The youth of today constitutes the majority of our country’s population. They’re the reason we are seeing a change in almost everything – politics, technology, start-up, entertainment. We’ve often heard many leaders on how they want to empower the youth of a country and how they can bring a tangible change around us. However, this ignites a question in my mind – are we limiting the definition of youth?
Today, as we celebrate World Youth Skills Day, this year’s UN theme is how learning a skill has bought a considerable amount of change in their lives. Well, I’d like to share a small story about how teaching a skill to a special part of today’s young generation changed my life and perspective towards art.
Youth, for most of us, are college going students, YouTubers or people doing a 9-5 desk job. What about those youth, whom we consider as ‘specially challenged’ or ‘differently abled’ When I entered the world of art, my aim was to spread awareness on how art helps you maintain a balanced lifestyle. Through my art, I wanted to reach the unreached youth of this country and bring whatever change I could to the best of my abilities. Hence, I chose to train and impart art to the blind kids in various part of the country. You must be wondering why only blind kids? When I was called to interact with the blind kids, I saw untapped potential in them. It sure was challenging but it was at that moment that I realised, that it is this youth that I would like to be the reason to bring a change in society.
Communicating or teaching the blind kids was more about understanding them, not sympathising them, and making them feel they’re as normal as us. Then came the part of art technicalities. In the process of befriending them, I realised one thing – they are yearning to learn more. And that curiosity and eagerness made my challenge a tad easier. From giving the colours fragrances (yellow as mango, white as in vanilla, etc) to let them pour their heart out on the canvas, there I saw the youth creating a change in the society.
With immense advancement in technology, we should encourage the youth to be aware and well-equipped with the skills they would like to inculcate. And this won’t be possible without our encouragement and support.
On this World Youth Skills Day, as a society, let us take an initiative to accept the other bracket of youth to spill their skills by giving them equal opportunities to make a considerable change to the society. The blind kids might not have sight but they sure do have a vision and when we believe in them, they are able to give wings to their dreams.