A great historian and socialist thinker Howard Zinn once said, “Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.”
Youth-led movements have increased tremendously in the recent times. But its not just today’s world where youth-led movements and protests have become so important. Even years ago there were many movement led by the young souls of our nation. One of the best examples is the 1974 Railway Strike led by George Fernandez.
The voice of the youth is crucial for the effectiveness of service by the government. It has a powerful impact on the politics the country.
Here’s what the youngsters feels about politics in India.
“I feel there’s nothing more influential than politics. For me, especially, it reflects the moral ground of people. In India, sadly, politics is overpowered by the fuel of caste and religion. Here, it’s tangled with ethnicity and creed, which is manipulated and overused by those who come into power. It’s about the ones who govern and how they make it. It’s no more about justice, equality or even mere humanity, in the current times. So be that Akhlaq, Rohit Vermula or a bazillion others, all struggle to still seek justice, under the scenario of Indian politics,” says Debolina, a journalism student at Bennett University, Greater Noida.
Abhay Sharma, another student at Bennett University says, “Politics in India is simply based on religion and corruption. But all this cannot be hidden from the eyes of this generation. Youth is playing a very important and crucial role in controlling the corruption done by politicians. Mostly if we see, the people who raise their voices against the bad done by the government are usually under the age of 30 (ignoring the opposition parties), because we belong to a major population.”
Abhay also feels that since this generation is being well educated they have a better vision and understanding about the politics in the current scenario.
“No country is a perfect country. As citizens of a democratic country, it is our duty to challenge the wrongdoings of the government and that is the first step towards bringing change,” says Abhay.
“Youth is definitely becoming more aware and woke but at the same time the extremism is rising. Country looks united and divided at the same time,” says Radha Vekhande, a copywriter for an e-commerce app named Bulbul.
It is pretty much clear that the youth understands the manipulation done by the political parties in our countries. The youngsters being the future of our country are the only reliable changemakers and they are living for it.
“Corono can kill us only when we will be alive,” grieved Basbeer Ahmed, a daily-wage labourer who has lost his job due to the nationwide lockdown in the country and is struggling to manage two-time meals for his family.
“Hunger will kill us first, forget coronavirus. I used to earn on a daily basis and somehow managed to fed my two daughters with whatever I could manage with the small amount of money I would earn. But that income is gone now. Whatever I had saved is also finished. Today I am left with nothing. There is no work, no food,” he said.
Like Ahmed, several daily-wagers working at construction sites, retail outlets, restaurants, food and their hyperlocal delivery partners and local transport systems have lost their livelihood because of the shutdown in the country till April 14, taken as a precautionary measure against the spread of the pandemic Covid-19.
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The fight against hunger
Even though the central and state governments have rolled out various measures to ensure no one in the country sleeps empty stomach, looking at the dense population in a country like India, it becomes a herculean task to achieve.
In such a crisis situation, various private players and non-profitable organisations have also taken initiative and are providing meals and raising funds to the people in distress.
Zomato has initiated a project called the ï¿½Feed the Daily Wager’ to raise funds to provide food support to families who used to survive on daily wages and help them have a reliable supply of meals in the absence of employment opportunities.
“We are fundraising to enable the purchase of essentials such as atta, dal and chawal for slums and migrant labours. Along with partner NGOs, we will formulate the responsible delivery of these essentials to those in need,” said the company spokesperson.
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According to the figures available on their website, Rs 14,92,97,971 of Rs 50 crore goal have been raised. You can also donate and choose to support one family (Rs 500), three families (Rs 1,500), five families (Rs 2,500) or any amount by logging on at https://www.feedingindia.org/donate.
“Youth Feed India” is another such initiative with the mission of #HelpTheHungry. It was started by Shaaz Mehmood (Hyderabad), Tanya Mallavarapu Reddy (Chennai) and Deepti Katragadda Reddy (Bangalore) few days back and has raised Rs 75 lakh funds in the first phase.
The project aims to “ensure that the Indian daily wage worker, migrant laborer, and single mothers who are out of work due to the lock down are provided basic food to survive this challenging period”.
The movement till now has touched over 20,000 underprivileged Indians and aims to help over 40,000 more. Each care package that they put together costs around Rs 500 to feed a family for nearly a week.
Donate today for distribution in Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai through logging on at www.ketto.org/fundraiser/SAFAforCorona or https://pages.razorpay.com/Covid19Relief or through direct account payment.
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“This is our youth generation’s World War 3 and we play a role to create responsible action to support government initiatives. Every community should have a Youth Feed India programme. Solving the starvation problem is in our hands,” said Mehmood.
Rasoi On Wheels Foundation, which is a mobile kitchen service started three years back, is providing healthy, nutritious, tasty, wholesome and hygienic packed meal boxes to the “less privileged” people during these testing times. They are also distributing packed atta, rice, dal and oil to needy families in Delhi.
The organisation was earlier providing around 2,500-3,000 food packets which has now been increased to almost 10,000 boxes, being distributed in Delhi and NCR, said Atul Kapur, founder of the foundation.
You can also donate to the cause. The cost of one meal is Rs 31, so you can donate for as many as you want. Log on to their website rasoionwheels.com or pay through Paytm on 9811982272/9811015420. You can also transfer the amount directly to their bank account.
Another pan-India voluntary group called Caremongers India is also raising funds, especially for the elderly population. As people above 60 years are more vulnerable and are easy targets for the virus to get infected it, special care has to be given to the elderly people apart from keeping them indoor and maintain social distancing.
If you are (or know) a citizen in need, you can register to their Pan-India Citizen database at https://forms.gle/5gsWUH7pUS8GTsiYA. All details will be maintained with the strictest confidentiality. Their volunteers will be in touch with you regularly to ensure that your needs are met.
If you’d like to volunteer, fill in your details at https://forms.gle/UPsZP2hxTkGDNqLP8. (IANS)