A C T I V I T I E S O F R U R A L Y O U T H P. V. SALVI A N D V. M....
A C T I V I T I E S O F R U R A L Y O U T H
P. V. SALVI A N D V. M. RADE*
Youth constitute a dynamic force that (1937) concluded in a study of young men
influences many activities in a society. They from schools that 91 per cent of them
are one of the potent resources of a nation preferred an occupation and 8 per cent gave
in times of emergencies. In India with her no choice. O u t of those preferring an occu-
predominantly rural population, the rural pation, only 16 per cent, the largest propor-
youth can become one of the important tion, gave preference to farming though the
factors in village reconstruction programmes. occupation of the fathers of 93 per cent of
It, therefore, becomes imperative to organise the youth was farming.
the rural youth and to channelise their
T h u r o w (1934), Anderson and Kerns
aspirations and energies properly.
(1935), Anderson (1936), Lively and Miller
In the life of an individual, youth com-
(1934), Bell (1938) and Stewart (1938) have
prises that period during which the indivi-
observed that reading is the main leisure-
dual is in the process of transformation from time activity of most of the rural youth.
the dependent and less responsible age of Anderson (1936) reported that three per cent
childhood to the self-reliant and responsible of the young men do not find time for
age of adulthood. It may turn out to be a leisure.
period of social crisis. During this period,
M E T H O D
the physical development of an individual is
taking rapid strides. Psychologically the
Young men within the age-group of 16 to
youth may be uncertain of themselves. They 30 years were covered by this investigation
have many problems and need guidance to which was conducted in the villages of the
overcome the same. It is, therefore, necessary development block attached to the College
to understand the various activities of the of Agriculture, Poona. A random sample of
rural youth and their problems. An investiga-
284 young men was drawn from 20 villages
tion was undertaken to know the occupa-
randomly selected from this block. These
tional and the leisure-time activities of rural youth were interviewed in their villages with
youth and their problems. Findings concern-
t h e help of a structural schedule.
ing the activities of the youth are presented
F I N D I N G S
in this article:
In the sample studied, 39 per cent of the
Landis (1944) observed that youth are as youth were in the age group of 16 to 2,0
likely to enter their father's occupation as years, 32 per cent were between 21 and 25
any other. A similar observation was also years of age while the remaining 29 per
made by Elias (1949). Joy and Beck (1937) cent were between 26 and 30 years. Nearly
reported that a majority of the youth out-
25 per cent of the youth h a d not received
of-school were engaged in farming. Anderson any formal education. 30 per cent had
*Mr. Salvi is Professor of Agricultural Extension, College of Agriculture, Poona and
Mr. Rade is Post-graduate student, Extension Wing, College of Agriculture, Poona.
P. V. SALVI AND V. M. RADE
studied upto the IV standard and 29 per
cent had received formal education between represents the period during which an
the V and VII standards. Only 16 per cent individual is transferred to the independent
of the youth had studied beyond the VII adulthood. To be independent and self-
reliant, one needs to be gainfully engaged
in some occupation for livelihood. Knowledge
38 per cent of the youth had married at the about the pattern of occupational employ-
average age of 19 years. The earliest age at ment of the rural youth is, therefore,
marriage reported was 11 years and the important. The distribution of the youth,
latest 26 years. 86 per cent of the according to their and their parental occupa-
youth belonged to joint families.
tions, is given in Table 1.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE YOUTH BY THEIR OCCUPATION AND BY THE OCCUPATION OF THEIR
Percentage No. of youth
Farming and labour
Farming and job other than labour
Occupation other than farming
A large majority of the youth were engag-
the occupational background of the youth.
ed in farming either with or without any Fathers of nearly all the youth were
supplementary occupation. Two out of engaged in farming either exclusively or
every three youth were engaged in farming with some supplementary occupation. How-
alone. The proportion of the youth working ever, there was a fall in the number of the
in non-agricultural occupations was very youth engaged in this occupation, the fall
small and represented mostly young men being more pronounced in the occupational
employed in trade or who were paid-emplo-
category of 'farming alone' indicating a
yees either in the village or outside. Some tendency on the part of the youth to depend
of them were employed in factories in the less on farming as the main source of their
town of Bhor. Nearly ten per cent of the livelihood as compared to their parents.
youth were not engaged in any occupation;
most of them were studying in schools.
Nearly all the working youth were engaged
in the parental occupation either with their
It is interesting to know the occupation fathers or independently, the latter group
of their fathers in order to understand constituting only a small proportion. Those
ACTIVITIES OF RURAL YOUTH
who worked independently were doing so few others considered that "the parental
mostly due to their parental sickness or their occupation was quite laborious" and "it
required considerable capital", and hence
they did not take it up.
A majority of the youth were working in
the parental occupation. This, however, did
—Each youth was
not mean that they were necessarily pro-
asked about the leisure-time he could get
hibited by their caste from taking up any every day for recreation, gossiping, playing
other occupation. Many followed their games, social contacts and such other
fathers' occupation because of preferences, activities. Information regarding the period
convenience and familiarity with it though of the day when the leisure-time was
some reported family pressure as the reason available was also collected.
responsible for their occupational choice.
The youth who were not working in the
On an average a youth could get about
parental occupation reported that "desire to three hours of leisure-time every day. The
migrate" and "other member of the family maximum and the minimum leisure-time in
looked after the family occupation" were the a day reported were seven hours and one
main reasons responsible for not engaging in hour, respectively. Table 2 gives an idea
the parental occupation. Some mentioned that about the extent of the leisure-time avail-
they did not like the parental occupation and able to them per day.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE YOUTH BY THE EXTENT OF LEISURE-TIME AVAILABLE PER DAY
Sr. No. Leisure-time Number of Percentage
per day (hours)
1. Up to 2 151 53.17
2. 3 to 4 105 36.97
3. 5 and more 28 9.86
Total 284 100.00
Nearly one out of every two youth had tion, could get leisure-time both in the morn-
a limited leisure-time of less than two hours ings and in the evenings, while only a small
every day while only a small number proportion reported getting leisure-time in
the mornings, afternoons as well as in the
reported substantial leisure-time-
it is also interesting to know the period
In order to find out how the youth spend
of the day when this leisure-time is available their leisure-time, they were asked to mention
to the youth. It was noticed that nearly half their leisure-time activities. These activities
the number of the youth, the largest propor-
were grouped into four categories, namely,
P. V. SALVI AND V. M. RADE
(1) games, (2) music, (3) reading and number of the youth reporting various
(4) other recreational activities. The leisure-time activities are presented in Table 3.
LEISURE-TIME ACTIVITIES OF THE YOUTH
youth reporting (n = 284)
(a) Outdoor games
(b) Indoor games
Novels and other books
Other Recreational Activities:
It was interesting to note that for a large the parents about the value of formal
number of the youth, chatting was one education. However, there is yet a need for
of the leisure-time activities. This was closely improving the educational status of the rural
followed by the outdoor game of "lezim" youth. This would help in the success-
which is very popular among the rural ful implementation of rural development
people. A substantial number of the youth programmes including those designed for the
showed interest in reading newspapers, youth welfare.
magazines and other literature.
A majority of the youths were unmarried.
A village temple was used by nearly 90 per It is a common experience that an unmarried
cent of the youth as one of the places for person differs from a married one in his
leisure-time activities. This was followed by activities, needs and problems. As this
the playground, the gram panchayat office characteristic plays an important role in an
and the home, in order of importance.
individual's life, the married and the un-
married youths need to be considered
—Nearly three out of every four separately while devising youth welfare pro-
rural youths included in the sample had grammes to cater effectively to the needs of
received some formal education. The level of these two categories.
literacy among these youths was higher than
that of the total population. This seems to be
A large number of the youths were mem-
due to the expanding educational facilities in bers of joint families, indicating thereby that
the rural areas and the increased awareness of the joint family system still continues to be
ACTIVITIES O F R U R A L Y O U T H
predominant in our rural areas. T h e father's A considerable number of the youth avail
authority is supreme and most of the family of the traditional means of recreation, listen
decisions are taken by him. U n d e r such a to radio programmes or engage themselves in
family system,, the young people cannot take reading during their leisure-time. These
any important decisions on their own and tools can be effectively used as means for
in many cases, they have no freedom of educating them.
action, whether they are married or un-
married- Involvement of the parents and
S U M M A R Y A N D C O N C L U S I O N S
other elderly persons from the family in the
For the purpose of this investigation,
planning of youth welfare programmes is 284 young men from the villages of the
therefore quite essential.
Poona Agricultural College Development
Block were interviewed. Nearly one out of
Occupation plays a vital role in the indivi-
every four youth studied was illiterate and
dual's life since it provides the means of only a small number out of the remaining
livelihood. T h e investigation has revealed had studied beyond the VII grade. This
that rural youth are mostly engaged in indicates that in general, the formal educa-
farming. This is quite natural since agriculture tional level of the rural youth is low and
is the predominant occupation in the rural efforts are necessary to improve this situation.
areas. Occupational guidance for the rural
youth should, therefore, emphasise improve-
Most of the rural youth were engaged in
ment in the farm technology and efficiency. farming. The youth welfare programmes
T h e rural youth generally follow their should, therefore, be predominantly farm-
parental occupation. In most of the rural oriented. Since a substantial number of the
families, occupational know-how and skills youth are members of joint families, such pro-
seem to be the only assets which these grammes should be chalked out also in con-
families pass on to their children. Familiarity sultation with the senior members of the
with the occupation and, in some cases, even families.
the family pressures and decisions seem to
Reading and listening to radio programmes
be responsible to make the youth take to were among the main leisure-time activities
the parental occupation.
of a substantial number of the youth.
T h e rural youth get limited leisure-time. Literature and radio should, therefore, be
Programmes aiming to provide suitable fully exploited for educating these youth as
leisure-time activities to them are necessary well as for providing recreation to them.
R E F E R E N C E S
1.. Anderson, W. A.: Rural Youth Activities, Interests and Problems.
Agri. Expt. Station, Ithaca, New York, Bull. No. 649, 1936.
2. Rural Youth Activities, Interests and Problems.
Agri. Expt. Station, Ithaca, New York, Bull No. 6 6 1 , 1937.
3. and Kerns W . : Interests, Activities and Problems of Rural Youth
Folk: Men 15 to 29 years age.
Cornell University Agri. Expt. Station, Bull. No. 631, 1935.
4. Bell, H. M. N. : Youth Tell Their Story,
American Council on Education,
5. Elias, L. J.: High Schools Look at Their Problems.
State College of Washington, Pullman,
P. V. SALVI AND V. M. RADE
6. Joy, B. D. and Beck J. R.: Situations, Problems and Interests of Unmarried Rural
—People 16 to 25 years of age.
Oregaon Agri. College Extension Service Circular
No. 277, 1937.
7. Landds, P. H . : The Territorial and Occupational Mobility of Washington Youth.
Agricultural Expt. Station, Washington, Bull. No. 454, 1944.
8. Lively, E. C, and Miller, L. J.: Rural Young People 16 to 24 years of age.
of Rural Economics, Ohio State University Agri. Expt. Station, Bull. No, 173, 1934.
9. Stewart, M . : Youth in the World of Today.
American Council of Education, New
10. Thurow, M, B.: Interests, Activities and Problems of Rural Folk
—Women 15 to 29
years of age.
Cornell University Agriculture Expt. Station, Bull. No. 617, 1934.