country’s unemployed as well as under-employed youth, estimated at more than three crore at present, professions (read skills) with promise of job prospects have been identified. These skills include many inadequately exploited opportunities for earning a steady livelihood such as home nursing, aides for the care of the aged members of society in their own residence, physiotherapy and so on.

The aforementioned skills have been the bastion of women who are also figuring in many professions that have been monopolised by men, including combat roles in armed forces. Girls hogging primacy in the academic world is also an unquestionable feature these days. Given the surge of girls in the employment space, the boys have to pull up their socks as it were and change their mindset moving away from their unstructured and unmotivated existence.

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