Youth conclave with a difference; Breaking the ghetto mentality

Exploring a better future for mankind. It was under this theme that some well intentioned personalities gathered at Hotel Sangai Continental on August 11 to share their thoughts and viewpoints particularly with the young students, on whose shoulders lie the future of the State and the people. Former Chief Secretary and Administrator of Manipur University Jarnail Singh needs no introduction but the brief experience that he shared must have certainly gone down well with the small but impressive gathering. It was with a purpose that The Sangai Express and ISTV Network joined hands together to organise the one day youth conclave so that a road map could be charted out with the thrust on the youngsters and it was in line with this young students from RIMS, Manipur University, research scholars from IBSD and Manipur students studying at Panjab University formed the bulk of the audience to soak up what the resource persons had to say and share. No over the top declaration and it was something far removed from some of the ‘brain storming’ sessions that Manipur has witnessed down the years. It was rather a look at what the prospects of the future could be, based on the present reality of the world, the country and the State. It was also about what education should ideally be about. Given the limited options in the State, should one only eye Government jobs or should one utilise one’s talent and resources and generate one’s own income and in the process give employment opportunities to others ? These are some of the interesting questions raised by the speakers at the one day youth conclave and it is for this reason why The Sangai Express captioned the day’s story as ‘youth conclave with a difference.’
When one talks about education, as understood in the formal context of going to school and college, one here is reminded of the fact that thousands of students migrate outside the State for their further studies once they finish their Class XII level. It is this reality which should give one the opportunity of studying whether the students who go outside the State to study actually make full use of the opportunities that may come their way. Creating a ‘little Manipur’ as publisher of The Sangai Express Nishikant Singh Sapam said on his experience of studying in Delhi from a young age and what is discernible in this observation is the tendency of students from Manipur and the North East in general to live in their own world, not taking the advantage of the immense exposure that studying outside could offer. In one word this means the ghetto mentality, the reluctance to move out from one’s own comfort zone and see what the outside world has to offer. Very often this is the case that one sees and the merit of such an observation should not blow over the heads of the young students and the parents. In short the one day youth conclave can be said to be a refreshing change for it was not about playing to the gallery or winning plaudits and targeting anyone but about how the youngsters of the day should prepare and be ready for themselves to take on the world when their time comes.