‘Protecting young champions’: Organisations want PM Modi to address challenges faced by adolescents in I-Day speech

By: |
August 13, 2021 4:08 PM

Every year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asks citizens to suggest ideas for his public addresses. Last year as well, he sought suggestions from people for his Independence Day speech.      

Every year, PM Modi asks citizens to suggest ideas for his public addresses. Last year as well, he sought suggestions from people for his Independence Day speech. (PTI Photo)     

A group of organisations has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to include the issues facing adolescents in his Independence Day speech and also issue a call for action to parents, teachers and concerned organisations.

The letter, signed by 22 heads of organisations, highlights the challenges faced by adolescents, which account for one-fifth (253 million) of the country’s population. These challenges include access to quality education, healthcare, nutrition, counselling and psychological issues among many others.

It also seeks to bring the spotlight on the hardships faced by the youth and adolescents due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequential lockdowns, which led to school closures and extended home confinements, eventually causing mental anxiety amid the uncertainty and economic insecurities.

“We know that you are concerned with the critical need to not only safeguard young people’s health and well-being but also equip these future leaders to leverage opportunities to take India to new heights. By defining ‘adolescents’ as a distinct group with unique requirements, we can take the first step towards understanding their needs better and, thereby, protecting our young champions,” the letter read.

“On India’s 75th Independence Day, as we look forward to a brighter future for our nation, we would be grateful if you include India’s adolescents in your agenda of priorities in your Independence Day speech. By issuing a call for action, to all parents, teachers, organizations and safeguarding bodies to listen to our adolescents and invest in them, much progress can be achieved” it added.

The signatories include Poonam Muttreja, ExecutiveDirector, Population Foundation of India; Ronnie Screwvala as Co-founder of Swades Foundation and key representatives of prominent organisations like The YP Foundation, FOGSI, PATH India, Gender Alliance, FRHSI and many others. The signatories, in their letter to the PM, have sought his intervention to provide hope and inspire change. “Your leadership in addressing the needs of hundreds and thousands of adolescents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will offer hope to this population and inspire change,” the letter adds.

Every year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asks citizens to suggest ideas for his public addresses. Last year as well, he sought suggestions from people for his Independence Day speech.

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