VartaLeap encourages Indian youths/Young India to be more socially aware during Covid times

VartaLeap a cross-sectoral, collaborative coalition for co-learning with a vast combined experience whose mission is to mainstream the narrative – ‘Every youth a Jagrik, every space nurturing Jagriks’ in collaboration with ComMutiny hosted the virtual event #GenNationBuilding – Youth Duties and Rights in Action on 30th January 2021. The event’s objective was to share the journey of the ‘GenNation Building Campaign that is amplifying a declaration of ‘Youth Duties and Rights (YDR)’ to bridge the between what is expected of young people towards ‘Nation Building’ and what are the expectations of young people themselves.

The event showcased the institutional adoption of this framework by many leading organisations including YuWaah, Rotaract 3190, NIIT Foundation, Quest Alliance etc. across the country and unveiled Q-कि: Plutory Power – A reality check gameshow casing lived experiences of Youth Duties & Rights!

While shedding light on the need for a separate youth duties and rights framework at the event, Sohini Bhattacharya, President and CEO, Breakthrough India, said “While the Indian demographic constitution has changed since the last census, it is important to note that the median age of Indians is expected to be 28 years in 2022, compared to 24 in 2011. What does that mean to us? – One that we must effectively utilize our time and efforts to channelise and engage with the youth in areas of democracy and its institutions. Secondly, while upskilling them, we should empower them to take calculated and right decisions and place trust in them to test their skill. There is a vital need to bridge this gap.” “The youth in the country are way above the bias of caste, religion, color, creed etc. They can collectively work towards the betterment of the country”, she added.

According to Ashraf Patel (Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2020, Co-Founder, Pravah and ComMutiny – The Youth Collective) “So far most youth programmes and policy initiatives have often focused on the economic dimension. We really need to come together and focus also on the psycho-social dimension of youth leadership.”.

The event was attended by over 500 young people and youth engagers (or vartaLeap/ coalition) from diverse backgrounds and organisations sharing their stories of institutional adoption of the YDR framework and revisiting many issues impacting their communities and their own lives in the light of youth duties and rights.

The highlight of the event was Q-कि: Plutory Power. Three intergenerational teams (YuWaah, vartaLeap and CSEI/ NYEF) participated in a fun-filled and informative quiz followed by real funny and relevant real plays (prepared by the teams before hand) around the duties and rights combinations (Decision making and Representation; Inclusion and Safe Spaces; Sustainable Livelihood Opportunities and Volunteering). Since, this format was one of its kind, especially for an online event, the audience was thoroughly engaged and participated enthusiastically. They not only played the quiz alongside the teams but were also judges to the real play. The kind of relatability the audience members experienced with each other, due to the nature of the real plays was very reflective of how young people are usually engaged with in our country.

Youth Duties is not just a framework to get familiarised with but has to become a lived experience and given the response and engagement with Q-कि, the coalition intends to run slams such as these across the country. The audience was to continue embedding the YDR framework in their lives, organisations, conduct Q-कि in their own communities, join vartaLeap innovation labs and download the YDR App to access the declaration readily.

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