Youth Rights and Leadership

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On the 24th of February, we at One Future Collective hosted an IG Live on ‘Youth Rights and Leadership’. With Deepa as the moderator, a former One Future Fellow and we were joined by Deepa Pawar, the founder of Anubhuti and Sukannyaa, a member of Pravah.

 

Deepa started by asking what the speakers’ definitions of youth rights were. Deepa Pawar takes the examples of Babasaheb Ambedkar and Savitribai Phule who were young themselves when they started working on creating a change. This shows how important youth rights are in a country like India. We must all help in building a stronger bridge to connect the effort of the youth in taking part in the revolution and we must be inclusive in this effort. According to her, youth rights are no separate component of the values of India’s constitution. However, they do require more attention to the process and implementation. 

 

Sukannyaa believes the stage between adolescence and adulthood is a very important and eye-opening phase where one experiences many aspects of life like work, justice, and equality in a different light. Each person experiences unique challenges and difficulties in this journey. We must highlight these challenges and bring them into mainstream conversations.

 

Pravah does this on three levels: First is by changing the way we view the youth and avoiding stereotypes where we look down on them or view them through a tokenistic lens of pawns needed to create a better economy. This in turn avoids creating a barrier and empowers the youth. The second is by creating spaces for the youth to represent their communities when it comes to conversations around rights and equality and doing this through an intersectional perspective. The third is by questioning ourselves on how we can create safe environments for the youth to work and build on their strengths and meet people of different identities. 

 

Deepa then goes on to question how Anubhuti has made sure to address intersectionality in its efforts. Deepa Pawar highlights how there is a common misconception that the youth are not interested in politics in general. Engagement in politics must be created in educational institutions, but when these institutions shun students from understanding, critiquing, and participating in politics it creates a bad environment. These spaces must promote political literacy and not political hatred. Anubhuti works as a mirror to show the youth what they can do. The youth have their own lived experiences to reflect on and we try our best to question the root causes of these experiences. Fortunately, the marginalized communities of our country, be it nomadic tribes, the trans community, or working women are naturally equipped to understand the issues that all Anubhuti has to do as an organization, is to facilitate. Deepa reminisces about this process and says it’s been a two-way street. Anubhuti has learned just as much as it has taught while working with the young.

 

The statement ‘personal is political’ rings true to covering intersectionality. For instance, being a woman, you naturally are drawn to and affected by women’s rights. Anubhuti designs its approach underlining these specific identities as these identities dictate the strengths, challenges, and living situations of these individuals.

 

Deepa then goes on to ask Sukannyaa how Pravah has made efforts to create a safe environment for young people to grow. Sukannya addresses how Pravah tries to create these spaces without setting prior expectations that are often a burden and allows the youth to create and explore on their own. Our internship programs also see people from different parts of India such as Jammu and Kashmir and the south as well interacting among themselves. This not only is educative but also increases empathy for those different from us.

 

Deepa Pawar says that creating these spaces is not easy, especially in movements. Asking questions has become more and more dangerous over time. We are indoctrinated with the ideology that marginalized communities do not and should not be given the capacity to participate in political scenarios. Fighting such social biases is no easy feat. When speaking about these safe spaces, Deepa wishes to highlight the need for a support system to rescue the youth when they are caught in the realms of authority for standing up.

 

The panel concluded the talk by lending their idea of the concept ‘Young Feminist People Power’. Sukkannyaa believes this concept stretches itself to all forms of representation. Deepa Pawar then questions why we still don’t recognize the feminist movements native to India far before the movement was given a name in the west. Savitribai Phule and Fatima are perhaps the best examples of Young Feminist People Power narratives. She wishes for us to resurface these narratives, learn from the past experiences of the women that have helped create a change with integrity and create our own stories as we go on.

 

You can watch the full video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CaXYZX9pnn2/

I want to be free, but patriarchy and capitalism tether me!

Pride with OFC, 2022

Who decides what queerness looks like?

Who decides what queerness looks like?

Education Justice in the Pandemic

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On 15th February, One Future Collective hosted a live session on ‘Education Justice in the Pandemic’. Mrinalini, an educator at the ClayLabs Education Foundation coordinated the session with discussants Manvi, co-founder of Alokit; Drashti from Slam Out Loud; and Tarusha, an action researcher at HumanQind. The session aimed to understand the impact of the pandemic on the education sector from on-ground activists and social workers involved in the field. The session also critically looked at the gaps in policies that address inequality in access to education.

 

The IG live began with discussing the effects of COVID-19 on the education sector and how students, teachers, and educators have been deeply impacted. Mrinalini set the context with statistical facts and data about education inequality worldwide, including India, where 45% of the students drop out before pursuing higher education. As education was never envisaged to be imparted over a laptop or through the virtual medium, Mrinalini asked each speaker about their own experience of adapting to the pandemic. 

 

Manvi mentioned how ‘Alokit’ shifted to providing help to the teachers and principals and came up with customized needs-based programs to help educators become familiar with online modes of learning and teaching. Drashti, as a part of Slam Out Loud, admitted that the onset of the pandemic was a confusing and challenging time in the country, especially since education wasn’t a priority. However, they noticed different organizations collaborating to ensure children’s basic needs and provide access to necessary devices for online learning. Their organization made a curriculum that was accessible even through WhatsApp and set in a checking system with students to ensure their well-being. Tarusha spoke of how HumanQind aimed to share power with young children and involved them in decision-making. HumanQind assisted the schools with reopening and gave the young children a platform to voice their opinions. During their work, they witnessed how the entire school ecosystem was in severe mental distress, with teachers and principals facing burnout and fatigue. 

 

The speakers then discussed their learnings from the pandemic. Drashti shared how children weren’t as interested in academic writing practices but responded very well to art-based activities like theatre, storytelling, or poetry. The children also found it challenging to interact freely or collaborate in social groups as they were isolated for a long time. Thus, Slam Out Loud had to tap into the socio-emotional reserves of the children along with all the resources they had on hand. 

 

Tarusha also agreed with how children no longer had a fixed routine to pay attention to and how they were losing friends due to online schooling. They talked about the importance of creating trust-building and partnerships inside the school and adopting a collaborative approach towards school reopening. Manvi added the importance of teaching students to cope with stressful situations and focusing on their well-being. 

 

The conversation then turned to how each of the speakers addressed the learning loss resulting from the pandemic and the challenges they faced while the students were integrating back into the school system. Manvi emphasized that even before focusing on addressing the learning loss and finishing the syllabi, the students should be allowed a short period to settle in at their own pace. They suggested conducting a baseline assessment to understand the learning loss that the children had suffered. According to them, schools should focus on the well-being of the students and adopt a level-based teaching method. Drashti spoke of how their organization’s primary aim was to prevent dropouts due to the pandemic. Slam Out Loud also focused on increasing children’s socio-emotional skills and teaching academic syllabi. Tarusha further elaborated on HumanQind’s ‘Crosswalk’ program, where children were a part of the designing and planning team to bring changes to the school ecosystem. 

 

The last question in the session focused on policy suggestions to develop the education sector to make it more accessible and inclusive. Manvi recommended that all stakeholders be prepared for a blended mode of learning for the future, whereby governments would support students for online learning in case of any similar scenario. Tarusha added that the students’ voices should be heard during policy and decision-making and schools’ decision making. Drashti also agreed on the need to make education more inclusive to cater to the needs of different children and to look after the socio-emotional development and well-being of the students. 

 

Find the full Instagram Live session here 

I want to be free, but patriarchy and capitalism tether me!

Pride with OFC, 2022

Who decides what queerness looks like?

Who decides what queerness looks like?

Report | One Future Collective’s Youth Meetup — Rethinking Education

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9 March 2019, Mumbai: One Future Collective organised its bi-monthly youth meetup which saw fruitful conversations around the theme of Rethinking Education. Continue reading “Report | One Future Collective’s Youth Meetup — Rethinking Education”

I want to be free, but patriarchy and capitalism tether me!

Pride with OFC, 2022

Who decides what queerness looks like?

Who decides what queerness looks like?