At Samvada, we are reaching out to young people through colleges, hostels, work-spaces and communities and inviting them to our worlds where we have so much to offer them in their journey of youthhood. We organize festivals, lectures, campaigns, and other events at places wherever young people are to be found! The goal is to strike a conversation, invite young people to our youth resource centers, and open up discussions on a variety of themes and topics that are interesting and socially-relevant.
Young people of all backgrounds and identities are always welcome at Samvada.
Youth mentors are frequent visitors to classrooms in over 50-60 colleges in Bangalore, Hospete, Mangalore and Tumkur. College principals and lectures who see the values of our work with youth, invite us to have short discussions or film screenings on current events or issues of concern to young people. We connect college curriculum with socially-relevant themes and use it to talk about youthhood and youth rights, going beyond the defined syllabus but remaining within the bounds of young peoples’ interests, curiosity and imagination.
Another way of meeting students has been at NSS camps. NSS officers find that Samvada’s inputs and interactions during a NSS residential camp, enlivens the atmosphere and gives students a chance to discuss a wide range of issues. We, too, find it energizing to talk to students on questions and concerns, in a relaxed atmosphere -away from the classroom.
Youth- Led Campaigns
Every year, young leaders at Samvada lead a campaign on youth rights. They choose themes that are relevant to young people and meet students, teachers, college principals to bring about the change they wish to! They have led campaigns for equal opportunity, for career guidance and against harassment on campus.
Abhivyakti(Hindi: expression, articulation of feelings) was an inter-college cultural event organized by the Bangalore Youth Resource Centre and National College, Basavanagudi in August, 2016.
Back in 2014, Abhivyakti was first hosted as a community radio show in collaboration with Radioactive.
Festivals / conventions using music, sports, culture, livelihoods, college sessions and community meetings are where young people in large numbers have a lot of fun while getting to know about Samvada and learning about one social issue.
Each of these festivals has been an attempt at “cultural politics” as oppressive elements in traditional rituals and practices are subtly challenged and new ideas affirmed. Presenting dalits as artistes or priests, women as social actors and not only as beauty objects, singing revolutionary songs instead of film or folk songs, celebrating darkness instead of the light or fair complexioned, cooking and eating organic instead of synthetic, let us know if you’d like to collaborate with us on one of these!
Songs for Social Change
ಮುಂಗಾರು ಮಳೆ ಹಬ್
moongaaru male habba
Inspired by “Cricket for Peace” in Gujarat, Samvada along with other youth organizations, has embraced the idea of using sports/ games as a way giving young people a chance to meet and play together across boundaries of religion, gender and community. Along with National Youth Foundation, we hosted our first such festival, Aata Oodnata, in 2005. Young people play traditional village games in teams where each team is a mix of boys and girls who are both Hindus and Muslims, urban and rural, rich and poor. Taking part in simple games where everyone can join, ensures that young people have much fun with laughter and solidarity along with a chance to make new friends.
We have been organizing such events to celebrate the spirit of our traditional games where there is no element of competitiveness, no need for expensive equipment or clothes and no distinction between players and spectators.