Community for Youth Collective (CYC)

Project Theme

Transformative Women's leadership

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2016 - 31 Mar 2017

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Introduction

ComMutiny – The Youth Collective (CYC) was registered as a trust in 2008 to promote the rights of young people for participation, development and leadership. It was founded by the organisation Pravah with the support from Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT). One of the main founders of CYC is Ashraf Patel. Their interventions are focused on media advocacy, creative media, campaigns and policy research.  Some of their prominent interventions have been Changeloomers network, Must Bol (Gender based campaign) and ‘Promoting the 5th space’. The 5th Space concept is central to the work of CYC. They have conceptualized the 5th Space as a space that equips young people to understand themselves, address conflicts, build cross-border relationships, clarify their values/stances, and develop leadership skills by enabling them become learners for life and  nurture a learning society along with them. CYC’s mission is to facilitate engagement of youth in social change action through building understanding, acceptability and demand for 5th Spaces across stakeholder groups.

 

About the Project: 

The project looks at amplifying, nurturing and evaluating the 5th space concept which will be done by engaging with youth and youth collectives on social issues like social exclusion and gender based violence. It will also look at strengthening the 5th space concept by creating new partnerships and expanding the stakeholders engaging with the concept.

Their planned objectives  include 

1.Promote young leaders and youth led organisations to engage on issues of social exclusion and gender based violence within their communities. 

2.To enable a range of stakeholders like youth collectives, autodrivers, civil society groups, and media groups to expand and strengthen the concept of 5th space 

3.Enable active social media engagement to create awareness on issues of social exclusion and gender based violence.

 

Results to be Achieved: 

The planned outcomes  for the project cycle are 

I Young people and  youth led organisations and  will have an increased understanding  on issues of gender justice and social inclusion

1.3000 young people will be sensitised on issues of  gender justice and social inclusion through the Samjoh Toh Express Campaign 

1.40 Common Action Days will be co -created  and implemented by 20  partners on issues of gender and social inclusion

2.2000 young people will be reached directly through the activities of the common action days

II Increased media engagement and dissemination of resources  aimed at creating awareness

1.Message of social inclusion through various innovative channels such as auto rickshaw ads, metro ads, bus, trams and cycles will be developed to energize  the discourse on social inclusion and gender

2.1500 Young people will  ideate and co - create the messages on social inclusion that will be disseminated through the campaign

3.Resource material on 5th Space  will be printed and widely disseminated to highlight the importance of spaces like the 5th space and on issues of social inclusion and gender

 

Prior Achievements:

Metro/Auto Advertisements- 

2 sets of ads were put up in Delhi metro over the period of 3 months. Three trains with a total of 54 panels carried messages on Social Inclusion for 3 months December 2015 to February 2016 in phase 1. The ads were put up in Yellow line which caters to commuters from diverse background i.e. from students to corporate to working professional.  

Both the ads were around the Social inclusion and gender. While the first ad focused on the bias between both the gender where some rule are valid only for men & not for women, the second ad was meant to initiate a dialogue on whether having separate spaces women is the only way to make them safe. Both the ads were very engaging and the response that we received primed around the need to change mindsets to be able to respond to the problem. Commuters have actually engaged with the ads, shared their responses via messages. We have received 600 responses for both the ads. 

This has also led to increase in the engagement on our facebook page and other social media platforms. These ads were very much a part of the journey implemented on ground by partners on the theme of social inclusion by creating a dialogue on certain key nuances of social inclusion – including addressing the public perception (and therefore, freedom of mobility) attached to one’s gender identity.

 

Common Action days 

All the 20 partners organised and facilitated experiential sessions and events around the theme therefore taking a step closer towards enabling an inclusive society. 20 partners successfully completed 80 events in a span of 5 months and reached out to 3000 young people directly on ground. 

Various activities that were part of the common actions were Wall Paintings, Media Festivals and Friendship journeys based on the Samjho Toh Express journey design that focussed on cultivating cross border friendships. The journey has managed to create excitement among other forum members to be part of it. CAN Youth organisation which is based in Manipur did Samjho Toh express Journey as part of one the projects they got. It was very impactful journey was them as they have various inter-tribal conflicts. The idea has been presented at various national platforms by CYC as one of the main work that’s happening in CYC like YuvaVarshan, a youth seminar organised in Kerala by Kerala state youth welfare board and RGNIYD, 2nd annual youth conference organised by RGNIYD in Chennai, Youth seminar organised by BAHAI Community of India and International institute of Public Relations. It has managed    to generate lots of excitement among the participants and audience. We have received lots of queries to be part of the journey in partner capacity and in participant’s capacity as well.

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries: 

“The interaction with the transgender community opened new doors in my understanding about their culture and lifestyle. The problems they face in the society and within their community itself. How they are discriminated at various levels in the society in all the sectors. Forget the people, the government itself took all these years to identify transgenders as the third gender in 2014. WHY? We've still achieved some success at changing the ideologies of people regarding the caste system -which is a discriminatory criteria created by humans. Then why is anything not done against the discrimination faced by transgenders - which is a biological human divide…… While fighting against any sort of discrimination one has to introspect within oneself. And the sole possible way for this is to see and live the life of others. This cannot be done unless we initiate conversations and take interest in unfamiliar people and cultures, only then will we be able to empathise with them completely. We all need to get out of our comfort zones and accept the fact that "it is okay to be different. Sometimes try and get a little uncomfortable, create friendships beyond labels!!” – MuktiSingh, M.A Psychology, Delhi University

 

Case Studies/Human stories: 

CYC along with its partners have initiated the campaign Samjho Toh Express which promotes cross-border friendships and engages with youth on ideas of pluralism and diversity. The case study is about CYC and its partner organisation Sauhard’s journey in this campaign in Gujarat.

Samjho Toh Express facilitates our goal of promoting young leaders to engage on issues of social exclusion. This is in exact alignment of creating a 5th space for the youth. Samjho Toh, as a journey, enables our partners like Sauhard to put across our mission and vision through the most creative platforms. The alignment of the journey and organization’s goals (Sauhard) makes it all the more efficient a process for the society. We realized that the root of communal violence is threat - the threat of unknown and half knowledge. The attempt was to bridge this gap of the unknown and misconceptions through young people. Unless, they do not experience it for themselves, they will always believe what the society enforces them to believe. The organization believed in creating a whole new experience for them via this platform. The platform not only engages the youth actively but also it indirectly engages their immediate environment as a part of the journey. This engagement plays a crucial role in taking the baby steps towards a society that envisions communal harmony. 

SamjhoToh express changed people’s life in some or the other way. As the train departed from the origin happiness, joy, surprises, friendship beyond labels, understanding where few of the stations people explored.  Every pair seems to be unique in its own way. One of them is “Rajvi and Zoya”. From the start they seem to have bonded so well. They were so different from each other yet so same. Rajvi is a 21 year old extrovert Sikh girl who resides on the Eastern part of the city, which is mainly dominated by upper middle class Hindus. Zoya is 14 year old Muslim girl, who resides in the old city which is mainly dominated by marginalised Dalits and Muslim communities. Both Rajvi and Zoya belonged to such a different background, but it seemed that the together completed each other. Rajvi feels that the rapport she shares with Zoya is very special. As she puts it, “I have always been the youngest and the most protected member of my family, but I always felt the need of protecting someone. I saw Zoya as my younger sister. I had someone to look after and protect.” She also adds, “I have been to dargahs before this journey as well, but going to the dargah with Zoya was altogether a different experience.

My little sister, who happens to be 8 years younger to me explained me her faith in a very different way and made me see how similar Sikhism and Islam are.” Zoya on the other hand had to say that, “I always felt that all of them were different. But Rajvi Didi has acted like my elder sister and inspired me to grow in so many ways. She teaches me English and Science. She also tells me that I should grow up and pursue my dreams. She has inspired and touched me to become like her when I grow up. I understand that our friendship is going to make a difference in the society. I think our friendship will inspire a lot of other people to do it.”

As an organisation and its direct impact, Sauhard and Samjho Toh Express have been crunching numbers and other aspects of the goal binding alignments. The journey in Ahmedabad included 19 pairs. That is a direct impact generated amongst 38 people. 

Indirectly, the initiative in Ahmedabad has reached out to 15000 people via social media. The initiative has had an impact on a society as a whole by creating inquisitions and curiousness amongst the masses. The masses have been mobilised by the planted idea of friendship beyond labels. 

A space for this very idea has been created amongst our participants. They and their stories become the propagators for our larger dream of communal harmony. They have identified themselves and their environment through a new lens. They give a new definition and lens to the society to view communalism. We have realised that as participants share their stories, they inspire a huge chunk of people to explore and identify themselves via a series of experiences. More than these heartfelt touching stories, these stories weave upside down to go to the root of the problem and create new solutions.