A new book suggests youth-friendly spaces are needed to shape leadership skills and allow this group to play a substantive role again in nation-building
In a nation facing fierce debates on issues of corruption and good governance, India’s population of under-35s, more than 808 million according to figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO), can play a key role in shaping its future. The country has a curious mix of young and old—while 54% of the population is below the age of 25, according to the 2011 Census of India report, 45% of its elected representatives in Parliament are above the age of 55, according to figures compiled by PRS Legislative Research, a Delhi-based think tank. The Ocean in a Drop: Inside-out Youth Leadership, a book on youth leadership authored by Arjun Shekhar, Ashraf Patel, Meenu Venkateswaran and Kamini Prakash, explores the crucial role the youth played in India’s freedom struggle and suggests ways in which they can take centre stage again. While Patel, Venkateswaran and Shekhar have been the founding members of Pravah, a Delhi-based non-governmental organization that works towards building youth leadership, Prakash is director of the research function at this NGO. Patel and Venkateswaran are no longer with Pravah. Edited excerpts from an email interview with Shekhar:
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