A 13-year old girl from Kurai – a tribal belt near Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh – attempts to reinterpret and rewrite the preamble in reference to her school.
A lecturer from an engineering college attempts to clean a 16th-century fort in Maharashtra.
A boy from Titagarh, West Bengal initiates a dialogue in a religiously insulated community by organizing a football match that comprised players from the Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh communities.
The aforementioned actions might seem like a case of disjointed events; random, broken, morphed in unrecognizable fragments. But, it might come as an amicable surprise to know that these actions are weaved in the common – and colorful – thread of the Constitution of India.
These actions were tasks performed by young people across the country as a part of an inventive, encompassing a game that was part of a nationwide public initiative called Samvidhan LIVE! The Jagrik Project initiated by ComMutiny in 2016. This year on the 2nd Oct, ComMutiny relaunched this initiative with a new element, by bringing the Constitution of India and weaving it to the Constitution of the world – The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The growth trajectory of India since the turn of the millennium, has been quite impressive. It is seen in many ways as an emerging superpower in the world. The youth demography only adds greater hope for the dividends we may reap as a nation. Just as there are two sides to every coin, this ‘growth’ story too has another side. India ranks 130 out of 189 on the Human Development Index. During 2013-16 India’s richest held 370 times the wealth held by the poorest. Its top 1 % holds close to half of the country’s total wealth. Many different communities have gone out on the streets demanding job reservations. The continuation of decades-old deprivation of marginalized communities fuels existing social conflicts. Added to this brewing cauldron, issues of identity-based discrimination creates fissures among young people. Inequality is the one issue that can hollow the country like termites do a tree, and therefore, what we need is a common narrative that connects us, irrespective of our differences.
In an incessant search of a common narrative that can link distant and diverse demographics, geographies, and identities in a singular unified call, Community – The Youth Collective initiated the Be a Jagrik – Samvidhan LIVE!… Live the SDGs! public initiative. It draws out a clear sandbox of awareness, equally on fundamental rights and fundamental duties through the lenses of within the parameters set out by the SDGs.
The public initiative has a fundamentally enhanced structure and an international outlook. Along, with tasks for young people to understand their fundamental duties and rights, the perceptive outlook of Sustainable Development goals is an attempt to give a contemporary re-invigoration to the public initiative.
The initiative aims to to enable young aware and active citizens or Jagriks live and experience the SDGs and rights and duties enshrined in the Indian Constitution. As the Jagriks undertake exciting self and community action projects on-ground, they also take their powerful voice for change into the world. And statistics are a valid testament to showcase the deep incision the initiative has had in the lives of young people. In 2016-17, the initiative covered an expansive geography of 15 states, directly engaging 1200 Jagriks and creating a sustained – physical and online – outreach to more than 500,000 people. This year, it intends to aggravate that engagement to 1550 Jagriks.
The central piece of the initiative is a lived in board game. Through spinning of a bottle and rolling of a dice, the Jagriks will get experiential tasks to understand the Indian Constitution and SDGs. By performing these tasks in the real world, these Jagriks will experience paradoxes and understand why these common stories are important to connect to. The initiative through this game will also collect promises of young people and connect to relevant duty bearers to hold them accountable for the roles they have to play towards nation building.
While being part of the initiative adolescents and youth across the country will experience a leadership journey while evolving their capacities on Constitutional literacy, sustainable development, access to development and truly living the value of fraternity.
Over the course of the next 3 months, The Optimist Citizen would be covering stories of actions taken by young people – who would be reinventing there understanding of the Constitution and moving towards a sustainable future for the nation and the world
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