Our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 14. A youth of 10 in 2015 will be an adult of 25 in 2030, the target year for achieving the next generation of sustainable development goals. When young people can make a healthy transition from adolescence into adulthood, options expand for the future. The post-2015 agenda provides accumulating evidence of the importance of youth to development, the growing recognition of their rights and the proven benefits of the demographic dividend. Strategic investments can allow young people to claim their rights to education, health, development and to live free from violence and discrimination.
Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram(RKSK): Shifting the Paradigm in Adolescent Health Care in India
Adolescent Health and Development is the key to achieving improved health and development outcomes for the population as a whole. – Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Minister of Health and Family Welfare
Taking cognizance of the need to respond to health and development requirements of adolescents, who comprise 21.4% of the population, in a holistic manner, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India, wanted to explore the possibility of developing a comprehensive national strategy for adolescents based on the principles of participation, rights, inclusion, gender equity and strategic partnerships. As the lead technical partner to the Government of India for RKSK, UNFPA has played a key role in helping the Government develop a comprehensive strategy. UNFPA envisaged that the strategy should enable adolescents in India to realise their full potential by making informed and responsible decisions related to their health and wellbeing. Experts from India and other countries were consulted to develop the strategy. In January 2014, the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) i.e. National Adolescent Health Programme was rolled out by the Minister for Health and Family Welfare. Dr.Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, in his message said that RKSK indeed is an ambitious strategy befitting an ambitious generation of Indian adolescents.
The RKSK strategy is a paradigm shift and realigns the existing clinic-based curative approaches to focus on a more holistic model based on a continuum of care for adolescent health and development needs, including the provision of information, commodities and services at the community level.
The programming framework takes cognizance of social determinants like illiteracy, child marriage, violence, gender, discrimination, poverty and others, that are associated with poor health outcomes and links relevant initiatives for the improved health of adolescents. RKSK acknowledges the importance of significantly broadening the context, taking it far beyond sexual and reproductive health to look into a range of issues – all critical for holistic development of a young adult. The six strategic priorities include:
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Preventing Injuries and Violence (Including Gender-based Violence)
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
During the year 2014, The Ministry of Health and Family has worked closely with the State Governments to develop programme implementation plans for the roll-out of RKSK in the country. The Government has earmarked more than $150 million for the implementation of the strategy for a year. UNFPA provides support to the Government, at the National and State level through a Technical Support Unit, for the successful roll out of RKSK. Other donor partners, such as UNICEF and WHO, also provide critical inputs for different elements of the RKSK implementation plan.
On the occasion of International Youth Day on 12 August, the United Nations and State Bank of India are organized a Dialogue on Youth for Development at New Delhi. The Dialogue showcased innovations by six SBI Youth For India Fellows who are on a thirteen month-long Fellowship programme with select non-governmental organizations across parts of rural India, working in the areas of education, skill development, health and sanitation and e-governance.
UNFPA organized a seminar on “Reaching Out to Tribal Adolescents: Needs, Priorities and Response” on 20th January 2015 in New Delhi. Prof. Sachidananda Sinha (JNU), Dr. Shanta Sinha (MV Foundation), Dr. Achyuta Samanta (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences) and Ms. Amrita Sharma (Aajeevika Bureau) shared their vision on reaching out to the tribal adolescents.
The festival, which was attended by 60 students and 60 teachers, was a culmination of on-the-spot creative writing and poster-making competitions, which were organized across 1,095 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 595 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and 20 regional centres of the National Institute of Open Schooling. The theme for the creative writing and poster making competition was The School of My Dreams or Education of My Dreams… read more
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism in to development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.
Hamari Zarooratein Hamaari Awaaz
India is home to an estimated 358 million people (2011 India Census) in the age group of 10-24 years comprising 31 percent of the country’s population. The brochure outlines the needs and aspirations of the youth of the country on issues related to health, education, livelihoods, leadership, social justice, governance and discrimination.
To guide the implementation of Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in collaboration with UNFPA has developed a National Adolescent Health Strategy. It realigns the existing clinic-based curative approach to focus on a more holistic model based on a continuum of care for adolescent health and developmental needs.
The report synthesizes key findings from various research studies conducted with adolescents in India. The review also highlights the existing national programmes and policies providing services to adolescents under various ministries of the Government of India.
The National Youth Policy, 2014 (NYP-2014) seeks to define the vision of the Government of India for the youth of the country and identify key areas in which action is required to enable youth development and to provide a framework for action for all stakeholders.
The publication highlights the challenge of adolescence pregnancy and its impact on the health, education and income-earning potential of a girl. It also recommends promoting broad-based approaches that build girls’ human capital, focus on their agency to make decisions about their lives (including matters of sexual and reproductive health), and present real opportunities for girls so that motherhood is not seen as their only destiny.
UNV Youth Volunteering Strategy (2014-2017)
The publication outlines UNV’s principles and approaches to strengthening youth volunteerism for global peace and sustainable human development. It proposes specific mechanisms for UNV’s engagement with youth in line with its organizational mandate and comparative advantage, and in consideration of the roles of partner organizations.
Volunteering for Change
Responding to the call of the Prime Minister to volunteer for a Swacch Bharat or Clean India, a Yamuna cleanup was organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, United Nations Volunteers, United Nations Development Programme and Swechha. Over 3,000 volunteers including members of the National Service Scheme, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, students, artists, working professionals, entrepreneurs, policy makers, activists, home makers, media representatives, athletes and retired people, participated to make change happen and pledged their support to clean Yamuna.
The festival, which was attended by 60 students and 60 teachers, was a culmination of on-the-spot creative writing and poster-making competitions, which were organized across 1,095 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 595 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and 20 regional centres of the National Institute of Open Schooling. The theme for the creative writing and poster making competition was The School of My Dreams or Education of My Dreams.
Importance of Creativity Frederika Meijer, UNFPA Representative, India on how education and creativity is important for adolescents.
Vision for the Youth Toshihiro Tanaka, Deputy Representative, UNFPA, India on UNFPA’s vision for the young generation.
Importance of creative expression
B.K.Tripathi, Director, National Council of Educational Research and Training on the importance of creative expression for adolescent development.
Aim of Adolescent Education Kuldeep Agrawal, Director (Academic), National Institute of Open Schooling, says that the aim of adolescent education should be to achieve cognitive, emotional, moral and economic autonomy.
Education to empower tribal adolescents
Achyutananda Samanta, Founder, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology & Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences on his vision of empowering tribal adolescents through education.
Youth Festival 2010: Prize-winning posters by adolescents from the Kendriya Vidyalaya and the Navodaya Vidyalayas. more…
Voices of Adolescents
The United Nations in India in partnership with World Comics India uses the power of comics to tell stories from across India, across communities, and across languages. Through workshops held in the country, young people, women, men and children who are poor and from marginalized communities find expression through comics. The collection of stories by adolescents from the grassroots in support of ‘Uniting for Youth’ are a reflection of the issues adolescents face in their lives such as gender discrimination; substance abuse and addictive behavior towards drugs, alcohol, etc; and the lack of knowledge about health. more…