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CPR Youth Awards: A Youth-Driven Agenda for Change

Mukta Naik

December 31, 2018


Watch the full video of the session on ‘CPR Youth Awards: A Youth-Driven Agenda for Change’, organised as part of CPR Dialogues, featuring Eric Gonsalves, Pradeep Nair, Mukta Naik and Swati Janu.

Over half of India’s population is below the age of 25. Their perceptions and ideas – not just their labour – will shape the country’s future. Today, ahead of the 2019 polls, youth employment and political participation are receiving unprecedented attention. Identifying the youth as a key demographic for policy interventions, CPR researchers have been studying formal and everyday politics among young people as well as their labour market opportunities and migration pathways, especially as rural youth move increasingly ‘off the farm’. Could the curiosity and talent of these aspirational, informed and passionate young people we met in our field sites be harnessed towards improved research hypotheses as well as innovative solutions to their everyday problems?

It is in this context that CPR is delighted to announce start of the CPR Youth Awards, a program designed to interact, collaborate and mentor young men and women across the country to understand what their concerns, their perceptions of the environment and society, and to help them take steps towards addressing problems they are motivated to solve. Tapping into CPR’s own network of NGO partners, we have worked with youth groups aged 18-25 in three locations: Mangolpuri, a resettlement colony in north-west Delhi; Keonjhar, a tribal region in Odisha; and in peri-urban Jaipur. Over the last two months, facilitators from partner NGOs have worked with an experienced mentor to design and execute programs in these three locations involving intensive workshops to help youth groups articulate problem statements and impart to them design-thinking, research and presentation skills.

At this time, these groups are using smartphones to create short videos documenting their projects. For example, in Keonjhar, young men and women are petitioning Block Development Offices to help implement their ideas on improving agricultural productivity. In Mangolpuri, one group is forming support groups online for girls facing sexual violence while in Jaipur, teams are exploring pathways to more effective local governance in areas like waste management. Showcasing the best projects at the CPR Dialogues, our real takeaway has been the importance of placing young people at the centre of conversations, innovations and interventions.

Eric Gonsalves is Chairperson, Governing Board at CPR.

Pradeep Nair is Regional Director at Ford Foundation.

Mukta Naik is a Fellow at CPR.

Swati Janu is the Awards Mentor.

Watch all videos as part of the CPR Youth Awards 2018 here.

Watch all other sessions of the Dialogues below:

The International Climate Change Regime: Looking Back to Look Forward
Research for Policy Action on Air Pollution, in collaboration with CECFEE
India’s Technology Transition: The Present and the Possible
The Emerging World Order and India’s Role
India’s 21st Century Transitions
Understanding India’s Energy Transition in Global Context
Is the Urban Future Metropolitan? Big Cities in Urban Systems
Geopolitics and Geo-Economics in a Changing South Asia

Authors Mukta Naik