Youth Awareness and Motivation
Navsarjan works to organize youth so that they can tackle some of their own issues.
Youth in Gujarat are facing a serious crisis. Those who have managed to obtain some education have found few employment opportunities in the organized sector, and are forced to work as daily wage laborers in fields or factories. They are frustrated with the lack of opportunities available to them, and with their social status in relation the perceived glamour of the city. A powerful cynicism has resulted, leading to addictions to drugs and alcohol, and a stark increase in the suicide rate. Those who suffer most from this situation are the youth from the socially marginalized communities: the scheduled castes (Dalits), the scheduled tribes (adivasis) and the other backward castes (OBCs), to be specific. Today, the historic legacy of social exclusion based on caste has a strong influence on economic status, as well.
Navsarjan’s Youth Awareness activities work to educate youth on village government schemes, land laws, the panchayat (village council) system, addictions (to combat alcohol and tobacco), and gender issues, all of which help to lessen feelings of powerlessness and cynicism. Once formed, Village Youth Forums meet once or twice a month to discuss local issues, such as village infrastructure, atrocities against Dalits, and how to solve their own issues. If unemployed, students are encouraged to come to DSK for vocational training and social empowerment. The result is that youth feel more engaged and empowered to take control of their lives.