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Developing India through its youth

New Delhi, August 12 (G’nY News Service): It just takes a spark to light a fire. Our youth can provide that much needed spark which can turn the nation around, marking its manifold progress in the areas of health and hygiene; energy, skill development and knowledge networks. If every 356 million young people of India put their energy, enthusiasm and innovation together, a driving force of development could be easily forged. It is towards such a lofty task that the State Bank of India and the United Nations India has joined forces.

SBI’s Youth for India has been providing 13 month long fellowship programmes that encourages young people to work on issues related to rural development in collaboration with NGOs. The fellowship allows young people to help solve India’s critical challenges in the rural sector.

On the event of the National Youth Day 2015, the SBI and the United Nations India upheld the work done by the young enthusiasts. Held in New Delhi, the event was marked by a seminar Dialogue on Youth for Development. The proceedings were addressed by UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Yuri Afanasiev, Chairman of the State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya, and NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy, along with a special address by the Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Rajeev Gupta.


Delegates at the Dialogue on Youth for Development seminar. Dignitaries (L-R) Yuri Afanasiev, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Bibek Debroy, and Rajeev Gupta.

Arundhati Bhattacharya, in her inaugural address reinforced SBI’s commitment and went on to say, “We need to guide people with skills and will continue to work in collaborative ways to energize them and push them forward.”

Yuri Afanasiev opined that the youth are the ‘carpenters of change’ and said that number of Indian entrepreneurs are one of the highest in the world which is a very encouraging trend as we can build on it to raise the resilience of the Indian youth.

Bridging the rural – urban gap in India, the reach of Youth for India today extends upto 10 Indian states, with a total of 60 Fellows working in 35 different locations. NGOs such as Jatan Sansthan, Udaipur; Gram Vikas, Orissa; Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, New Delhi; and, BAIF Development Research Foundation Pune; have come forward to join hands in the Youth for India programme. The SBI fellows who were present and demonstrated their achievements were Simren Singh, Priyvrat, Ashwini Shelke, Anant Vats, Sunayana Chatrapati and Diksha Mishra.

All projects undertaken complement initiatives of the Government of India including, the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme and Smart Villages. It would be wonderful if more such initiatives were put forward through corporate social responsibility mandates of private and public enterprises.

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