Uttarkhand was created as a hill state in 2000. 86% of the total area is mountainous and 65% is recorded as forest. The basic objectives of creating a new state were:
>To foster development of the hilly areas
>Recognize the unique culture of the hill people.
However, 20 years after the creation of the state the above two objectives have not been realized. It is exemplified by the following facts:
>Skewed developmental model. Most of the development has taken place in the plains – Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar district. The hill districts of Garhwal and Kumaon still lack basic amenities. It has led to mass out migration and creation of ghost villages.
>Lack of formal job opportunities in the organized sector. Even after 20 years the youth are still dependent on government jobs.
>Many traditional arts are dying as the artist fail to find any market for their products. Egs. Garhwali School of miniature painting, Pahadi musical instrument makers etc.
>Many hill dialects face a bleak future.
>The feeling of rootlessness among the youngsters who are developing disdain towards there culture.
Reasons for the failure:
>Political: Lack of vision at the highest level with a top to bottom bureaucratic approach to development.
>Economic: The skewed model of development with major focuses on plain district areas. Lack of imagination of how to build on traditional strengths of the state like tourism, cultivation of medicinal plants, food processing etc.
>Social: High tolerance towards corruption. Passive citizenry. Failure of the civil society to scale up their efforts.
>Ecological/ environment – Fragile mountain terrain. Increasing incidence of man-animal conflict. Impact of climate change and global warming.
Uttarakhand young thinkers forum is an initiative by the youth to address the issues that plague the state and groom future leaders. The platform aims to cultivate a sense of urgency and a sense of belonging among all stake holders of the state for a better tomorrow.
- Increase awareness: Generating new ideas, encouraging enlightened public debate via various online platforms.
- Public policy formulation: Advising the government on public policy issues by emphasising on achievable options, research and best practices.
- Think Tank: Organising conferences, lectures and seminars that brings people from various walk of lives to share their experience to increase the knowledge, awareness and salience of policy issues.
- Future Leaders: Fostering enlightened committed youth leaders who could pursue open minded dialogue on contemporary issues relevant to Uttarakhand’s development.
- Research and data analysis: Supporting independent research at grass root level that could assist in policy evaluation and development process.