Press Release

Young Voices Rise in Jammu: Dialogue Demands More Space for Youth in Decision-Making

Jammu, February 5, 2024: A day-long dialogue on “Youth Participation” brought together 20 young leaders and social workers from Jammu and Kashmir on February 5th, 2024. Organized by Youth for Peace International, in collaboration with Samvada Baduku and Eqra Foundation, the event aimed to amplify youth voices and advocate for their greater involvement in shaping their future.

The dialogue highlighted India’s low ranking (55th) in global youth political and civil participation, as indicated by the Global Youth Development 2020 report. With the average age of Lok Sabha MPs exceeding 50 for two decades and a mere 0% representation of young people under 29, the need for change is stark.

Recognizing this gap, Samvada, a Karnataka-based youth organization, is partnering with CSOs across India to conduct a series of dialogues. Past dialogue successes in Karnataka led to the formulation of a Youth Manifesto and Budget, influencing several political parties during the 2023 Assembly Elections.

The Jammu dialogue provided a platform for passionate young leaders like Musaddiq Reyaz, a youth and peace activist, to express their needs. He emphasized the crucial role of “acknowledging and incorporating young people’s innovative ideas and solutions for social change,” along with “making existing grievance redressal mechanisms more youth-friendly” and introducing “new interventions for drug abuse, mental health, and career counseling.”

These consultations go beyond sharing experiences; they empower young people to propose solutions and contribute to the development of “We, the Youth of India: Youth Agenda 2024.” With the next general elections approaching in April-May 2024, the organizers aim to finalize the Youth Agenda document by February and dedicate March-April to dissemination and stakeholder engagement.

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