The youth are a universal agenda for “transforming the world.” They are an important source of creativity and drivers of social change. The educating of youth for Sustainable Development diligently focuses on to enabling youth to comprehend the importance of the environment and makes concerted efforts to conserve it. With the 2030 Agenda as a guiding thread, the workshop focused on advancing youth participation in civic and political life, their economic empowerment and their role as peace- and resilience-builders.
The Workshop aims to empower youth so as to help them in determining the prospects for sustainable development in the future. Also, the programme called for the maximum participation of the youth as they represent the highest majority of the population in most developing countries, are today visibly contributing as political actors, innovators, entrepreneurs and peace builders. To utilize their potential as agents of change, requires involving and empowering them in sustainable development and supporting their participation at all levels.
The workshop anchored on the areas where their energy are being drained and underutilized and also the success stories of how youth can be partners for development in a sustainable way. The impact of the workshop was forecasted as youth becoming the actors of social change and progress at the individual, family and at the societal level.
About 470 student participants from in and around Trichy colleges and students of MSSW were present in the auditorium. The Inaugural session of the workshop started with the Invocation and Tamil Thai Valzhu. Dr. R. Sundhararaman, Principal, National College, Dr. Sarah Karunakaran, HOD, Department of Development Management, MSSW, Dr. D. Prasanna Balaji, NSS Programme Officer cum HOD of Physical Education Department, National College, Mr. Balamurugan, IFS, Conservator of Forest, West Bengal were present. Mr. Balamurugan delivered the Inaugural address followed by the Principal’s felicitation.
The Republic Day parade NSS cadets were honored by the chief guests for their participation and being a representation of the state.
Objectives of the Workshop:
Sub Themes of the Workshop:
Technical Session 1:
The session was handled by Mr. Balamurugan, IFS of high profile who fought against corruption. The resource person addressed the audience about how the Economic Development of a country is only being concentrated leaving behind the Social and Environmental Development. He also elucidated about India’s recent Economic Development which has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world as per the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and it is expected to be one of the top three economic powers of the world, backed by its strong democracy and partnerships.
The speaker addressed that the country has been economically developing and it has not been converting the economic development into Social and Environmental Development. “Any country with the social cause of development would have a lower cost of living as the money would not be lost in corruption or laundered across the states illegally. And this situation would be changed only when the youth of every developing country are aware that this economic development should be transferred into a Social and Environmental Development. Only when a country is been socially organized with free and basic needs it would reap more benefits. Successful implementation will rely on a shared understanding of the transformations in the approaches and thus there arrives a need to align current unsustainable development paths with sustainable development targets”. The session had participants clarifying their doubts and raising their opinions.
Technical Session 2:
The second session had Mr. Virendar, Psychologist and Personality Development trainer who addressed of how to build self belief amongst the youth population. The speaker quoted that self belief is to ‘Dare to dream and care to achieve’. The speaker explained that every individual who has a low self-esteem is affected by the discouraging environment around them and the poor socio- economic status that they live in stops them from achieving higher.
The speaker addressed the audience by guiding them through the process of developing their self-esteem by first starting to take a decision and to channelize the thoughts of the individual in that direction. An individual’s self-belief should be determined to believe in what is possible and what isn’t which also affects the direction of the individual’s efforts. The speaker quoted an equation where Belief = Perception + Time + Evidence.
He also added that redesigning the beliefs can change the person and thereby their actions and efforts into building the self-esteem. An individual’s goals should be SMART (Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound).
The resource person for the third session was Ms. Brindha T Ragavan, an industrialist and educationalist, Sivakasi who explained about the roadway that leads in becoming a successful entrepreneur. The few key steps which she highlighted include focusing on the objective that leads to self actualization and self esteem to work for the goal. Learning from the success achieved would help the individual to self reflect on the past experiences and to rely on the future successes.
The Post lunch session convened with the debate on the topic ‘Are plans of today affecting the decisions of tomorrow? wherein about 8 student participants from various colleges took
part speaking for and against the topic which had Mr. Vasanth as the moderator. The Programme witnessed the cultural performance in the form of variety and junk music by the students of MSSW.
Dr. Sarah Karunakaran, felicitated the gathering followed by Dr. Prasanna Balaji’s vote of thanks and National Anthem.
The workshop focused in inspiring the youth by the changes that could be achieved in the society by altering the ways through which we interact with the surrounding environment. It is clear that the youth’s role in developing a sustainable society is through the promotion and identification of sustainable approaches which has evolved through greater public awareness of the environment and the impact created upon it. But it has also been an era which has seen a dramatic decline in environmental sustainability coupled with the growing dependence on both social and political problems. Sustainability is therefore an issue that needs to be addressed at many levels and a significant paradigm shift is the action of youth and their involvement.
The current largest limiting factor for sustainable development is our focus only on Economic Development which is primarily controlled by the developer and the one who achieves a substantial profit. Further research and involvement of youth is required to monitor new and existing developments so that the impacts on the environment in the short, medium and long term are transitioned into developing a sustainable society that reflects in all aspects. The workshop was a fruitful effort in bringing a large section of the youth at a place and inspiring them.
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