Youth Hub to sensitise urban youth to challenges of rural India, bridge urban-rural divide

New Delhi (India), November 12: Youth Hub, aims to sensitise urban educated youth to issues, problems, complexities and opportunities of rural India and the development space, and bridging the rural-urban divide. Youth Hub is a unique initiative of Transform Rural India Foundation and focuses on changing the stereotypical image of rural India that the urban youngsters have.

“Of course, there are problems and challenges in rural India, but large parts of rural India are vibrant and dynamic, and are witnessing transformational changes. Yet, people in urban areas, especially the youth, have an opposite image of rural India in their minds. Youth Hub is committed to making the urban educated youth aware of the actual situation in rural India through various activities that will increase their understanding and exposure levels,” said Vinay Kumar, Director of Youth Hub.

Youth Hub is currently hosting a series of events starting Thursday, November 10, aimed at celebrating rural life, initiating conversations about the development space with urban youth and discussing ways to impact the lives of the rural communities, for a week in New Delhi as a part of its initiatives.

Youth Hub launched a National Rural Media Fellowship at the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi on Thursday with the inauguration of the first batch of fellows recruited from across the country. The 9-month fellowship will equip young journalists to sharpen their skills in rural storytelling using multi-media platforms. The fellows, who come from Assam, Manipur, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and UP, will be mentored by veteran journalist Ruben Banerjee. The fellowship commenced with a 5-day intensive induction program comprising sessions from experts on content development, effective use of social media, photography and video production. Rajesh Mahapatra, Editor, Press Trust of India, addressed the fellows on making rural stories creative and interesting for the urban populations.

A photo exhibition has been organised at the India Habitat Centre by Village Square on the theme ‘Downtime in Rural India’. The displayed photos are selected from entries for the annual photo competition from photographers, journalists, development professionals, and others over the past several months. The exhibition will be inaugurated on November 14.

The next day November 15, a session on Development Unplugged will focus on the social sector, its diversity and complexity, kind of organizations that function, the varied nature of career options and what it is to work in this sector has been organised at India Habitat Centre in partnership with the Indian School of Development Management. Placement council members of various campuses will take part in the session. Aditya Sethi, an investment banker turned young entrepreneur in the social sector, will be the main speaker followed by a panel discussion with young rural change-makers sharing their journey.

A session on Rural Storytelling has been organised on November 16, where prominent civil society organisations will share their perspectives and develop a roadmap to collaborate in rural storytelling. They will also discuss how stories of vibrant and culturally rich rural India can be told in an interesting way for the urban audience. Village Square, an one such platform will initiate the discussions. Anubha Bhonsle, Founder of Newsworthy, will share her experiences of working in the sector.

Young people are at the forefront of change in India, whether campaigning for social equality, climate change or mental health. Village Square’s Youth Hub will showcase the change-makers and create spaces for interaction and examination to bridge the divide between India’s urban and rural youth who hold the future in their hands.

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