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LETTER | Strengthen initiatives to empower Indian youth

LETTER | Having grown up in extreme poverty, disillusioned with the state of his appalling circumstances and tormented by the pain of having to survive day to day, the Indian youth is pushed, out of desperation, into a cycle of violent crime.

He is alone, terrified, possessing a deep hatred and anger at the country that betrayed him and he regresses into a life of decline – until he perishes under the crippling weight of his meaningless existence. His death becomes just another statistic, among the many others who spiralled towards a cursed life.

This is just but one of the many lived experiences of the poverty-stricken Indian Malaysian youth, who have for decades, struggled for a brighter future.

At present, Indian Malaysians stand to be disproportionately affected by severe poverty and living conditions. This has inadvertently fostered an environment which has left the youths in the community susceptible to a host of social issues - lack of literacy, gang crime, drug addiction, etc.

The Indian community is expected to face worse challenges in the absence of directed government policies aimed at uplifting them. It has been shown that Indian youths have suffered to the extent of dropping out of schools and educational institutions.

Due to a lack of opportunities, Indian youths are often preyed upon by malignant forces which compel and incentivise them to participate in criminal behaviours, such as gangsterism, organisation of drug cartels and other types of violent crimes.

Targeted initiatives needed

There ought to be stronger, institutional measures to increase investments in the development of Indian youth. One such measure could be to introduce youth entrepreneurial initiatives to equip Indian youths with access to personal development funds that allow them to establish new small businesses and enterprises.

Another could be to introduce capacity-building initiatives – inviting Indian youths to build and form NGOs and youth associations funded through grant schemes with a particular focus on social issues that affect the community.

Supporting this creates a culture of nation-building in the community, inspiring Indian youths to collectively contribute towards social empowerment.

Another area of youth empowerment could involve the introduction of education sponsorship schemes to help those who dropped out of school because of poverty to continue their education.

Establishing dedicated institutions that invest in projects designed to uplift the Indian community will be crucial to help address the underlying forces which have kept the community from progressing.

It is undoubtedly important for the government to diversify its methods of uplifting the country’s Indian community, particularly the youth. Innovative youth development projects should be the future of the policy-making surrounding the empowerment of Indians.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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