Issues relating to Children and the Youths is not discussed by any candidate nor was it included in the manifesto of any political party. Our guest author Ram argues, why politicians should care.
There is an election atmosphere all over the state now and preparations are in full swing in our constituency as well. All the political parties are trying to attract people in their own way. This time, as usual, some issues were left out – either no one discussed them and no one even included them in the manifesto. They concern the matter of “child protection against abuse ” and welfare of Youths has not found mention in the political discourse.
Everyone talked about development, caste, society, country, but no one said how the country and society will develop. What is the use of development, soil, caste and nation by keeping children insecure? If Today, in terms of the protection of children in our district, the situation is not satisfactory. The situation is in fact very worrying and thought-provoking. Lets discuss about some of these issues.
- Child Sexual Abuse and Harassment: Under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses-2012), the situation of child sexual violence and harassment in our district is alarming. But no candidate has discussed the issue, nor has it been on the manifesto of any political party.
- The problem of student drop out: The declining number of students in government schools and the number of dropouts are a very worrying problem. Dropout has become a major problem in the district these days. There is a growing tradition of students dropping out of school only after completing their secondary education. The youth seem to be indifferent towards education. But no candidate has discussed this issue nor has it been included in the manifesto of any political party.
- Drugs and Drug Abuse: Drug abuse and trafficking is widespread in the district. Most of the youths are addicted to some drugs. Its network is expanding widely. But no candidate has discussed the issue, nor has it been included in any political party’s manifesto.
- Rising problem of suicide among the youths: Today, if we talk about this issue in our district, the unfortunate incident like suicide among the youth is on the rise. Looking at the annual report of NCRB, it is worrisome. No candidate has discussed nor was it included in the manifesto of any political party.
- Self-employment and self-reliance: With the advent of modernization and innovation, employment opportunities will definitely decrease. It is natural for the people to have less employment opportunities due to modern machines and automated machines. This problem is global. Therefore, today it is necessary for the youth to take positive steps towards self-employment and self-reliance. It is better for the youths to not just look for opportunities but also to create opportunities. It seems that the youth are fleeing from the hills because of this. But no candidate has discussed this issue nor has it been included in any political party’s manifesto.
Now let’s say, we call children the future of our country and also a form of God. But how worried are we about the same future and how secure God is today? What have we done for them? What are our plans? Isn’t their protection and welfare our common duty? Now who will take care of it, if not us?
But no candidate has discussed the issue, nor has it been included in the manifesto of any political party.
*Ram is from Okayti, Tea garden and is associated with the Krity Organisation, Mirik. He can be reached at: Krity2007@gmail.com