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Social Entrepreneurship as an Option for the Youth

One of the best ways to groom leaders and empower youth towards greater practical experience is through engagement of youth in activities to solve the problems of the community & society at large. Dr TK Jain shares his perspectives on empowering youth via social entrepreneurship. Read ON!
Youth are synonyms of solutions to world problems. When we find any problem, we get a solution from some young people. The willingness to experiment and innovate is crucial in fighting with the problems of our times. Youth is a symbol of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. When Red Cross was started by Dunant, he was just 31. When Sulabh Sochalay was started by Bindeshwar Pathak, he was just 26, when Inspiration Unlimited was started by Sujit Lalwani, he was less than 25 years of age. That is the age when youth is at the peak of creativity and innovation. Youth is bubbling with energy and a desire to bring about transformation.

We find a countless number of examples of people, who took society’s cause in their youth and made a pioneering contribution to society. If youth can take up a social cause, the future would be bright. If youth can come forward to take up the challenges of our times, we will be able to overcome each of the challenges that we face today. We respectfully remember the names of Jagdish Bhai Patel, Ishwar Bhai Patel, S.N. Subba Rao, etc. because these persons took the social cause at a very tender age and devoted their entire life for society. They spent all their life in creating social well-being and therefore they helped us in leading a good life. They have created hope for us. If they could understand the needs of society at a very tender age and devote their entire life to society, why cannot we inspire the youth of today to take up the social cause as their mission for life?

Youth should be trained in social entrepreneurship so that more and more social ventures can emerge and transform our civilization. The path towards a civilized society is full of challenges because our greed and our short-sighted perspective force us to take wrong decisions. We keep taking wrong decisions and then try to search for justifications for those decisions. Over a period of time, we train the new generations also in those decisions and make those decisions a part of our daily life. It is due to these practices, that have brought down our society from an environment-friendly society to an environmentally damaging society and we continue to move downwards.

Once we used to be a nature-friendly community, and we used to have a life-style where nature was considered the most important asset. Today we have started eating out our natural surroundings and we are the biggest destroyer of nature. For older people, this is now a part of the habit. They would not mind cutting trees for widening roads or killing innocent animals just to create pleasures for human beings. We should not be hopeless because youth can take up the reversal of these practices and covert our society back to nature-loving society.

Gandhi Ji gave the concept of trusteeship – whereby he asked entrepreneurs to be wealth creators, but use that wealth for the cause of society. Wealth creation is not bad, provided it contributes to the welfare of society. If they can channelize the energies of the youth in social entrepreneurship, they will create wealth for the benefit of society and contribute to the eradication of poverty. If we will not train them in social entrepreneurship, there are possibilities that someone will divert their energies towards destructive or self-centered activities for some narrow gains.

Youth are easy to mold and easy to persuade. If they are put into destructive activities, it will be a huge loss to our civilization. The need of the hour is to introduce social entrepreneurship training in each educational institution to orient students about the concept of social entrepreneurship. We need to share with the youth the stories of how Mohammad Yunus started Grameen Bank or how Ilaben Bhatt stared SEWA or how Rajendra Singh tried to revive extinct rivers or about other such great ventures so that the youth get inspiring stories to follow. In short, we have to create opportunities for the youth to get mentorship from the great social entrepreneurs of our times so that the youth is fully prepared to take an upright set of values, vision, mission, goals, and ideals for the development of our society. What's your take?

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 16th February 2020.
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazin

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