My Space – My unManifesto was a 7 month long youth -led program that viewed politics as a 5th Space – a space of exploration where youth could participate in the political process rather than just blaming the system and seeing it as a “dirty” space. Commutiny -The Youth Collective along with a coalition of over 45 civil society organizations came together to try and reconfigure the existing system through this program. The unManifesto campaign ran across 20 states and 2 Union Territories of the country with aim of engaging youth participation in the political process beyond simply voting on the day of elections. It reached 1.2 lakh youth on ground and 15 lakh people online.
The outcomes of the campaign were:
- Building learning and leadership amongst youth to take informed stances and engage in everyday politics rather than just during election time through engaging and interactive workshops
- Developing an understanding among the youth regarding what is politics, how does the system work and where can I as an individual citizen influence the decision making process The act of putting forth their voices to create the youth manifesto gave young people a sense of leadership as they were representing not only themselves but their peers, family, community and the nation. A National Youth unManifesto comprising of the Top 10 +1 youth promises was created through this process.
- Creating possible influence on party manifestos by engaging different political party representatives in dialogue and presenting the young people‟s manifestos to them.
The outcomes of the journey have focused on a holistic engagement and development of youth in politics, leadership and exploration on self vis-a-vis the society and a democratic nation.
10 + 1 unManifesto promises that were presented to the political parties before the general elections last year (2014):