In India, youth organizations are scattered throughout the country, eachpursuing their own fields of interest in developmental work. ICYO has the initiative to craft the network amongs the Youth organizations, youth clubs, youth groups and youth. This networking, concentrating on helping these organizations derives a meaning from their work.
Indian Committee of Youth Organizations (ICYO) is a non-profit, network organization, committed to develop areas of mutual cooperation and understanding among the different youth voluntary agencies, youth groups and clubs and individuals functioning in India and South Asia.
ICYO’s dialogue in different international, regional and national forums has made it possible for the world to understand the capacity, potentials, and needs of youth organizations. This has led to furtherance of the Youth Voluntary Organization –multilateral agency partnership and resource allocation that is used to strengthen youth organizations at the grass roots level.
ICYO functions as an umbrella organization of youth organizations in India. It is family of over 393 organizations spread in 122 districts of 26 states representing all corners of India.
Youth of India
Many youth are illiterate or have very low educational attainment
Thirty-one percent of young women and 14 percent of young men are illiterate. However, literacy is much higher among the youngest youth age 15 years (77% among women and 92% percent among men) than among youth only a decade older (63% among women and 84% among men).
Despite improvements over time, educational attainment remains very low even among youth: only 29 percent of young women and 38 percent of young men have completed 10 or more years of education.
Urban-rural differentials are much wider for women than men in literacy and educational attainment and the gender gap is also much greater in rural than in urban areas.
Only 41 percent of adolescents age 15-17 were attending school in the school year 2005-06, suggesting a very high school dropout rate. School attendance rates for youth age 15-17 years increase sharply with household wealth. The gender gap is also much narrower in wealthier households than in poorer households.
Most youth are exposed to some form of media
Seventy percent of women and 88 percent of men age 15-24 have at least weekly exposure to television, radio, or newspapers/magazines or monthly exposure to the cinema. Media exposure is much lower in rural than in urban areas.
The most common form of media to which youth are exposed is television.
Women are much less likely than men to be exposed to each type of media. Women with no education and women in rural areas have particularly low levels of regular media exposure.
Female youth are more likely than male youth to belong to the lowest wealth quintile and less likely to be in the higher wealth quintiles
Female youth, on average, live in poorer households than male youth.
The majority of unmarried youth live in nuclear households, whereas the majority of married youth live in non-nuclear households
Many youth are economically active
Thirty-four percent of women and 67 percent of men age 15-24 were employed at any time in the 12 months preceding the survey, with the vast majority being currently employed.
Among men, the proportion employed increases sharply with age from 33 percent among those age 15 to 92 percent among those age 24; among women, by contrast, employment varies little with age.
Employment is higher among rural than among urban youth and is much lower among youth with 10 or more years of education than among those with no education. Almost all men with no education are employed.
The majority of employed women are agricultural workers; however, there is greater diversity in male employment.
Less than two-thirds of employed women (64%) earn cash for their work, compared with 88 percent of employed men.
Many youth are married
Half of women and almost one in five men age 15-24 are currently married.
Nineteen percent of women age 15-17 and 7 percent of men age 15-20 are married.
About 2 percent of youth are married but their gauna has yet to be performed and a very small proportion (1% of women and 0.3% of men) have experienced a marital disruption.
Many youth are heading households
One percent of women and 8 percent of men age 15-24 are household heads. Among currently married men age 15-24, 29 percent are heading their own households.
Youth in households headed by youth are poorer than youth from households headed by someone who is older.
WHAT YOUTH KNOW
Most youth lack basic knowledge of women’s menstrual cycle
A large proportion of youth, both women and men, are not aware that a woman is fertile only during specific days in her menstrual cycle. Only 5 percent of women age 15-19 and 14 percent age 20-24 know that a woman is fertile only during the middle of her menstrual cycle. An even lower proportion of men have correct knowledge of a woman‘s fertile period.
Messages about family planning are not reaching all youth
Only 65 percent of women and 84 percent of men have heard or seen a family planning message on TV, radio, wall paintings, or in newspapers/magazines.
Many youth have not heard of available modern contraceptive spacing methods
Ninety-three percent of women know of female sterilization, but only 83 percent know about pills and 71 percent each know about IUDs and condoms.
Ninety-three percent of men know about condoms, but only 78 percent know about pills, and 37 percent know about the IUD.
Only 8 percent of women and 15 percent of men know about emergency contraception.
A majority of youth lack comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS
About two-thirds of women and 88 percent of men have heard of AIDS
Three out of four men know that the risk of HIV/AIDS can be reduced by condom use and by limiting sex to one uninfected partner; however, less than half of women know about these means of HIV/AIDS prevention.
Only 20 percent of women and 36 percent of men have comprehensive knowledge about HIV/AIDS, i.e., they have correct knowledge of all the ways of transmission and prevention of the infection.
In many states, less than one-half of women have heard of AIDS
(From ‘A Profile of Youth India’, NFHS-3, 2005-06)