Growing demand for state youth policy in UP

On the eve of National Youth Day, members of Uttar Pradesh Youth Policy Advocacy Campaign shared with the media their experiences about the two year long advocacy campaign in creating awareness about youth policy and preparing a policy draft. Present in the press conference at Uttar Pradesh Press Club were representatives of all the NGOs, forums, which have worked in creating this draft that aims at ensuring a better deal for the youth of Uttar Pradesh.

In the proposed policy draft due space has been accorded to education, health, employment, training, domestic violence, gender discrimination, criminal legal justice, sports, leadership development, social security, among other issues.

The awareness for a youth policy has been done by various methods which include organizing poster making competitions, seminars, interactions, candlelight marches, rallies, puppet shows, street plays, pamphlet distribution, debates and signature campaigns throughout the state.

The last and final phase of the campaign which was launched from November 22, 2010 at the district level will culminate tomorrow at the state capital with the presentation of a memorandum and copy of the policy draft to the governor, chief minister at the state level.

Speakers urged the state government to implement the policy draft, that has been prepared with the consultation and participation of nearly 70,000 youth of 36 districts. Members said that this will be the best gift to the over six crore youth of the state who are between the ages of 17 to 25.  

"In the last two years we have campaigned intensively in the state to ensure that the concept of a youth policy gets understood by both the youth and the authority that will finally give it the green signal. The draft has been prepared not in closed room but by the equal participation and discussion with youth from different strata, and regions, gender and religion of the state," said Anu, team leader of 'youth for change' while addressing the media.

It may be mentioned here that the National youth policy was framed in 2003 and the states given directives to frame their own policy at the earliest. But Uttar Pradesh has not responded so far.
Sharing her experiences Yasmeen, from Muzaffarnagar said that initially she did not get a good response for this campaign both from the youth as well as the elders. "But once they realized the utility of the policy nad how helpful it will be for them to ensure their rights they all started helping out and in time became campaigners themselves," she said.

An exhibition of the winning posters and phad exhibition was also put up at the Press Club that had been made by the youth from different colleges in the state under the poster competitions.
Earlier the participants, who had come from as far of places as Jhansi in this biting cold gathered at ICCMRT auditorium in Indiranagar and shared the work that they had done in their respective regions.
Kulsum Mustafa
(The author is a senior journalist and also the Secretary-General of Media Nest)

Published in:
Citizen News Service (CNS), India/Thailand 
Elites TV News, USA