Young Changemakers in Justice
Ashoka’s Law For All Initiative is committed to advancing the potential of young changemakers to create justice solutions for themselves, their communities and society. We believe that in order to do that, we need to build a movement that advances the idea that young changemakers can create justice solutions, develop a community of such young changemakers, and build an ecosystem that enables them to realize their potential.
We believe that we are in the middle of a historic inflexion point where the agency of young people to work on justice issues is evolving. The pandemic saw young leaders step up with creativity and abundant energy to bridge the gaps in the formal systems where needed and serve their communities. They know how to understand the needs of people, mobilise communities, work with local authorities and processes, deal with imperfect information, create awareness, find solutions and take action.
Young Changemakers Showcase
Ashoka’s Law For All Initiative collaborated with three organisations that were founded by Ashoka Fellows and are advancing the potential of young changemakers to create justice solutions: Justice Jagrik Initiative by Commutiny (founded by Ashraf Patel), Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator by Reap Benefit (founded by Kuldeep Dantewadia), and Justicemakers Writer Training Program by Youth ki Awaaz (founded by Anshul Tewari).
As the project’s first iteration ends, we invited over a virtual showcase of the programme leaders, their partners and coordinators who led this initiative on the ground. Agami, a movement of people and ideas intent on transforming the justice experience in India, is our network collaborator. The showcase allowed leaders to exchange ideas and detail how their cohorts helped build a movement for young changemakers.
Justice Jagrik Initiative, Commutiny
The availability of information about social justice programmes and rights can be hampered by many barriers, including linguistic fluency, literacy, and the cost of education. The Justice Jagrik Initiative at Commutiny trained a cohort of Justice Jagriks, a group of young social entrepreneurs, who undertook ten social action programmes. These programmes identified and addressed gaps around social justice issues and enabled positive reinforcement to this system by allowing access to justice and creating a ripple effect. Commutiny worked closely with SHEDO, a grassroots youth-led collective, to engage the Justice Jagriks of Harda in rural Madhya Pradesh. The cohort projected a strategy to shift norms and narratives within the local communities of Harda to further constitutional values across citizens.
Presenters: Ritesh Gohiya, SHEDO; Kanika Sinha, Commutiny
Fellows: Jitendra and Monika, a pair of Jagriks working on school compound wall construction issues; Harsha and Himanshu, a pair of Jagriks working on a playground initiative for players.
Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator, Reap Benefit
Young Changemakers are often at the cusp of taking their problem statements/solutions a notch higher but lack specific guidance. Being a leader in accelerating social innovations for environmental justice, Reap Benefit has been observing a need to activate young Changemakers in this field who are very early in their journey and help them shape their idea for building scalable solutions. The Solve Ninja Leadership Accelerator provided a flagship six-month accelerator program to nurture young individuals to enable civic and environmental impact in local communities through local data and solutions.
Presenters: Pooja Pawar, Roshan D’Souza, Vimalprabhu P, Reap Benefit
Fellows: Manav Sony, a Solve Ninja Fellow working on social change and awareness campaigns.
Justicemakers Writer Training Program, Youth ki Awaaz
Justicemaking uses creativity and collaborative action to create solutions that have justice outcomes for a community. Being a leader in transforming youth-led citizen journalism in India, Youth Ki Awaaz identified, trained, and supported a cohort of Young Justicemakers. This youth worked across pressing issues and developed their storytelling, narrative building and campaigning skills to engender systemic change using digital media.
Presenters: Anshul Tewari, Kirrat Sachdeva and Ritika Bhatia from Youth Ki Awaaz.