On 2nd October 2018, the international day of non-violence, ComMutiny – The Youth Collective launched ‘Be a Jagrik! Samvidhan Live !.. Live the SDGs’ public initiative in association with 32 partner organisations. This initiative aims to build young people’s capacities to meet the challenge of living the constitution and sustainable development goals as they refl-act (reflect+act) in the real world. Using their experiential discoveries provided by a fun filled game, played over six weeks in their own area, young Jagriks will develop an understanding of how fundamental rights and duties play out in reality.
At a time when India’s economy is growing at a rate of 7.7% , India’s rank in human development index remains at a staggering 130 of 189 countries in 2018. The income inequality remains high and 1% of the population controls most of the wealth generated; this is the cause of lot of social tension. With the literacy of rate of 74 % it becomes very difficult for government agencies to implement policies towards social inclusion, as most of the policies and laws passed in the parliament do not reach people. Also it becomes difficult for people to participate in the decision making process. India also has highest number of young people in the world and the growing unemployment makes it hard for the young people to engage in political and social discourse in a meaningful way. It becomes imperative to create an awareness of the fundamental rights and duties enshrined in the constitution and at the same be aware of what can be equated to the constitution of the world, the SDG’s.
Be a Jagrik public initiative have been launched simultaneously in 14 states in collaboration with 32 partners. As the Jagriks undertake self and community action on-ground, they also take their powerful voice for the change to the world.
Misao Hejang Hangmi, a Jagrik facilitator from the partner organisation Inside North East feels that the initiative brings a change in the perception of education among students and it also inspires the students to ask questions . As an example of this change, he gives an example from the previous cycle of the initiative, where Jagriks in North Eastern part of Manipur went to a police station and inquired from the officer in command as to how many cases have been lodged in the past two years and to their surprise they found out that there wasn’t a single case. See his video here.
Another Jagrik facilitator Ali from the partner organizations, The YP Foundation talks about the how in the previous cycle of the intervention, while recapping the experience of one of the tasks, was almost in tears while recounting her experience of the struggle to spend a day in Rs.32.
Namita Agarwal, Principal of the Jamshedpur Public School, students of which participated in the initiative shares how students of the commerce section went through a 5 week journey of becoming aware and active citizens and thus have a better understanding of constitutional rights and duties in form of personal and collective activities. The top Jagrik students also got an opportunity to come to Delhi for a National Celebration Event where they met peer Jagriks from all over india and exchanged their experiences with each other. After the completion of the journey, Jagriks from the school also conducted street plays and workshops to spread the awareness about becoming aware and active citizens.
In these confusing times of information barrage, political instability, fast changing social order and exclusion of certain identities, it can be very hard to formulate our stand which will determine our personal and collective action. Gaurang Raval founder of Sauhard, which works with young people on issues like peace, harmony and equality in Ahmedabad thinks that the constitution of India can be our touchstone on which our personal and collective actions can be judged and performed. For this year journey, Sauhard has already completed orientation of their current batch of Jagriks who are ready to kick-start their journey with their first week’s self and community tasks.
Over the course of the coming 3 months 1550 jagriks from across the nation will engage in the process of becoming aware and active citizens in the most fun way.
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This article is contributed by Maitreyo Bhattacharya, who is currently volunteering at ComMutiny.
ComMutiny – The Youth Collective (CYC) is working towards building vibrant eco-systems and youth-centric spaces which we call the 5th Space. The 5th Space is a space that exists beyond and between the 4 legitimate spaces occupied by youth that is Family, Friends, Education / Career and Recreation. These erstwhile spaces for youth are more often than not governed by others, the rules of these spaces and the norms are not set by young people. The 5th Space alternatively is co-governed by youth and the youth facilitators and rejects the instrumentalist view towards young people. It focuses on transforming young people by engaging them in deep self exploration and supporting their social action experiments to become changemakers and awakened active citizens (Jagriks) of their communities, their nations, the planet and the larger Universe.. A window to the 5th Space is offered in this short spunky animation 18 Till I Die