Jaipur, 11 January 2021.
India is celebrating National Youth Day on January 12. On this occasion, Rajasthan’s Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot lauded civil society organizations for playing a significant role in the overall wellbeing of young people in the State. This message reiterates the state government’s consistent commitment to address the needs of Rajasthan’s large youth and adolescent population. His message emphasizes that “the state government has been implementing policies and programs for the well-being of adolescents, teenagers, girl children, young girls and women.”
The Rajasthan government while dealing with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased demands made on the distribution of health and social services, has also taken proactive steps to strengthen the delivery of health services for youth. Few initiatives in particular are the ‘Nirogi Rajasthan’ campaign, and establishments of Model Community Health Center (CHCs) in all 200 constituencies to ensure better access of health services and schemes and make Adolescent Friendly Health Centers (AFHCs) as an integral component of Model CHCs.
In Rajasthan, 35 percent girls are married before the age of 18 years (NFHS – 4) and 20 percent of girls in the age group of 15-16 years are drop out of school (ASER 2018). To address the issues related to young people, several policies and programs have been initiated by the state government, such as Rajasthan Rajya Balika Niti, 2013 and campaigns to end child marriages. In 2020, government, legislators and bureaucrats showed their collective commitment to the issue by taking part in the social media campaign, “Zero Teenage Pregnancy”.
In his statement, the Chief Minister also noted and congratulated Population Foundation of India for their initiatives. He hopes that the celebrations on the National Youth Day will generate awareness for the youth about the state government’s policies and programs so that they can benefit from them, thereby ensuring a prosperous and healthy Rajasthan.