‘Youth Bole: Ab Meri Baari’ Conclave Deliberates On Struggles Of Youth In India

The conclave held on 8 and 9 February 2024 combined virtual sessions on 8 February and the in-person sessions on 9 February at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi


‘Youth Bole: Ab Meri Baari’ is a collaborative platform that aims to foster learning and amplify best practices that enhance the agency of young people in India. The platform has been co-created with more than 50 partners working at the grassroots, national and international levels and from diverse cohorts, including young people collectives, civil society, influencers, government, funders, policymakers and academics.

The conclave was held on 8 and 9 February 2024 and combined virtual sessions on 8 February and in- person sessions on 9 February at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.

Speakers included, Dr Tanaya Narendra (Dr Cuterus), Doctor, Author, Educator, Changemaker; Aastha Malhotra, Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube; Abhijeet Pathak, Chief of Party & Country Lead – Family planning, Gender and Youth, Jhpiego; Almas, Youth Advisory Group Member, Youth Ke Bol; Ankush, Youth Leader, Founder, COHAS; Deepa Prasad, Chief, Programme and Technical Support, UNFPA; Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited, Youth Development & Partnerships, UNICEF; Divyanshu Singh, COO, JSW Sports.

Jarnail Singh, Deputy Country Director – India, MacArthur Foundation; Jatin Luthra, Associate Director, The Man Company; Kevin Lee, CEO, Yuvaa; Lora Prabhu, Founder-Director, CEQUIN; Nandika Kumari, Associate Director, Dasra; Natasha Joshi, Associate Director, Rohini Nilekani Philanthrophies; Nisha Dhawan, Vice President - Impact and Influence, Empower; Pooja Singh, Adolescent Girls Investment Plan; Prachi Garg, Market Access, Policy & Communications Lead - South Asia, Organon; Prianka Rao, Public Policy Manager, Meta and Priya Karna, Technical Officer, WHO also joined the conclave as speakers. 

Priyanka Panda, Youth Advisory Group Member, Youth Ke Bol; Puja Roy, Program Advisor – India, Girls First Fund; Rajini Menon, Senior Officer - Strategic Partnerships, Girls Not Brides; Reema Shrestha, Director, South Asia, Girls Education and Gender Equality, Room to Read; Sanaya Bharucha, Global Head, Youth Leadership and Voice, Teach for All; Sanjana Sanghi, Actor, UNDP Youth Champion; Sapna Gurjar, Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti; Sreya Bhattacharya, Senior Program Manager, Dalberg; Suheil Tandon, Founder, Pro Sport Development and Sylvia Thuku, Research Manager, Shujaaz Inc shared their insights as speakers at the event.

Virtual sessions from day one included panels on, ‘From Grants to Growth: Navigating Diverse Models in Funding Social Impact Initiatives’, ‘Unlocking Impact: Strategies and Stories of Successful Fundraising by Civil Society Organisations’, ‘Building Bridges: A Young People’s Roundtable on Meaningful Youth Engagement’, ‘Collective Insights: Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL)’, ‘Beyond the Field: Sports as a Catalyst for Youth Engagement’, ‘Gender & Digital Divide’ and ‘Connecting the Dots: Global South Perspectives on Youth Programming’.

‘Youth Bole: Ab Meri Baari’ hosted in-person discussions on, ‘Youth-Centric Systems Change’, ‘Stakeholder Strategies to Enable Systems Change’ and ‘Towards a better Quality of Life for Young People’ on day two. The closing address was delivered by Dr Rajendra Kumar, Director General, Employees' State Insurance Corporation, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

“In terms of specifically the kind of work we do in developing programs on the ground. I think it's been a learning for us, for instance, for someone like me, who comes from a somewhat different world, to try and understand if we are looking at all of these policies we've developed, say, five new tools over the last two years, how do we take this message to our users and how do we do it in a way that is interesting, engaging and also effectively communicates the technical nature of the subject without necessarily dumbing it down. We turn to organisations like Yuvaa to help us understand what is the best way to phrase conversations of this nature. When we're looking at who we choose to partner with, in terms of who the space of messages like this should be, I think it is looking at the profile of the person in terms of what they stand for,” asserted Prianka Rao, Public Policy Manager, Meta when talking about the responsibilities of a social media platform in shaping youth perception.

She noted that if someone is saying misogynistic things on their Twitter page or is doing those kinds of movies, they cannot be the face of a child safety campaign or a women's safety campaign. 

Rao added, “The reason why we look at those that have reach is because, very simply enough, that is how you can get the message across to a large audience. But I think it's very important that there be some synergy in terms of values and an understanding of what they stand for and demonstrating that they care about the cause.”

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