The Minister of Youth and Sports, Yogida Sawmynaden, mentioned worrying stats about our youth during a workshop held at Gold Crest Hotel, 28th of January. From the results of the research carried out by sociologist Saïd Ameerberg, drug abuse, smoking, violence, unprotected sex, bullying, including cyber-bullying, are wreaking havoc in the lives of our young generation.
A bleak future awaiting us?
According to minister Yogida Sawmynaden, the gloomy results of a study performed last year on the youth of Mauritius indicate that drug abuse and violence are growing deeper roots in our society among the group of individuals considered to be our future.
The participation of a thousand young people was enlisted – 500 males and 500 females – to fill out questionnaires, distributed in youth centers and other institutions, to glean data about the spread of drugs and violence, together with other social problems, among them.
21 % of the young people affirmed having been involved in quarrels. 15.2 % of them admit having been injured in the fights.
More shockingly, 10.9 % asserted owning a weapon.
30 % were allegedly victims of theft, with 12 % of these threatened or wounded. Yet another 10.9 % said that they have themselves threatened or wounded someone.
Furthermore, 15.2 % of the participants said that they have been victims of bullying at their respective schools. 14.3 % mentioned cyber-bullying.
To add to the discouraging details, 22 % admitted to the regular use of marijuana (gandia, ‘mass’). 10 % of the young people also mentioned having tried heroin injection. 25 % are allegedly addicted to ecstasy.
66.2 % were regular smokers. It is to be noted that the selling of cigarettes to minors is illegal.
22 % stated having had sexual relations without using protection.
Ray of light?
The only positive points gathered from the study are that 94.3 % of them affirmed that they consumed vegetables, and 86.5 % included fruits in their diets.
However, around 5.5 % of them also stated being overweight.
From the results of the study, it seems that the sensitisation programs to raise awareness on these diseases gnawing at our society have not yielded the desired positive effects. Our youth itself, the future of the country, appears to be diseased. The medical sociologist behind the study, Saïd Ameerberg, stated that the young people need to be properly educated at the youngest age itself; charity starts at home, right?