Empowerment is being discussed since a long time, but the work on it has started from past few years.The intellects did a lot on it but the work could not be highlighted, maybe becauseearlier people were not so much driven to new ideas. Empowerment now has more teeth as the people today are much more aware and fearless.
Empowerment, many a times is mistaken as development. But there is a thin line between the two. Development means just developing the skills of an individual whereas empowerment means developing the skill of an individual keeping the betterment of the society in focus. Contribution to the society is the main concern.It is a process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives by take action as per their situations in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes. Empowerment allows the people to think about themselves, their right path.
A kind of social work, but exciting enough to develop one, many folds. Youth is trained to explore and take their decisions for the betterment of the society.
Scholars argue that children’s rights implementation should go beyond learning about formal rights and procedures to give birth to a concrete experience of rights. But having a right to take a decision of one’s own is still a big concern. While youth empowerment gives you liberty to take your own decisions, there are certain situations, which make us think again, are we actually empowered? Mostly it is women section of the society, which is always focused to be empowered.
The very process portrays how weak is the women section of our society that today It needs empowerment from others. A girl who is considered to be the strongest section of the society needs empowerment from outside. What is within her then? Where is the power within her, which the society always gave examples of? Where is that Durga that Kali the world used to pray?
Talking about the women empowerment, recently some intellects passed a comment on women “The girl should not go out after midnight?” There are more such comments, “Girls should not wear short clothes”, “they should not work late at night” and so on.. Not only this, if a girl comes is out with a bit of makeup on she is seen with the suspicious eyes and she has to get bombarded with all sorts of shameless questions, without giving a second thought to it that she might have been coming from a job, which requires a bit of makeup, maybe she is doing that job to support her family as she might be the only earning member. But no, she is bound to hear all those comments and give answers to all the irrelevant questions.
Is this called women empowerment? She cannot live her life as per her desire, she cannot carry her own name, her birth place, her home town, her own clothes, after marriage. She cannot even eat as per her own choice, doesn’t these things put a question mark on her empowerment? Here we do work to empower women how to charge of their life in their hands. How to live better?
Besides, the male section is not far behind. They do not have a choice to pursue the career of their own choice, they are bound to become either an engineer, doctor or an advocate to earn a living. Nobody sees a melodious singer in doctor or a conversational writer in an engineer, maybe a super model in an advocate. But again they are not given the right to do what they want. Here the aim of empowerment dies. The actual definitions of youth empowerment comes live when the decision making choice is left on them so that they can contribute their best to the society.
Our society wants reforms in many ways today also and it is only the youth empowerment, which can give a perfect or a better shape to the society, but then youth itself should be empowered.
There are numerous models that youth empowerment programs use that help youth achieve empowerment. A variety of youth empowerment initiatives are underway around the world and India is not far behind. Government itself is working a lot on it.
Empowerment movements, including youth empowerment, originate, gain momentum, become viable, and become institutionalized. Youth-led media, youth rights, youth councils, youth activism, youth involvement in community decision-making, and the like can be involved to start the process of youth empowerment.
Empowerment theory is processes that enable the youth to participate, enhance their control through shared decision making and create opportunities to learn, practice, and increase skills. Empowerment theory suggests that engaging youth in pro-social, meaningful, and community-enhancing activities that the youth themselves define and control, helps youth gain vital skills, responsibilities, and confidence necessary to become productive and healthy adults
Types of empowerment
Empowerment encompasssix interdependent dimensions:
a)psychological empowerment, which enhance individual’s consciousness, belief in self-efficacy, awareness and knowledge of problems and solutions and of how individuals can address problems that harm their quality of life. For all the above mentioned qualities one should have a healthy mind and a healthy mind stay in a healthy body. To maintain a fit body, certain physical labor is essential. For youth nothing can be better than outdoor games. Hence empowerment to facilitate the things for sports is also a big contribution in maintaining Psychological empowerment.This dimension aims to create self-confidence and give youth the skills to acquire knowledge.Example: -PanchayatYuvaKridaAurKhelAbhiyan,a centrally sponsored scheme introduced, in 2008-09, for the developmentand maintenance of play fields in all village and block Panchayats of the country. A playful India gives rise to healthy India.
b)Community empowerment, which focuses on enhancing the community through leadership development, improving communication, and creating a network of support to mobilize the community to address concernsThe best way to increase the affective communication with other countries of the globe and gain a sense of leadership is again sports. The initiation taken by the Government by starting the schemes of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is commendable.
international event like Asian Games in New Delhi and the common wealth games are highly appreciable in this case.
c)Organizational empowerment aims to create a base of resources for a community, including voluntary organizations, unions and association that aim to protect, promote and advocate for the powerless. Nanhi kali, an NGO which work for the education of underprivileged girls are the biggest example of it. It gives people a chance to adopt the girls who cannot afford education, and help them in getting a formal education like any other girl.
d)Economic empowerment teaches entrepreneurial skills, how to take ownership of their assets utilize them to earn and how to have income security. Example: – Skill Development Program, an initiation by the Honourable Prime Minister Mr. NarendraModi, to make our country a developed country from the developing country. The program believed that every individual is talented, it is just that it needs to be empowered to obtain the maximum for the country. The individuals were trained to enhance their skills to contribute towards a better society. Many educational institutes are focusing on it and are a part of it.
e) Social empowerment, which teaches youth about social inclusion and literacy as well as helping kids find the resources to be proactive in their communities. Example: -National Youth Corps (NYV), a Government Scheme to tap the potential of the youth and channeling their energy towards nation building. The scheme has been launched, amalgamating the existing two volunteer schemes namely National Service Volunteer (NSV) and RashtriyaSadbhawanaYojana (RSY)
- To set up a group of disciplined and dedicated youth who have the inclination and spirit to engage in the task of nation building.
- To facilitate the realization of inclusive growth (both social and economic).
- To act as points for dissemination of information, basic knowledge in the community.
- To act as group modulators and peer group educators.
- To act as role models for the younger people especially towards enhancement of public ethics, probity and dignity of labour.
The biggest plus point that it is not gender bias.
f) Cultural empowerment aims to recreate cultural practices and redefine cultural rules and norms. Through these dimensions of empowerment, programs can work on empowering youth in one or more aspects of their lives. Scheme for Scholarships to Young Artistes in Different Cultural Fields is a helping hand in it.This Scheme seeks to give assistance to young artistes of outstanding promise for advanced training within India in the field of Indian Classical Music, Indian Classical Dance, Theatre, Mime, Visual art, Folk, Traditional and Indigenous Arts and Light Classical Music
Goals of empowerment
The goal of youth empowerment is to empower the youth with Positive sense of self, self- control, decision-making skills, a moral system of belief, and pro-social connectedness
Positive development settings
Youth empowerment programs thrive in positive developmental settings which promote youth competence, confidence and connections. Two features of the positive developmental youth settings are supportive relationships and support for efficacy and mattering. Supportive relationships are those that are between youth and non-familial adults that foster trust and respect. Support for efficacy and mattering specifically focuses on youth being active, instrumental agents of change in their communities, collective decision-making and adults listen to and respect their voice.
August 12th is celebrated as the International Youth Day, world over. From this August let us start the youth empowerment from ourselves. Here age is not a matter, when we all are young at heart!