It wasn’t always so. Young people constituted as much as 26% and 32% of the first and second Lok Sabhas respectively. So, what happened? Have young people become so self-absorbed that they do not want to contribute to society any longer?
On the contrary, this book suggests that the answer may lie in the fact that we have lost the link that connects the Self to society. As the Buddha said, “the foot feels the foot when it hits the ground.” The authors believe that this vital link can be re-established in a learning experience called the 5th space that takes young people on a journey from the Self to society.
India is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing youth populations in the world and to realize their potential, there is a definite need to work with young people. This book has the potential to change the way we view and work with young people. While the government and corporate India are focusing on vocational skill development so that the nation can ride the wave of the demographic dividend, this book argues that along with vocational skills, there is an urgent need to build youth leadership, if we want to bring about sustainable change and create a generation of active, committed and empathetic individuals deeply connected to society and with the skills to intervene effectively. It is in this connection that the 5th space and this book assume such importance.
As Ishita Chaudhury – founder of The YP Foundation – a youth led organization, says in her endorsement of the book:
“What has long been considered intangible, hard to standardize in operational approaches and the magic of effective leadership – the 5th space clears up cobwebs and gives you simple, effective and concise ways of understanding what empowering young people is really all about.”
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