That which ensures global progress is nothing new to the world but even today, there are countries which are too far from realizing the importance of education of youth and empowerment of women in society. While education is that significant ingredient which clarifies the difference between right and wrong, on the other hand, empowerment of women results in improved economies and improvised socially updated societies.
A country has the scope of walking towards prosperity only if it allows its younger lot to ask questions freely, gives them the power to connect to information regarding justice, equality and opportunity and empowers its women to free themselves from the shackles of oppression and despair. Education and empowerment are quite dependent on each other, in the sense that none will proceed without pushing the other one. It is necessary for today’s leaders to partner with the young lot, including both genders, and work towards solving issues related to sexual matters, human rights, unemployment, ideological dogmas, etc.
India is privileged to have uncountable extraordinary social reformers in its lengthy list of history, who dedicated their whole lives in not only shaping India’s future but also in uplifting the neglected aspects. 19th century was a tale of plagued India with social evils like Sati Pratha, Caste System, superstitions and illiteracy eating the population down from its roots. Raja Ram Mohan Roy came to be acknowledged as the father of modern India for his immense fight against inhuman practices, especially against women, amidst British exploitation. With his persuasion, the Widow Remarriage Act, 1856 was legalized by the then ruling British government. Following his footsteps, Vidyasagar worked aggressively towards the elevation of women’s position in society. Another prominent figure was Jyotirao Govindrao Phule whose foremost work was in the field of education of women. He, with his wife’s help, opened the first ever school for girls in the country in 1848. Although his rebellious attempts were not conceived well by the government and he was asked to leave the country, yet his determination only proved incontestable with time.
Time and again it has been a consistent proof of how education of the youth and empowerment of women are significant catalysts in promising a proliferating socio-economic growth. Societies practicing women oppression have been surveyed to be the most backward. Ironically, considering the present situation, India is stuck in-between the puddle of mud. Like, last few decades witnessed the establishment of educational programmes such as the National Literacy Mission and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Good news is, there had been a notable increase in graph of the literacy rate in India since 1950s, from 18% to about 65% in 2006. But even the arrival of an increasing tide of governmental initiatives could not ensure literacy to about 50% of the entire female population, let alone the socially marginalized minorities and the people from rural areas. Also, after few more years India is expected to turn into world’s youngest with around 500 million citizens to fall into the ‘young’ and ‘eligible to work’ category. However there is a sincere dearth of appropriate educational infrastructures, skill-developing centers and employment opportunities to meet the needs of most of the population, especially those of the rural India. Companies like Microsoft and Tata Steel are trying hard to meet the challenge with vigor dedication to developing skills among the youth. Similarly, there have been establishment of youth-centric platforms like Project Oorja and Sakshartha which can be felicitated for having marked contributions in equipping the Indian youth with IT skills.
All these speak of how India is developing fast. Yet the loopholes remain dark when it comes to equitable and inclusive development. Surely, the present government is working to meet the deep-rooted challenges, although it is debatable, but the message remains here – Until and unless each one of us realize the value of every single life on this planet, the world shall never see the light of the day. It is important to merge education of the future generation and empowerment of women into a strong unanimous idea because the youth of this country, including both genders, are our best investments.