How can the youth create impact for our nation?
India has a fairly young population, with almost 65% of the population below 35 years. The youth can create impact at a national scale in several ways. If a corporate career is not your core interest and you want to make a career out of making a difference, there are several avenues open to you! It’s easy to complain about the nation, but not the way to solve the issues we face! Instead, get involved, whether it is part-time or full-time and create a real impact. Here are some ways you can work towards creating an impact outside your standard corporate career:
- Government: Representatives of young democracies are much required in the parliament, which interestingly comprises of only 13% of young politicians! There are several ways you can be directly involved with the government to create an impact. You can directly drive a political party by joining a party of your choice – reach out to the local office, ask for a primary membership form and apply with all your personal details as required. You could also join the bureaucracy – IAS, IRS, IFS. Take the Civil Services exams (UPSC, SPSC), realize the skill of your choice and sit for interviews! Other opportunities that you could consider include political analysts, think tanks, election campaign managers and political marketers. Public-private partnerships are also a way to partner on projects with the government. This allows you to be part of the system and have a direct impact!
- Non-profit organisations: Non-profit organization is a broad term for organizations that are usually set-up to serve a social cause. Donors can include CSR departments of companies, high net worth individuals, foundations amongst others. For example, the United Nations, Teach For India, the Gates Foundation are all working to solve key issues such as education, human rights and more. They often work in partnership with the government to have a greater impact. Project Disha in India, which is being driven by the United Nations Development Program, is working on creating employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for low-income women in India. These projects allow for individuals to access services and goods that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford! If you want to give back to the underprivileged, this is a great way to do it.
- Social enterprise: Social enterprises are designed to both do good and have a business model. Unlike NGOs, they usually break-even and do not raise money through donations. They may also choose to have a hybrid businesses model where a percentage of their work is for profit and the rest for charity. If you’re looking for a combination of impactful work and a structured work environment, a social enterprise might be perfect for you! There would be similar verticals to a corporate that you could work with within a social enterprise – Strategy, Marketing, Finance, Field Operations, Sales, Business Operations for example. Examples of some sectors where social enterprises are thriving are alternative energy, skilling, eco-tourism, wellness and health. These are sectors where the customer is willing to pay a fee, and yet the company is having some social impact. These organizations usually have a double bottom line, where they are measuring social and financial impact.
As a student, you can start off by being actively involved with one of these avenues through internships in your summer breaks! If you translate that experience to a full-time job, and you will transition into an impactful career!
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