The International Youth Day is celebrated on January 12, every year in India to honour the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, one of India's greatest leaders and believers of youth power. On this day, governments and citizens across the world come together to recognise and bring attention to the problems faced by the youth.
In 1999, the United Nations decided to commemorate International Youth Day every year on August 12. It was based on a recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon to the UN General Assembly.
Youth Day is celebrated through various awareness campaigns, community concerts, and events to bring to notice the socio-economic and socio-political issues that the youth in every nation face.
Theme For International Youth Day 2021
This year's theme is "Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health". The United Nations decides a theme that is relevant to all global communities and citizens every year. According to the United Nations, this year's theme highlights the crucial need for "inclusive support mechanisms that ensure youth continue to amplify efforts collectively and individually to restore the planet and protect life while integrating biodiversity in the transformation of food systems." The other challenges – climate change, healthcare, social inclusion, and conservation of biodiversity will also be addressed.
On its website, the United Nations also stated, "Through youth education, engagement, innovation, and entrepreneurial solutions, this year's International Youth Day aims to provide a platform for young people to continue the momentum from the ECOSOC Youth Forum in the lead up to the high-level Food Systems Summit."
The theme for last year's International Youth Day was 'Youth Engagement for Global Action'. The main areas highlighted in last year's theme were engagement at the community level, engagement at the national level (formulation of laws and policies along with their implementation), and engagement at the global level.
In 1984, the government of India declared this day as National Youth Day and since 1985, the event is celebrated in India every year. It was a decision of the Government of India taken in 1984 to celebrate the birthday of great Swami Vivekananda, i.e. 12 January, as National Youth Day every year. The Government of India quoted that ' the philosophy of Swamiji and the ideals for which he lived and worked could be a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth Day.
Inspirational quotes by Swami Vivekananda:
- All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark
- All differences in this world are of degree, and not of a kind because oneness is the secret of everything
- If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.
- We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far
- Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life -think of it, the dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success