Start Date : 01 Jan 2017 , End Date : 01 Jan 2018
As citizens we study, play, work and live together, every day, in society. But, we are all different. We differ because of our upbringing. We differ on account of religion, caste, economic status, language and genders. Even when we have the same religion, socio-economic status and language, the experiences and opinions of women and men are different. In the same office, various colleagues may have different opinions and analysis of the same problem. In all generations, youngsters disagree with their parents and elders in the family and community, because experiences and views differ.
As aware, active and engaged citizens, we make democracy function in our lives, every day, in various ways.
- Listening to different opinions and views is a democratic act.
- Respecting different views, even if expressed by a few, is a democratic act.
- Valuing other’s knowledge, even when ignored by authorities, is a democratic act.
- Encouraging others to share their views, and speak up on what they like and do not like, is a democratic act.
- Encouraging conversations across people with different views and opinions is a democratic act.
- Facilitating agreements to be, act, work and live together, despite differences, is a democratic act.
- Constantly questioning my attitudes towards differences in views of others, and different others, is a courageous democratic act.
India is the largest democracy in the world today, with half our population below 25 years of age. This is the largest group of youth in any country, any time in history. The future of democracy in India depends a great deal on how youth engage in the coming period. Given all the socio-economic challenges being faced by us, it is important that Indians, in particular the future generation, continue to believe in and support democratic forms of governance and live democracy every day. Learning to practice democratic citizenship, especially by millions of youth in everyday life, needs nurturance.
For it is only when we appreciate, listen, respect, value, encourage and facilitate democratic values and principles - in the political system, and in families, communities, and in society - will India become a truly democratic nation.
In its 35th year, PRIA has launched ‘Youth-n-Democracy’, a year-long campaign to promote the participation of youth in #DemocracyInEverydayLife. PRIA believes in authentic, empowering participation of all sections of society in urturing, protecting and deepening democracy, and in its 35th year (2017) commits to facilitating engagement of 1 million youth across 100 districts and cities of the country.
‘Youth-n-Democracy’ will channelize the creativity of youth and the wisdom of crowds to understand:
- What do the youth of India think of, and about, democracy?
- Do they experience such democracy in everyday life?
- What restricts democracy in their everyday life?
- How can the democratic ethos in India be improved?
- How would the youth like to do this?
The campaign kicked off in New Delhi with a street theatre competition, Youthra 2017. Thirteen drama groups from colleges across Delhi University participated in the two-day competition. The competition was held on 4th February at PVR Saket Market and on 5th February at V3S Mall, Laxmi Nagar, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Youthra 2017 was organised in collaboration with Jazba Theatre Group and DU Beat was the media partner.
Events were also held across the country, in at least 6 PRIA field locations – puppet shows in Ajmer, street theatre in Muzaffarpur, discussions and debates with university students and NSS volunteers in Jhansi and Sonipat, media engagement in Jaipur and painting competitions with school children in Vishakapatnam.
All events are youth-led, with active engagement of young in debating, supporting and upholding #DemocracyInEverydayLife.