First group of UN India YuWaah advocates appointed by the United Nations in India | United Nations Agencies Celebrate International Youth Day by Concluding a Pact for Youth Centrality! | India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News


New Delhi: To inspire and rally the support of India’s more than 350 million young people for the Sustainable Development Goals, UN agencies in India marked International Youth Day by naming India’s first-ever UN Advocates YuWaah and concluding a pact for the centrality of young people.

The first cohort of UN India YuWaah Advocates comprises 6 young people from diverse backgrounds and geographies, who will inspire action for the SDGs on high-level decision-making platforms. In turn, they will receive access to information, skills and mentorship support, and work in partnership with external experts from UN agencies and partner networks, celebrity advocates, ambassadors and digital influencers to amplify and highlight youth priorities and perspectives to shape the 2030 Agenda.

Representatives of UN Agencies, Government of India, Private Sector, CSOs and Youth concluded a Youth Centrality Pact and committed to the urgent need to ensure a youth centered approach to the effectiveness and relevance of programs at scale, and are committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion, equity and meaningful partnership with young people.

The event was honored by Sh. Sanjay Kumar (Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports), Sh Nitesh Kumar Mishra (Co-Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Managing Director, NYKS), Dr. Zoya Ali Rizvi (Commissioner Deputy – Adolescent Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), as well as a special video message from Sh. Anurag Thakur (Honourable Minister, Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ).

From the United Nations agencies in India, Mr. Shombi Sharp (UN Resident Coordinator in India), Ms. Shoko Noda (UNDP Resident Representative), Mr. Sriram Haridass (Deputy Representative, UNFPA India), Mr. Yasumasa Kimura (Resident Representative, Acting, UNICEF India) Divya Dutt (Program Manager, UNEP India) and Dhuwarakha Sriram (Head of YuWaah, Youth Development and Partnerships, UNICEF India) were present.

In his video message for the occasion, Ch. Anurag Thakur, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said, “India’s youth form almost 40% of the country’s population, emerging as an important player in determining the country’s future trajectory. Recognizing that young people are perhaps the primary stakeholder, the Ministry of Youth and Sports spearheaded youth partnerships and leadership to advance the country’s development agenda, respecting the principles enshrined in SDG 17 . »

Ch. Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports said, “The UN India YuWaah Advocates program is a remarkable vision and facilitates meaningful youth engagement at the highest levels of policy and decision-making, which are spaces that have traditionally been elusive for the voice and participation of young people. youth. Let us unite to ensure that young people in this country are supported in a sustained and meaningful way to create impact.

Mr. Shombi Sharp, United Nations Resident Coordinator in India, said, “Young people have proven time and time again that they are ready to take on the world’s most pressing challenges with incredible energy and creativity. I congratulate the UN India YuWaah Advocates on their appointment and look forward to helping bring their solutions for the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development to life. Today marks a new beginning, a new platform for partnership between young people in India and the UN in India for a more just, inclusive and equitable world, where no one is left behind. When young Indians lead, as the greatest generation of young people in the world, the world will follow.

Mr. Yasumasa Kimura, Acting Representative, UNICEF India and Co-Chair of the Board of YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India), said: “In the 75th year of independence, India is becoming a global leader who will show the world how to build back better after the pandemic, and the driving force behind this dynamism is India’s youth. UNICEF, in collaboration with the UN in India, is proud to build on this unique generational moment through the YuWaah movement which aims to build an empowering ecosystem that provides young people with the future-ready skills they need. and the leadership positions they deserve. The launch of the UN India YuWaah Advocates is another step in the direction of meaningful partnership with young people and integrating their voice into decision-making and advocating for our collective future.

Profiles of UN Defenders India YuWaah

Mohammad Siraj, 26, West Bengal

  • He founded the Pahchan Foundation, which launched an initiative to clean up the dirty Ganga River – ‘Insan Teri Ganga Maily’.
  • Through the campaign, total garbage collection reached over 4500+Kgs in 80 weeks from two Ghats (Titagarh Ghat and Glass Kal Ghat).
  • Its mission is to build the world’s largest environmental movement by inspiring individuals and governments to invest in our planet, with a particular focus on SDGs 13, 14 and 15.
  • Siraj is also the V-Force coordinator with UNV India, acting as the West Bengal coordinator and organizing various activities on ecological sustainability.

Bhavi Barad, 25, New Delhi

  • Bhavi is a development professional who works on youth rights, agency and leadership by creating safe spaces for young people.
  • Currently, she works at Pravah, a youth development organization where she runs programs with youth nationwide – one focused on learning loss during COVID, and the other focused on dialogues for build harmony in communities.
  • It aspires to create an inclusive, peaceful and just society where young people, being a crucial actor, participate in building a world where no one is left behind. It does this by creating experiential learning paths where young people better understand themselves, make their voices heard, engage with social realities and lead sustainable social action projects.

Ankita Sehdev, 24, Haryana

  • His initiative – EXCEPTIONALS – pairs volunteers with and without disabilities to educate each other about their respective lived realities, foster allies for young people with disabilities, and promote harmony.
  • Through awareness sessions and interactive activities, especially with marginalized communities, Ankita and her team advocate for more equitable and accessible programs for people with disabilities. They also ran a donation campaign to counter the ideology that people with disabilities can only receive donations and cannot contribute. Through the SkillUp initiative, they made people with disabilities comfortable with technology skills, trained them in typing and gave English lessons.
  • During her journey of change, Ankita has been able to meet several young people with disabilities, who serve as champions of equity and access, and hopes to be a similar ambassador for people within her social sphere of influence.
  • She is also a classically trained singer and won a beauty pageant to specifically highlight young people with disabilities. She wants to work on life skills for everyone, especially people with disabilities.

Soumya Ranjan Biswal, 25, Odisha

  • Soumya’s mission is to protect olive ridley turtles, threatened by poachers, pollution and climate change; and restoration of mangroves, salt marshes and sand dune plants.
  • He has trained a cadre of about 100 young volunteers for the conservation of sea turtles and other wildlife species on a sustainable and scientific basis in different districts of Odisha State. It also educates local fishing communities about overfishing and protecting marine life.
  • Through more than 250 beach clean-up activities undertaken at nesting beaches in the region, approximately 15 tons of plastics, polythene bags, discarded fishing nets and other solid waste have been removed from nesting beaches through community involvement to date.
  • He is driven by a sense of climate justice for the well-being of generations to come, and is currently working on a pilot outreach program to promote organic farming in the tribal community for biodiversity conservation. His campaign was also featured in the Limca Book of Records.

Mansi Thaker, 25, Gujarat

  • One of UNEP’s Tide Turner Plastic Champions, Mansi began her environmental journey as a member of the environmental conservation club initiated by her friend. The club has more than 200 Mahua members to do regular beach cleaning and maintenance for 2 years.
  • Her efforts brought back gangetic dolphins and masked boobies to hatch their eggs. Previously, hatching was not possible due to increasing plastic pollution on the shore of beaches, but now the dolphins are back and their population has started increasing day by day.
  • Mansi has involved local communities in the coastal areas of Mahuva in beach cleaning and maintenance campaigns. A waste collection, sorting and recycling system with the help of the Forest Department has been set up by Mansi and his club to support their efforts. She also works with the local community to ensure Green Ganesh Visarjan.
  • She continues this work to this day and strives to remove all plastic from coastal areas and dispose of ghost fishing gear.

Mursal Mohammadi, 23, New Delhi

  • Mursal Mohammadi fled Afghanistan in 2017 and settled in India, where she became the leader of a youth club at BOSCO (a UNHCR partner), where they offered young refugees the opportunity to participate in educational and social activities.
  • The club has over 200 members and offers educational and social activities on a variety of topics, including sexual and gender-based violence, climate change, health, child marriage and substance abuse.
  • In 2021, she participated in the UNHCR New York Journalism Mentorship Program where she wrote a letter on the importance of education for refugees in UNHCR GLOBAL APPEAL 2021. She also participated in the UNHCR Visual Storytelling Program India where she completed a project on ‘Home and Belongingness’, the collective book about her project – ‘Home and Belongingness’ was published by UNHCR in April 2022.
  • Currently, she is a photographer and visual storyteller. Her work focuses on gender equality, refugees and displacement, and societal inequalities. She hopes to amplify the voices of her fellow refugees through the power of visual storytelling.

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