The need for participation of youth in policy and decision making is becoming more urgent in today's time. Youth parliament is a platform for young people to take a concrete step towards the betterment of the society. We have conducted 2 youth parliaments in the last 1 year.
We orchestrated first ever Youth Parliament on Gender Based Issues in India and developed young leaders and change makers on this social cause. This was organized in Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University Campus on March 19, 2016. 200 youth participants attended the parliament coming from different districts of Rajasthan including both rural and urban areas. There were 30 students who were selected to present their research paper on the different themes of Gender. The students came from various disciplines such as Law, Management, and Social Work etc. from Mohan Lal Sukhadiya University, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University, Central University Rajasthan, Jain Bharti University Ladnun and SBP College Dungarpur.
Following were the themes which were focused on Gender Issues:
1. Early and Child Marriage
2. Eve Teasing
3. Sexual Harassment at Work Place
5. Declining Sex ratio
Students coming from both rural and urban areas have presented their research findings explaining the cause, consequences, suggestions and recommendations to the government to guide them on the policy making around gender issues. The Parliament focused on creating a Youth Charter which consists of the action points recommended by the young people to tell the government that it is the time for young people to enter in the administration.
Another one was held on the topic of Quality Education towards Sustainable Development on 6th October, 2016. The parliament was structured into panel discussion with youth/audience followed by development of an action plan around the themes. The main agenda of the program was to sensitize youth against the factors which are acting as impediments in the path of quality education and develop their understanding on the alarming issues. Some of the youth would further the action projects in their local communities and give their best to bring the change.
The topic of quality education was further divided into four themes which emerged out of the project. These are:-
1. Education lacks Innovation and Creativity
2. Education given is irrelevant to Job Market
3. Education couldn't end Social Disparity
4. Failures of RTE- High number of Dropouts
More such events will be held periodically by us to provide a platform to young people so that they can contribute their energies and knowledge towards sensitive issues of society leaving their footprints in this world.
16 days of Activism Campaign
4.5 million people worldwide are victims of forced sexual exploitation and 98% of these are women. Upto 7 in 10 women in the world report having experienced physical/sexual violence at some point of time. Women account for about 50% of the global population. It is totally unproductive and unacceptable to ignore this valuable half of the world. Gender based violence is an inevitable issue which needs to be addressed and resolved as soon as possible. Even after years of struggle of gender activists, the problem is persistent. It is a dire need to raise awareness at the local, regional and district level on Gender Based Issues and to reach out to the mass audience through effective and appropriate methods.
ALFA conducted 16 Days of Activism Campaign in Udaipur district of southern Rajasthan with an ultimate objective of spreading awareness on the issue and to develop young leaders, change makers and gender advocates in local communities. The campaign started from 25th November, 2016 and ended on 10th December, 2016. The campaign had various online as well as offline activities scheduled on different days.
We also celebrated 4 international days during the campaign:
1. 25 November - International Day for the elimination of violence against women
2. 29 November - International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
3. 5 December - International Volunteer Day
4. 10 December - International Human Rights Day
Major activities conducted during 16 days include film screening and discussion in different government school of Kherwara Block, focused group discussion with existing women groups formed within the community on Gender Based Violence, rally of young people and community members to speak out against the Gender Based Violence, forum theatre on Gender followed by the discussion, shooting small videos of young people from college/university campus presenting their views on gender based discrimination and violence they face and what effective steps and measures could be taken to prevent the same.
Samvidhan Live: The Jagrik Project
The Constitution of India is considered the lengthiest constitution in the world. It lays down the basic structure of the government under which its people are to be governed. The Constitution not only defines the powers of each organ, it demarcates the responsibilities of each. It regulates the relationship between the different organs and between the government and the people. It is very important for the citizens of our country to know about our constitution so that its purpose can be achieved. ALFA celebrated this journey of learning about the constitution of our nation in collaboration with CYC-The Youth Collective. Like ALFA, various organizations from around India went through this journey of 2 months. The project started from 26th November, 2016 (the day in the history when constitution was enacted) and got terminated on 26th January, 2017 (when it was adopted in 1950). This journey was lived through an experiential game for young people to learn about the constitution and in the process also come up with some kind of a report card on the citizen's performance on living the constitution.
Youth Peace Camp
ALFA Educational Society and Prayatna Samiti conducted three days of residential youth peace camp with young people coming from various different parts of Udaipur. The camp aimed at developing peace builders who will be going back to their community and will be initiating small action projects on peace and harmony. Looking at the conflicts and the issues within the community, the organization planned session with interactive activities in the camp through which youth participants went through an experiential learning process and developed their understanding on the dialogue and conflict transformation, cultural differences and perspectives. The camp engaged the participants in a meaningful dialogue which helped participants in finding out some ways to handle different conflicts and generate possibilities of living and learning together.
There were sessions on Tribal Identity, culture and conflict resolution, present scenario of communalism through cinema, conflict resolution with a Theater, role of young people in promoting peace, games, musical session and poster making on Peace, film screening and camp fire.