Thematic Area – Youth Development

NFI Peace Awards – Supported by National Foundation of India (NFI), to promote leadership among young leaders working on ‘peace’ related themes in Assam and especially the BTC districts.

6 Awards were given, of whom 2 awardees Mijanur Rahman & Purna Chetry received the award for the second time to help sustain the good work that they had initiated earlier. Some briengs about the works of the young leaders are as
follows:

Mr. Abhishek Chakraborty – Abhishek Chakraborty worked on ‘Mapping and documenting LGBT lives and medical practices and strengthening social support for the LGBT community’ in Guwahati. building component in it.  He had helped by other mainstream artists in installation and documentation of the processes. Purna Chhetry continued his work with 50 women from the Community whose lives have changed with the success of the mushroom cultivation program. With their economic empowerment the women have been able to improve the quality of their lives and a marked reduction of instances of gender based violence.

Outcomes:

  • He met and conducted detailed interviews with 16
    individuals advocating their cause.
  • He also approached 8 medical professionals to discuss
    and document their understanding of LGBT people and
    the terminologies.
  • He conducted 2 workshops on Gender, Sexuality and
    LGBTQ rights for 40 participants and published
    bilingual information brochures in Assamese and
    English to create awareness among family and friends
    on the issue of gender and sexuality.

Aimoni Tumung – She worked with children from marginalized communities in ‘Promoting children’s education’ in Pamohi and neighbouring villages in Guwahati. Reaching out to over a hundred 10-18 year old children of ragpickers and poor communities living in and around Pamohi, Aimoni who is a school teacher herself conducted a series of activities and programs. 90 students attended her programs on life skill training for adolescence issues, awareness on civic responsibilities as well as knowledge on safety and violence.

Outcomes:

  • She held ‘craft work’ programs for 60 children to motivate them to cultivate hobbies and explore their hidden skills and talents.
  • She guided 35 children on a trekking expedition to explore the natural habitat around their area, to learn about the geography of their own state and lives of forest villages.
  • 40 children were taken on an educational trip to learn about the importance of the wetland ecosystem.
  • 60 children were given exposure to cultural programs in dance and performing arts to encourage their cultural awareness, as well as their physical tness. Bindu Brahma worked on ‘Empowerment and building capacities of women with disabilities’ in Kokrajhar.

Outcomes:

Bindu Brahma has organised women with disabilities into a ‘Disabled Persons’ Organisation’ (DPO) with the setting up of the Kokrajhar Women with Disability
Association with 50 active members. She organised awareness programs for 200 families and community members to make them aware of their rights and entitlements of persons with disabilities.

Indrajit Singh conducted a ‘Paint the Wall program – to promote youth participation, ownership, leadership and accountability as an essential condition for successful
peace building’.

Outcomes:

  • Indrajit worked with 40 young people in Assam and Nagaland, teaching them how to express themselves and articulate their views on the root cause of violence and to take social action against it through the medium
    of art.
  • Using grafti he had set up 4 wall art installations
    expressing their vision for peace in the north east region
    that was also supported by other visual and performing
    artists.

Mijanur Rahman continued to work on ‘Gender justice and equality’ in Horiapet village in Kokrajhar district of Assam.

Outcomes:

  • Mijanur, who received this Award for the 2nd year was able to organize community members to set a 4, 12 member committee comprising men and women in equal numbers, to come together and discuss their problems and issues.
  • A formal Nagorik Hojagota (Citizens Awareness) Committee was also formed to reach out through these 48 men and women to generate awareness among people in other villages and motivate them to join their movement.
  • He also conducted a gender justice training among 50 villagers to understand, resist and ght against incidents of gender based violence.

Phanindra Talukdar curated a program ‘Setu – establishment of a Museum of Voice – of traditional visual form of creative expression’ among the Nepali community of Shubankhata in the Bodoland Territorial Council area Phanindra conducted creative workshops for students in the village on photography documentation.

Outcomes:

The Museum of Voice was an interactive program shaped at the village by the community and has a peace building component in it. He had helped by other
mainstream artists in installation and documentation of
the processes.

Purna Chhetry continued his work with 50 women from the Community whose lives have changed with the success of the mushroom cultivation program. With their economic empowerment the women have been able to improve the quality of their lives and a marked reduction of instances of gender based violence.

Youth for Change:
The program encouraged and supported by American Jewish World Service (AJWS), is aimed at supporting young people to work on engaging and sensitising
communities to bring about positive changes in their society. FST selected two youths – Bhaotina Mushahary and Prosper Marak for working with community.

Outcomes:

Bhaotina Mushahary continued her work on ‘Ensuring Rights and Entitlements of women with disabilities’ in Kokrajhar district.

  • She helped 50 women in getting disability certicates and wheelchairs from the authorities.
  • She sensitized 30 women with disabilities on gender and sexuality related issues.
  • She worked closely with Bindu Brahma to strengthened their respective DPOs and started an organisation Action for Inclusion and Empowerment Trust as well as the Daoga Association at the Kokrajhar block level.

Prosper Marak worked on ‘Documentation and empowering youth and village communities for protection and management of community forests and biodiversity’ in Baghmara block, South Garo Hills, Meghalaya setting up a Biodiversity committee in Baghmara with the active involvement of the youth and village community for protection and conservation of their community forests. They had undertaken a census of their biodiversity and documenting their ndings.

As a part of FST’s Youth Leadership Development Program Onia Tage hailing from Arunachal Pradesh is working on the project titled SKILL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING FOR YOUTHS IN ZIRO VALLEY OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH.

The objectives of the project can be stated as under

  • Mobilisation of youth from 8 villages in Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh for skill development
  • Building capacity of 24 selected youth from 8 villages on entrepreneurial and marketing skills

Achievements of Onia Tage till date:

  • Onia Tage along with her team of 10 young girls from the remote land of Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, India is a part of this training.
  • The training activities include learning the nuances of the craft, preparing sellable garments and refining artwork on cloths.
  • This training is under the Self Employed Tailor (SET) scheme, sponsored by Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and organised by the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, Guwahati, Assam, India.
  • The aim of this training is to strengthen these young women to become future entrepreneurs and be owners of their own development processes.
  • Onia Tage held an awareness program on Skill Development training at Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh. The participants for the training came from the Hija, Hong and Hari villages situated at the Ziro Valley. The idea behind this program was to generate awareness on various government schemes on skill development.