The Impact Of Youth On Youth

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In 1985, over ninety percent of Indians lived on less than one dollar a day, but after the country began reforms in the early 1990s, economic growth rose to around 7 percent, slowed again in the late 1990s, but since 2002 has continued at a rapid pace, to become one of the world’s largest economies (Farrell and Beinhocker, 2007). This growth has brought millions out of poverty and is changing the social and economic structures that are experienced by Indians, and due to their dynamic nature, are particularly influential upon youth. The United Nations considers youth to be people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, because by the age of 24 the transition from childhood to adulthood (both physically and emotionally) is complete (United Nations, 1981). Those theorising about the ‘youth bulge’ define youth as being between the ages of 15 and 30 (Mabala, 2011). It may be argued that the higher the age that defines youth is, the more marginalised the younger youth become, and pushing back the age of when adulthood begins leaves young people in a state of uncertainty, as they have not been given the social space to become or be recognised as adults (Mabala, 2011). Even if the lower range of 15 – 24 years old is used, youth cannot be treated as homogenous group of people – there is a huge difference between individuals at each end of this range. Gender plays a major role, as aspirations, support, and opportunities for girls and boys during their adolescence are usually very

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