The youth of today are the future citizens of tomorrow. It is therefore, imperative that they not only appreciate the problems facing the country, but also meet the challenge.
The youth power has been the genesis of many a revolution around the world and ever our own first fight for language and independence. Their phenomenal power, if effectively mobilised, could help in nation building that is the need of the hour.
It calls for a concentrated effort on the part of the government by involving them also in this monumental task. This has been done successfully in many European countries, where social service is but part of the curriculum. Only when the youth have acquitted themselves in this task, are they eligible for being awarded with government jobs. This has had a salutary development at large. Their interface would help remove many social evils still prevalent in the society.
A proper orientation of youths is required for their participation in the social uplift. This will equip them to meet the challenges of their life more practically and successfully. The government should seize this opportunity and harness this power by creating scope for social service.
Recently speakers at a dialogue in London city, laid emphasis on using the concept of social business to cut youth unemployment, besides using it as a catalyst for climate change. News reports said as unemployment is running high in the European Union, its leaders are also working on promoting both the social business and micro credit to combat growing unemployment in the recession hit Erosion nations.
Recession is specially bringing down government spending on various youth development activities and especially their skill development programmes. Here not only micro credit but also social business can open new horizon in creating new self-employment opportunities and income generation activities. Social business is creating new outreach in the development nations focused on creating a new economic system, away from the exploitative regime of the capitalist system. It seeks to develop the low cost manufacturing and distributing system so, the poor and middle income people in the world can afford a decent living. The youth to seek help from social business took place with such idea and activities are on the spread. The concept emerged as a major tool in poverty alleviation and created a goal for social development at a time Europe and specially the UK are suffering from growing youth unemployment.
In social business, there are specific socio-economic objectives such as employment generation, reaching health, education and nutrition at low cost besides fighting environmental degradation. The prime objects is to make youth people get ready and accept their own responsibility through training of entrepreneurships of social business to reach service to people at affordable cost. We believe that youth people will be able to effectively build a bridge between climate change and employment generation.
Youth Initiative UK (YIU) has initiated a process to promote Bangladesh’s eco-friendly, cheap, cost effective and light weight jute and cotton bags (Eco-bags). The initiative and exchange of views on certain issues related to promotion of social business practice though introducing environment-friendly products like jute and cotton bags for daily shopping. For the first time UK uses jute and cotton bags in Tower Hamlets. Mainly jute and cotton bags can be used as substitute for daily shopping’s poly bags throughout the area as a pilot project as part of saving the environment.
On the other hand, youths in our country can play a significant role in addressing socially critical issues and save the environment. The benefits of self-reliance could be demonstrated by augmenting the government’s efforts in forming and running cooperation. This will not only make them self-reliant, but also provide them with gainful employment, in villages as well. This will save the cities from congestion in the format of the large-scale migration of villagers to cities in search of employment. The youth, on the other hand, should rise to the occasion and take it as a challenge, rather than a humdrum assignment to be just done with it. This would be possible if they work with a missionary zeal, in eradicating the age-old shackles that are eating into the vitals of our country. They shall not only help the country, but also lay down the foundation for their own happy and prosperous tomorrow.
In conclusion, social business had a positive effect on socio economic variables, including many social illness and poverty alleviation. So, the government would be required to create policies for i) poverty alleviation; ii) environment that is supportive of agriculture and rural non-farm sectors; iii) oriented towards small farmer development; iv) capable of providing right incentive to adopt new technology; v) mobilisation of local resources; vi) conductive to higher investment in social and economic infrastructure in rural areas and vii) adequate to ensure proper functioning of rural institutions and market access for rural products. This polices are to improver the socio-economic conditions of the target groups through substantial increase in income and the empowerment of the rural poor and unemployed youth. For a densely populated country like Bangladesh we can no more afford to leave the environmental issues to be decided by individuals.
There is a need to consider appropriate legal measures for achieving and maintaining sustainable development. In this respect, mandatory environmental impact assessment for bringing the denuded land under tree cover demands immediate attention. Mainly social business aim is to impart training to unemployed youth in various fields for employment opportunities in rural areas and make them self-reliant.
The writer is a columnist