Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish

Why Jaipur?

Our exchange with young people and organizations across the city of Jaipur led us to discover that while Rajasthan is known for its social activism across the world, the young people in Jaipur tend to be very disconnected from this legacy. The city is undergoing a number of changes which is resulting in a lot of turmoil. In terms of aspirations, the city is looking towards Delhi- malls, multi- storied buildings and call centers. Personality development, English speaking classes and tuitions for civil services among others are on the rise. Dealing with this fast paced urbanisation while being rooted in the cultural tradition has created a tough situation for young people. In this fast-paced, competitive world, the locus has somewhere shifted from education for development of character and growing up to become an effective human being, to education that merely equips young adults to do well for themselves alone. This has led to a preoccupation of the young person with his/her own development in exclusion of the rest of society.

Why do we need to work with Young people?
We believe that young people can change the world today. We believe that the young people have great energy and passion which infuses young people with the potential to initiate, actualize and sustain positive change in the world. Every young person has a potential to be a changemaker, all they need is an opportunity to discover that potential.

In a world where every day brings a new headline to add a sense of insecurity and fear, values like trust, love, peace and interdependence are fast giving way to cynicism, and a desire to focus on just self.

In this scenario, many young people who want to engage often hold back (willingly or unwillingly) for fear of being perceived as mad or being labeled as the odd one out. Often they are held back by their immediate families, who feel that this may take them away from their path towards success.

In this process the young people loose a great opportunity to develop as good human beings, who retain their individuality while valuing interdependence and hence connect their self with the larger society. The ability to think and analyse for one self, look beyond what exists, take stances and action, are all skills which are necessary skills for both career and in life and are learnt in the process of becoming an active citizen. Working with young people to inspire them to become change makers and active citizens is therefore imperative to the health of the entire world.

What is active citizenship?
The word citizenship is often viewed solely from the political lens. To many of us it defines the relationship of an individual vis a vis a state.

However, we believe that a citizen is also a denizen of a city, a nation and a world. We have a responsibility as guardians of these common spaces, beyond our homes and institutions.

Citizenship is that, which makes us participative, proactive, and responsible towards society. This citizenship is boundaryless, not defined by state, caste, religion, language.

An active citizen is someone who steps out of the comfort zone of complacency and acts for social change. Values of interdependence and ownership are at the core of active citizenship.

What is Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish?
The JEJ is going to be a space to celebrate the young changemakers, inspire young people to get engaged and see how the process will benefit both them and the world at large. It will also give them concrete spaces to get involved through volunteering and other means, and put the focus on how it can be cool to be an active citizen. The Festival we hope will also help the society at large see active citizenship as an integral part of education of a young person.

We hope that the spirit of fun, celebration and hope, along with real examples will help inspire young people to embark on a journey of self to society, and start the process of creating a community of Youth active citizens who can create their own vision of what Jaipur should be like and act on it.

What will the Jashn- e- Jaipur: A Youth Jumbish do?
There are many young people wishing to create social change and becoming active citizens in Jaipur. However, they often find themselves in isolation and feel the need for a platform where they could connect with like minded peers, and discover and enhance their potential as change makers.

It is precisely this platform that we want to start building through the Jaipur Youth Festival. With this festival, young people will be inspired to become active citizens by creating their vision of Jaipur, celebrating the work of young active citizens and identifying ways in which they can get involved.

It will also create a case for how getting involved in society gives a space to learn many things including skills which help in developing a good responsible human being which will help in both career and life.

All this of course while having fun, and using interactive and creative methodologies like theatre, music, art, and craft among others.

Some questions that we hope the Big Shout will raise:
- Can Citizenship be more than just a relationship of an individual and a state?
- What are our responsibilities to common spaces beyond our homes and institutions?
- How are our lives connected with those who we have never met?
- What can we do to make love, peace and respect universal values?
- Why is Active citizenship so important?
- How can we move from independence to interdependence?

To inspire young people to become active citizens by promoting new thinking and imagination on the theme and recognizing citizenship work done by young people.

- To inspire young people to become active citizens by recognizing and celebrating existing youth citizenship work.
- To create a community of Young active citizens who can engage with social action by helping them identify ways in which they can make a difference through methods such as volunteering.
- To enable young people to make a connection between self and society and make a case for active citizenship as an integral part of an individuals’ education and life.

Possible Outcomes:
- 40 young people register to volunteer with different organizations.
- 30 people sign up for exposure trips
- A forum of young active citizens who meet once every month for sharing what they are doing towards the Jaipur that they want and have imagined and sessions by diff orgs as inputs for the same.

Target Group- 15- 25 years

Scope of Impact- Adolescents, Youth and Parents and the larger society.

The Festival will actually be rolled out in three stages:

Stage One: Pre Event stage
- Connecting with various schools, colleges and organizations as well as individuals and identifying groups who could be interested in the festival. These groups could then be asked to choose a theme. Options could be offered where in the group if they choose could interact with a issues based facilitator and a skills based facilitator to create their presentation. (also connected with the Film fest and exposures).
- Identifying people and groups of youth who are already engaged in cit action.
- Connecting with different organizations and getting them on board for volunteering and interactive stalls.
- Film festival on issues
- Exposures

Stage Two: Event

Stage Three: Post event stage
Follow up

How can different people/ groups / institutions get involved :

- Send children on the day of the event to participate (sections 9 and 11 pref)
- Choose to create a group to perform on day of event- within which
Option a- To choose a theme and devise it on their own
Option b- they ask us to connect them with facilitators on issues and/ or skill
- Host a film screening followed by a session on an issue to engage people in dialogue.
- Hold an internal debates, discussions and sessions, to talk about what is active citizenship and its need.
- Take the children for an exposure (with or without our help)
- Nominate groups/ individuals who have already been engaged in social action (groups who participated in Project Citizen)
- Ask children to create posters, write poetry, and create notice boards in this issue.
- Hold parents – children dialogue on this issue.
- Hold internal sessions on skill building on how to get engaged in society.

- All of the above
- Give us space to mobilize people and invite them to participate even outside of college if the college does not wish to engage directly.
- Nominate students as volunteers for the fest.

- Stalls during the event
- Facilitators for issues and skills- help facilitate the process
- Take on volunteers
- Facilitate exposures
- Volunteer as part of org team
- Share resources
- Help in outreach
- Help in identifying other facilitators and access to young people
- In case youth or adolescent oriented org then all the options as under schools and colleges.
- Developing creative interfaces between school and college students and the communities that they work with.

Artists- Theatre, painters, photography, musicians etc.:
- Help facilitate the process with young people.
- Create pieces on social issues which can be exhibited during the event and even before and after to make people think
- Creative ways of communication through the festival

Media :
- Outreach
- Taking up the issue for public dialoguing

These are some of the ideas that we have on ways in which people can engage
This is to bring the attention to the members of the youth group,the chief coordinator,and the viewers.that me,Rachit,kaushal are seriously planning to conduct a theatre and comics workshop at JEC kukas.our main focus would be on confidence building,extra curricular activity and active citizen ship.tentative time 2nd week of sept.we need help from all of you.let's do it. . .junglistan rocks!!
What do you guys think? Read and comment...

Politics of Identity and Intolerance
Ram Puniyani

On fifth of June (2008) a group of followers of Shiv Sangram Sanghtan (SSS), led by a former MLC of Nationalist Congress party, attacked the house of editor of Loksatta, a prominent Marathi daily, Kumar Ketkar and tried to break open the house. They broke the glass panes, did other possible damage and smeared the house with coal tar, before leaving. They, as per their leader, were expressing their spontaneous anger against Ketkar, who according to them had insulted Shivaji in his editorial. This editorial was a sarcastic criticism of the Maharashtra Government's move to build statue of Shivaji, which will be taller than the one of statue of Liberty, and it will be located in the Arabian Sea, on an island, which will have to be built and an approach to the island will have to be made.

This will involve expenses, which will be in astronomical figures. Ketkar, one of the leading journalist and conscience raiser of society, questioned the wisdom of the Government in planning for such a monument when the state is riddled with so many problems, like farmers suicide, children's malnutrition, unemployment and the like. Ketkar had not once questioned the respect for Shivaji which a large section of Mahrashtrians have. What was surprising was that apart from the attack, some of those posing to be respecting Shivaji, claimed that such an 'inspiring' monument will solve the problems of the state!

What is surprising is that in a state known for its liberal, progressive traditions, the tactics adopted by the likes of SSS have not been the only ones of this type. Earlier we witnessed an attack on Bhandarkar Institute, Pune by similar characters when James Laine's book subtly hinted at the real parentage of Shivaji. Since Laine did his research at this institute. Similarly earlier Shiv Sena had created ruckus when secular activist Teesta Setalvad had prepared a handbook for a school which mentioned that Shivaji was a Shudra.

While this is true, currently the word Shudra is perceived in a derogatory sense so Shiv Sena's ire! As such Shivaji has been invoked to build a particular type of identity. In current times Bal Thackeray in his anti non-Mahrashtrian stance built it up for political gains. The same identity was used to give anti Muslim message, contrary to the fact that Shivaji was not against Muslims, he had innumerable Muslims in his administration, army, Navy and what have you. He also had immense respect for Hazarat Baba Bahutthorwale a Sufi saint.

Contrary to the truth and facts Shiv Sena succeeded in undertaking anti Muslim pogrom and anti Muslim politics to polarize the Hindus, in the name of Shivaji. By and by Mahrashtraian identity has come to be fixed around Shivaji alone, bypassing the glorious heritage of Saints like Tukaram and Chokha Mela, bypassing the doyens of social change like Jotiba Phule and Ambedkar. This bypasses innumerable freedom fighters from Maharashtra and the large groups of rational thinkers also. Shivaji's identity was deliberately picked up by communal forces as there are few instances which if seen selectively, may sound against Muslims and others.

This selective projection has been employed for motivated and crooked political calculations. They have most of the times reaped political harvest by abusing the identity of Shivaji for their political goals. Last few years with the growing neglect of social issues the identity politics is being given exalted importance and so other political formations have also been resorting to the use of this identity politics around Shivaji. With the growth of this comes the intolerance where any criticism, real or perceived against the icons is met with attacks aimed to muzzle the voice of those protesting against some or other policy.

The degree of intolerance is so intense that the attackers are not bothered even about the real social issues, they many a times, even don't read what has been written and merely on the ground of make believe; take the law in their hands to pursue their politics. In Mahrashtra Bal Thackeray did it to a great effect and now other political elements are also doing the same. This type of politics essentially wants to preserve the status quo and distract the attention from basic social issues. Ketkar essentially was urging upon the government to take the basic issues and not to resort to the politics of tokenism. In current times, especially from last two decades the identity politics has been imposed upon the society.

It all began with RSS combine (RC) (RSS and its progeny, BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Vanvasi kalian Ashram etc) throwing up the issue of Ram temple which was to distract the attention from real issues related to caste, gender and workers-Adivasi rights. With Lord Ram being brought forward as symbol of Indian identity the problems of poor were pushed to the back seat and today what we see that now Ram Sethu issue is being presented as the major problem. Emotive, identity related issues have the potential to create social hysteria and so have the power to undermine the real social problems. Now the housing for poor gets substituted by temple for Lord Ram and that's how the agenda of this identity politics can be understood. One recalls attacks on journalists in the aftermath of Babri demolition. One is witnessing today the attacks on those speaking against the goals of divisive identity politics.

While those undertaking such attacks must be punished, the identity politics itself needs to be defeated and the issues related to the people of society need to be put on the forefront of the social agenda. The decade of 1980s saw the transition when the issue based politics was undermined by diverse social processes and vested interests to project their social interests in the name of religion and in the wake of Meenakishipuram conversions of Dalts to Islam, Shah Bano judgement and opening of the locks of Babri mosque heralded the opening of floodgates of identity related issues and politics.

It is not that identity is always counter productive. For the oppressed groups identity around their icons may give them necessary strength to demand for their rights. But that is only in the beginning. Over a period of time, the positive signals get converted into ritualism and the inner meaning is gradually dwarfed. This is what happened with the statues of Dr. Ambedkar. While the dalit politics was struggling to invent new language to ensure their rights, the proliferation of statues of Dr. Ambedkar was accompanied by infinite divisions in the dalit movement. Those who were deeply opposed to the rising dalit assertion and power took this opportunity and came in the field to erect bigger statues while replacing his language of Learn, Organize and Struggle with Social Harmony, Samajik Samarasta.

These statues of Dr. Ambedkar were also deliberately desecrated to create trouble in Dalit areas. Currently large number of temples and statues of Shabri and Hanuman are being installed by RSS affiliate Vanvasi Kalyan Ahsram in Adivais areas to give the subtle message that Adivaisi are to upper caste what Hanuman and Shabri were to Lord Ram. While a lot needs to be understood about Mayawati's politics, from her transition from Bahujan to Sarvajan, from her original dalit stance to collaboration with BJP for some time, her defense of Gujarat carnage and her electoral interventions which may mostly be benefiting the BJP politics, what is undoubted is that while initially she gave a sort of strength to dalits quest for assertion, currently she is more busy with erecting her own statues.

At the same time her stance of sitting on a level higher than her supporters; also indicate the shift from Ambedkar's values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. The complexity of social phenomenon is immense. While those talking in the language of Rights are being marginalized the one's projecting identity and emotive issues are making hay. Attack on Ketkar on this ground has more to say than just freedom of expression, it also reminds us that the type of opinions which could be expressed freely some time ago is a no-no in contemporary times. The best example of this is probably celebrated and currently hounded painter M.F. Hussein. While he drew Goddess Sarswati and many other such paintings in previous decades, the attacks came in last two decades alone. The same paintings were 'discovered' in 90s and he became the target of attacks and forced to leave India.

Case of Taslima also comes fairly close. While not commenting on her understanding of Koran and Islam, one can say that she also had to suffer much more from late nineties till now. The writers, painters and opinion makers are consciously being intimidated and frightened to ensure that merchants of identity politics are able to undermine the issues related to bread, butter, shelter, employment and human rights. And that's what is the agenda of those who unleash the politics of Rath yatras, Gujarat Carnage, beat up Taslima or attack Ketkar. At surface they may sound to be divided along religious lines, but they have a deeper unity, abolish democracy-bring in identity based nation sate.
Empowering children for active citizenship
Rama Errabelli

I was standing in a queue at a pharmacy, when a man cut the line, and walked confidently up to the counter, stuck his hand out, expecting the pharmacist to fill his prescription. A foreigner, waiting patiently in line for his turn, called out: "excuse me, sir, there's a line here!" To this, my fellow citizen turned around and said: "what line? No line in India, only line in America!" And turned back to the counter.

Extremely embarrassed and offended at the man's response, I walked up to the counter and requested the pharmacist not to attend to him unless he joined the line. The pharmacist firmly requested him to join the line. But when the man pressed on, insisting that "there are no rules in India", the pharmacist gave up and filled his prescription.

Several situations like this have arisen before, but this time the incident really annoyed me. Initially I was concerned about the man's irresponsible response. But as days passed, and I recounted the incident to my family and friends, two things began to bother me. The first was the pharmacist's "let us get this over with and move on" attitude, and the second — no one else in the line objected to the man's disregard for the people waiting their turn.

I was, and continue to be, deeply concerned by this attitude. What makes us so numb that we do not even respond? Is it the "I cannot change him, why should I bother?" attitude or is it "what is the big deal?" Swalpa adjust madi or just "let someone else take care". I believe it is deep-rooted apathy.

How do we teach our children and ourselves that being silent spectators will not solve our problems? How do we confront this apathy and engage as "active citizens" of our society? How do we develop a deep sense of belonging to address the challenges that face us? How do we inculcate respect for our fellow citizens, respect for the society, the nation?

The answer is quite clear. We need to teach our children social and moral responsibility, the idea of citizenship, from an early age. Children have to be empowered with knowledge, skills and values that will guide them into being active citizens. To strengthen the values taught by parents, schools too must teach children — honesty, integrity, fair play, service and respect for fellow citizens. Schools can also play a crucial role in nurturing active citizens by focusing on building skills in children. Skills that will make them confident to effect change. Skills to think analytically, communicate effectively, solve problems and make decisions.

Finally, schools play a key role in empowering children with knowledge, and motivating them to actively engage in the concerns of the society. Children need to be taught their rights and responsibilities, and to understand how the various public institutions like the government functions. Schools can build awareness and sensitise children to important civic issues in their communities, and encourage them to explore solutions to those issues.

One cannot lecture to children on the idea of citizenship. Citizenship values, skills and knowledge can be cultivated only through practice. Classrooms are a perfect place for this learning to take place. Over the past five years, Janaagraha successfully introduced Bala Janaagraha, a practical citizenship education programme for children, to nearly 15,000 children in schools across Bangalore. Through interactive classes and project work children are empowered with the knowledge, skills and values necessary to shoulder the responsibility of citizenship.

If we "sow the seeds of citizenship" in our children today, then, it won't be long before there is a scenario where if a person breaks the queue, every one in the line will protest, the counter in-charge will insist that he will not be served unless he joins the line, and the man understanding what he has done, will graciously move to the end of the line.

(The writer is Coordinator, Bala Janaagraha, Janaagraha)
This post is in view with the present situation,young guns after 10+2,while choosing a suitable career for them,have a imbroglio as there are thousands of new avenues,through this post i'd like each visitor to give their educational details,how they got the inspiration to go for this course and what are the new avenues,so that we can clear the carrier related doubts of many students
प्रवाह यानी बहाव! कहा भी गया है कि बहता पानी निर्मला। लेकिन क्या यह बात पानी के अलावा मनुष्यों के विचारों और उसकी सोच पर भी उतनी ही लागू नहीं होती? विचारों के बहते रहने और उनके निर्मल बने रहने का क्या कोई सीधा संबंध है? एक युवा होने के नाते मुझे यह बात बहुत महत्वपूर्ण लगती है कि इस उम्र में हम अपने विचारों का निर्माण अपने आस पास के समाज से ही करते हैं और यह हमारी ‘जीवन दृष्टि’ के निर्धारण का एक और महत्वपूर्ण पड़ाव होता है। आस-पास की घटनाओं और लोगों के बारे में हमारी राय एक बदलाव भी बन सकती है यदि हम उसे बनाना चाहें। फुटपाथ पर सोने वाले लोगों, वंचित समुदायों या फिर विस्थापन की दरिद्रता सभी लोगों के लिए एक जैसी संवेदना पैदा नहीं कर सकती। यह संवेदनाएं पैदा भी नहीं होती बल्कि यह हमारे विचारों का हिस्सा होती है जो रह-रह कर फूटती रहती है।
प्रवाह जयपुर इनिशिएटिव एक पहल से कहीं ज्यादा एक ‘जीवन दृष्टि’ का विचार है जो हमको हमें अपनी सोच और नजरिये को निरंतर परिष्कृत कर उसे निर्मल बनाये रखने के लिए अवसर प्रदान करता है। अब तक बने बनाये नजरियों से आगे बढ़कर स्वयं की सोच और रचनात्मकता को अपने भीतर देख पाना और निरंतर सीखते रहने के लिए प्रोत्साहन उसका एक अभिन्न अंग है। समाज को सीखाने से कहीं ज्यादा उससे सीखने का उत्साही कदम बढ़ाने वाले युवाओं के एक प्रवाह की जरूरत आज समाज में दिखाई देती है। हममें से कितने लोग इसके लिए आगे आते हैं और एक नई बहस हमारे भविष्य और सामाजिक सरोकारों को कितना निर्मल करती है यह प्रश्न हम सभी को मिलकर हल करना है।

Gopal Singh

Be the Change, you want to see in the World- M.Gandhi
What is Pravah and Pravah Jaipur Initiative?

About Pravah:

Pravah is a youth development organization which has been working since 1992, to promote leadership for social justice among young people. Through our work we aim to promote values such as non violence, love, diversity, interdependence, collaboration and sustainable development. Pravah’s work over the past 15 years has been mainly directed towards making a case for youth development. Our core competence lies in developing and facilitating creative and impactful experiential learning initiatives for adolescents, youth, NGOs and other educational institutes. We also support youth startups and other organizations through organizational development and programmatic support. In addition we are engaged in influencing public policy in the field of youth. We are supported in our work through partners all over the country as well as national and international resource organizations such as – The Ford Foundation, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Wipro, Misereor, National Youth Foundation, Youthreach, Ashoka, Global Fund for Children and Voluntary Service Overseas

For more information on our organization and programmes please visit www.pravah.org and www.younginfluencers.com.

The Pravah Jaipur Initiative


Pravah’s engagement with youth and civil society organizations in Rajasthan can be traced back to its own inception. The initial support for setting up Pravah came from organizations like SWRC, Tilonia, Urmul and Sankalp and subsequently we had the privilege of relating with many other grassroots organizations in the region. We have been hugely inspired by these social change endeavours and exchanges.This inspiration led us to the desire to look for ways to deepen these engagements in order to strengthen the field of youth development.

Our exchange with young people and organizations across the city of Jaipur led us to discover that while Rajasthan is known for its social activism across the world, the young people in Jaipur tend to be very disconnected from this legacy. The city is undergoing a number of changes which is resulting in a lot of turmoil. In terms of aspirations, the city is looking towards Delhi- malls, multi- storied buildings and call centers. Personality development, English speaking classes and tuitions for civil services among others are on the rise. Dealing with this fast paced urbanisation while being rooted in the cultural tradition has created a tough situation for young people. In this fast-paced, competitive world, the locus has somewhere shifted from education for development of character and growing up to become an effective human being, to education that merely equips young adults to do well for themselves alone. This has led to a preoccupation of the student with his/her own development in exclusion of the rest of society.

It is not that young people wishing to create social change and becoming active citizens are non existent in Jaipur. They do exist, but what appears to be absent is a platform where the young people could discover and enhance their potential as change makers.

Having successfully nurtured a number of initiatives within Pravah as well as within other organizations, we are currently in the process of incubating Pravah Jaipur Initiative- a youth development organization. This organization aims to create precisely this platform in the form of a Youth Resource Centre.


Building leadership for social change and justice among young people in Jaipur by building with and in youth:

- Respect and understanding of citizenship=

- Attitude of ownership for common spaces,

- Skill of leadership for social change, and

- Behaviours to develop strong relationship as the foundation

About the Pravah Jaipur Initiative:

The Youth Resource Centre will create a knowledge bank of various programmes, and opportunities for young people. From fellowships and awards to recognise those who have already undertaken citizenship action to those who would like to explore the arena. The centre will seek to connect young people to the relevant opportunities by helping the latter access them.

The centre will do this by offering the following:

a) Creative Media fellowships for youth development: to encourage the use of creative media such as theatre, art, comics, writing, photography, music and sculpting in this field. These will be offered in both urban as well as rural spaces and both in monetary and non- monetary forms.

b) National and international learning opportunities in the form of workshops, seminars, fellowships, awards, internships, exposures, and volunteering placements.

c) Capacity building workshops with adolescents and youth and organizations engaging youth in different ways, including schools, colleges and NGOs.

d) Creating public platforms in partnership with other organizations for youth engagement through Youth Festivals, youth clubs, volunteering placements, skill and issue meetings, and exposure and internship opportunities.