|Engaging the Young People
In an attempt to engage the young people more proactively into the discussion around priorities for the new development agenda beyond 2015, WNTA has collaborated with Youth Ki Awaaz to use social media platforms and generate discussions among the youth in this regard. Youth Ki Awaaz is India's largest online platform for young people to express themselves on issues of critical importance. We make best use of online journalism and social media to mobilize and engage young people in participatory and collaborative journalism.
To begin with, we decided to zero in on four broad themes to gauge the response of young people: caste-based discrimination, women's security, environmental sustainability and 'just' governance. This was followed by intensive and about a week / ten-day long online campaign for each theme where specific strategies were adopted to engage young people to discuss their views and share their feedback.We share some of the specially-designed infographics to capture some aspects of this discussion here.
Related to caste-based discrimination, over 1.3 lakh youth were engaged where discussion boards invited response to a query on whether poverty in the country was linked to caste-based discrimination and what were the solutions to address this problem. One comment that summed up a lot of sentiments and got a high number of votes was by Jitesh Rajani, and said, "Inequality is at the core of the caste system."
Another commentator, Kawalpreet Khurana opined "Caste system is deeply rooted in our Indian society. Cynical people shroud this discussion by advocating how reservations are undermining general category. What one ignores is that more than half of India lives in villages. Take the case of a SC tea stall helper who is discriminated, abused and does work that undermines their DIGNITY. What we need is change in the MENTALITY OF NOT ONLY POLICY MAKERS AND GOVERNMENT but also of the whole SOCIETY that these people are fellow humans, like YOU AND ME. We don't need more laws but making people aware of their RIGHTS."
On the issue of women's security, Youth ki Awaaz asked the young people to choose from five solutions to make their cities safer for women and girls:
1) Well-lit Roads and Safe Public Transport;
2)Gender Sensitization and Awareness during School Education;
3) Compulsory Citizen Training on Victim Care;
4) Women Recruitment in Police & Gender Sensitivity in Police Training;
5) Hospital/Emergency Healthcare Facility for Rape Victims. Over 1.4 lakh people participated and engaged in this discussion.
Gender Sensitization and Awareness during School Education got the highest number of votes at 57.45% (3659 votes). Well-lit roads and safe public transport was second-highest voted optionby 26.29% (1674 votes) people. Compulsory citizen training on victim care stood at 3.79%, women recruitment in police & gender sensitivity in police training stood at 11.65%, and Emergency Healthcare Facility for Rape Victims stood at 0.81%.
On the issue of environmental sustainability, Youth ki Awaaz launched a discussion around whether global warming is impacting India and how. Over 2.7 lakh people engaged through participation in the online discussion as well as through Facebook posts and discussions.
At present, the fourth and final campaign is ongoing around the issue of what comprises 'just' governance. This has been designed as an online quiz with the best entry receiving a prize of Rs.3000/- .
Read the information alert regarding this here -
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan
and Youth Ki Awaaz bring you the opportunity to tell us what "just and good governance" would really mean in India, and stand a chance to win Rs.3000, and also advocate for Good Governance
at the United Nations.Participate NOW at http://yka.be/JustGov
This apart, we have also been engaging with the young people directly by discussing with them on what according to them are the priorities for the new development agenda. Wada Na Todo Abhiyan met students of Lady Irwin College and Jamia Millia Islamia to share more about our campaign and also engage them with the discussion. Students at Lady Irwin College were well-versed with the MDGs and the critique of the same. There were many bright suggestions on what the new development agenda must entail – such as ensuring universal and free elementary education for all and nutritious food for all among other suggestions.
Students at Social Work department of Jamia Millia Islamia
At Jamia Millia Islamia too, students were receptive to the entire discussion and had clear expectations on what the new agenda must cover. They agreed that a rights-based approach was missing and needed to be highlighted and social exclusion was a critical aspect from the standpoint of most developing countries. They also concurred that the new development agenda would fail without shared responsibility.
In both the interactions, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan asked students to fill the My World Survey and had to answer to some difficult questions that were posed as to how could we choose from a set of essentials and prioritise things that all seemed important. A discussion on the way ahead in terms of global processes and UN's unenviable responsibility to anchor and bring about consensus in this regard were also discussed.