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Adolescence at Risk: An Overview
Authors: Shaik Ali*
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Today, 1.2 billion adolescents stand at the crossroads between childhood and the adult world. Around 243 million of them live in India. About one-quarter of India’s population are adolescents.(UNICEF). As they stand at these crossroads, so do societies at large – the crossroads between losing out on the potential of a generation or nurturing them to transform society. Adolescence is considered as a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is characterized by rapid physical growth, significant physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual changes. Adolescents – young people between the ages of 10 and 19 years are often thought of as a healthy group. Nevertheless, many adolescents do die prematurely due to accidents, suicide, violence, pregnancy related complications and other illnesses that are either preventable or treatable. Many more suffer chronic ill-health and disability. In addition, many serious diseases in adulthood have their roots in adolescence. For example, tobacco use, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, poor eating and exercise habits, lead to illness or premature death later in life. Like adults, adolescents can experience emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that are distressing, disruptive, and disabling. Because many of these problems are precursors to much more disabling disorders during later life, mental and behavioral problems in childhood and adolescence represent a very high cost to society in both human and financial terms. The problems of adolescents are multi- dimensional in nature and require holistic approach. This paper aims to reveal the various problems of the adolescence in India. It also makes an attempt to locate the significance of measures from a strategic perspective. The present study is based upon secondary sources.