Jaipur, Aug. 16: The United Nations Development Fund (UNFPA) has prepared the new youth policy for Rajasthan and presented its draft to the Chief Minister, Mr Ashok Gehlot, at a Yuva Mahapanchayat organised here last week. The policy has sought to speed up changes in the lives of young people through the expansion of digital skills, focus on sports and empowerment of young girls and women. The Yuva Mahapanchayat marked International Youth Day on August 12.
The draft policy, prepared by the UNFPA through a detailed consultative process, stipulates action on the youths' development across the priority areas of education, entrepreneurship and employment, health, fitness and sports, youth leadership and social justice and gender equality. The UNFPA has provided technical support to the Rajasthan Youth Board in formulating policy through in-depth assessments, consultations with civil society groups, academicians and key departments and desk reviews.
UNFPA-India Deputy Representative, Mr Sriram Haridas, said while addressing the Yuva Mahapancyayat that the young people wanted to be “engaged citizens” with an expectation for skills and opportunities to be at the core of economic and social development. “The governments are responding. This draft policy reflects the voices of youths captured from each region of Rajasthan,” he said. Mr Haridass said the new youth policy would provide a platform to tap into the energy and creativity of youngsters. HE SAID THAT the UNFPA's work in the country had enabled young people, especially adolescent girls, to develop the skills, knowledge and support needed to make informed decisions.
Addressing the gathering at Agricultural Research Centre in Durgapura here, Mr Gehlot said the new youth policy would be a “powerful medium” for achieving the vision of bringing Rajasthan to the country's front row of developed States by 2030. “Youths have a vigorous power to bring change in society. Their energy and ability to innovate can give a new direction to Rajasthan,” he said. Mr Gehlot said that while the 2023-24 State Budget had been dedicated to the youths, several important decisions had been taken in their interest during the last four years. An Rs. 500-crore Youth Development and Welfare Fund will be created shortly in Rajasthan. Significantly, the draft policy covers 18 special groups of youths from the most marginalised sections. They include the youths from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, differently abled youths and young people affected by human trafficking and violence. Mr. Gehlot released a booklet titled “Aspirations of Youths” on the occasion. Among others, the Assembly Speaker, Mr C.P. Joshi, and the Youth Board's Chairman, Mr Sitaram Lamba, were present at the Mahapanchayat.
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