"Development of state is impossible without the development of youth," asserted Ms Varsha Verma, winner of the first prize in the poster competition titled.
Sheeba Khatoon who stood second in the same competition urged a re-look into the education system of the state.
Fatima Bano, who stood third in the competition, stressed the importance of girls’ education. She said education for girls was the surest way of ensuring the progress of any community and state. Stressing that the policy must address the different issues that confront the youth Fatima said that youth participation is important during the drafting of this policy. Through the poster and debate the students addressed the issues of corruption, gender discrimination, technical education, child marriage etc.
It was pointed out by a student during the debate that in UP only 31.5 per cent girls and 48.6 per cent boys between the ages of 15 to 17 go to school. This and other issues must be addressed in the policy.
According to a recent survey 58,000 girls do not go to school in Lucknow, the state capital.
According to another survey 50 per cent of girls in the state were found anemic. 20.5 per cent women in the state were found suffering from sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
"Issues and concern of the youth of Uttar Pradesh must be addressed through this draft," said Anu, team leader of the advocacy campaign.
She said that through the campaign, sustained efforts have been made to ensure that there is a proper awareness for a policy for youth of Uttar Pradesh in every segment of society.
From November 22 to January 12, in 35 districts of the state an intensive drive has been launched to percolate this campaign to people from all walks of life.
(The author is a senior journalist and also is the Secretary General of Media Nest)