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Skill India mission will be youth’s war against poverty: PM Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the Skill India Mission, terming it a war against poverty by training youth to earn their livelihood with honour and how the young population could do wonders with proper abilities.

Industry welcomed the endeavour as “need of the hour”, while the Congress however termed it yet another “relaunch” of a UPA government programme.

Launching the programme on the first World Youth Skills Day in presence of union ministers, chief ministers and leaders of industry, Modi said a large number of India’s population is young and could do wonders if trained well for various works and trades available in the world.

“A major part of our population is below the age of 35 years. They are young and need to be trained,” he said, adding that India would have to build on its strengths.

The prime minister said that the central government has launched a “war against poverty” by embarking on the mission to train Indian youth to earn his livelihood with honour.

“We have begun a war against poverty. Every poor is my soldier in this war and we have to win this war with their support,” Modi said.

“We have a large number of young people in the world, we just have to train and prepare them and I can assure you that India would provide largest workforce to the world in the decades to come,” he said.

The last century was of IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) in the country, but his government would want this century to be of ITIs (Industriamodi-main1l Training Institutes), he said.

India Inc expressed support for Modi’s vision to train the youth skillfully.

Terming the Skill India Mission “a renewed effort to capitalize on India’s demographic dividend and create a large pool of skilled workforce, which “is crucial to support growth across sectors and the economy at large”, Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said that a skills mission of this scale will make the training efforts more systematic and will ensure a workforce which is professionally skilled and meets industry needs.

The Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association welcomed the mission to harness the country’s “demographic dividend” through appropriate and large scale skill development effort, which in turn should make India a country of choice to address global skill shortage.

“This initiative in tandem with the ‘Make in India’ initiative should result in good diversity in skills and high employment outcome via a public-private partnership,” said its chairman Vinay Shenoy.

The Congress, however, said that Modi government was doing nothing new and just launching re-named UPA government programmes.

“Be it ‘Nirmal Bharat’, be it ‘Beti Bachao Yojana’, be it ‘Namami Gange’ that have been launched by the UPA and have been working successfully are being re-launched by the prime minister. Is this the achievement and the originality of thinking that Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims?” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told media persons, terming it a re-launch of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDP) launched in August 2010 under which 35 lakh people have already been trained. (IANS)

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Concerned Zimbabwe’s Citizens Start an Anti-Drug Campaign

While that may help, when young people have finished playing, they still find themselves unemployed and in the same conditions

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Drugs, Africa
A street vendor sells illegal and false drugs in a street of Adjame in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. VOA

A group of concerned Zimbabweans has started an anti-alcohol and drug campaign, targeting communities in which unemployed young people resort to drinking and using narcotics to alleviate the stress of not having work. Those involved in the campaign say the solution lies largely with improving the country’s moribund economy.

Fewer than three in 10 young Zimbabweans have steady jobs. Many are idle and see no economic opportunity. For some, that leads to problems with alcohol and drugs.

Church leaders, community leaders, and government officials have started warning youths of the impact of drug and alcohol abuse in Zimbabwe and its effect on their physical wellbeing and mental health.

With drug use growing in Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has called for an all-stakeholders meeting on February 1 to come up with possible solutions.

Zimbabwe’s deputy director of Mental Health Services, Dr. Chido Rwafa, says the government cannot deal with the problem of substance abuse alone.

HIV, Drugs
More than half of the people surveyed who inject drugs said they avoided health-care services, citing discrimination or fear of law enforcement authorities.VOA

“Alcohol and substance use is a rising problem in all of Africa, and also in Zimbabwe, and it has become one of our top three diagnoses that we are seeing in our mental health unit, so it is becoming a problem. We need a coordinated approach to this problem. It is a multi-sectorial problem. We need a combined effort between government, between non-governmental organizations, with the community itself,” Rwafa said.

Youths are susceptible to peer pressure and can easily gain access to drugs, says Dr. Rwafa. Once hooked on drugs, they also become more likely to engage in criminal activities.

This 20-year-old asked us not to film him when he was smoking cannabis. He says drug use would fall if more people could find employment.

“The best way is just to improve our country economically such that all those people loitering in the streets will find jobs and will be focused. We are going nowhere. Even if you are to look (in the streets), there are some other people damaged (by drugs). Fifty percent of youths in the streets, they can not even work. Their life has been destructed by drugs etc. It is not that they want drug abuse,” Mandizha said.

drug
Young people with the Ngoma Yorira Theatre Association get ready for a performance at “Theatre in the Park” in Harare, Zimbabwe, as they campaign against drug abuse, Feb, 2, 2018. VOA

Roman Catholic Priest Cloudy Maganga is trying to reduce substance abuse by youths by keeping them busy and offering counseling.

Also Read: To Boost Revenues Zimbabwe Hikes Traffic Fines

“Within our hall, upstairs we are creating what we call a study center for the young people. We will have computers… We have also started what we call the sports for the young people. We have created a volleyball pitch, we have created also a netball pitch for the young people so that when they are free, during their free time, they can be engaged in sports, everyone here. So at least with that we are removing them from being just idle,” Maganga said.

While that may help, when young people have finished playing, they still find themselves unemployed and in the same conditions youths like Takudzwa Mandizha say make them turn to drugs. (VOA)