Press Release

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, YuWaah and UN agencies join hands for empowering young people in India

20 July 2020

New Delhi, July 20, 2020: Driven by its mission to deliver meaningful engagement for young people, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYAS) and YuWaah (Generation Unlimited India) together signed on a partnership to empower young people today. The partnership was signed by Ms. Usha Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, in the presence of Mr. Asit Singh, Joint Secretary MoYAS and DG, NYKS and Ms. Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation and Generation Unlimited at UNICEF India.

The partnership, in collaboration with UN in India (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UNEP, UNHCR and ILO), aims to develop the potential of young people through meaningful engagement and participation in social, civic and community initiatives.

YuWaah is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to prepare young people to transition from education and learning to productive work and active citizenship. The partnership will leverage both the Ministry and UN efforts to work with young people to co-create and implement solutions at scale with a focus on participation, education, skilling and unemployment challenges for young people in India, through listening deeply, creating collaboratively and leadership through changemaking.

Announcing the partnership, the Honourable Minister Mr. Kiren Rijiju said “The Government of India is committed to listening to young people’s opinions and ideas. These new ways of thinking are what we need to address many of India’s persisting and upcoming challenges.  Towards this end, the MoYAS can be an effective bridge between young people together with partners like YuWaah and the Government machinery, and it will be great for YuWaah and MoYAS to partner together to reach millions of young people." The minister further highlighted the importance of engaging young people in civic action. He spoke about the key achievements and strengths that NSS and NYKS volunteers demonstrated in the last five years and especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking about the partnership, Ms. Usha Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said “We, at the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, see YuWaah as a unique opportunity that can provide a platform to fulfil ambitions and dreams ‘of the youth, for the youth and with the youth’.”

Mr. Asit Singh, Joint Secretary MoYAS and DG, NYKS said “We commit to partner with YuWaah and UN agencies to facilitate meaningful engagement and participation of young people in social, civic and community initiatives across the country.”

Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, and UN Resident Coordinator At Interim said, “The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, a key stakeholder of YuWaah, has spearheaded youth development and youth participation for several decades. YuWaah, through this partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and UN agencies in India will support young people of this country to build, lead their own agendas and thrive. This especially relevant today as we need to prepare young people for a rapidly changing world, to involve them in decision making and amplify their views on issues/matters that concern their lives, inspiring them to take action.”

Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation and Generation Unlimited at UNICEF India, added “This is an opportunity for the partners of YuWaah, including government, private sector, industry associations, UN agencies, civil society organisations and of course the youth to join hands and work for the benefit of young people in India.”

Outlining UNFPA’s commitment to the partnership, Ms. Argentina Matavel, UNFPA Representative in India said “The education system is the one single powerful modern tool that offers societies the opportunity to reinvent itself better, through a careful moulding of its young people. A deliberate combination of technical, vocational, scientific knowledge, with life-skills that promote gender equality, mastery of one's body, respect for self and others, can be harnessed for transformative change into a more Just and Equal society.”

Speaking on UNDP’s commitment to the partnership, Ms. Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India said "UNDP is committed to work together with India’s youth and ensure that they have better access to skilling, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities. In collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and UN Volunteers, we have been reinforcing and strengthening ‘youth volunteerism’ to involve the young people in acting and innovating for issues that matter to them. To leverage the demographic dividend, we have to recognize the youth’s potential and expand their avenues and opportunities to listen to their needs and voices so that we leave no one behind and re-create the future together. YuWaah presents the perfect platform for that."

Kautilya Kamal Buragohain, an NSS volunteer from Assam, said “There has been a gap between the youth and the stakeholders of our country. I am excited to know that UNICEF and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports are joining hands to overcome these gaps and challenges, and we young people will play an important role to make India even better and brighter!”

The stakeholders will also come together to discuss the partnership through an online webinar event on 22 July 2020. Participants  will include Ms. Usha Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Mr. Asit Singh, Joint Secretary MoYAS and DG, NYKS, Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India and UN Resident Coordinator a.i., Ms. Argentina Matavel, Representative, UNFPA, Ms. Shoko Noda, UNDP Representative in India, Ms. Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation and Generation Unlimited at UNICEF India, as well as two young people from NSS – Vaishnavi Patole and Kautilya Kamal Buragohain, and Mahey Alam, District Youth Coordinator, NYKS, Rampur U.P.

The online event will be live streamed on the UNICEF India Facebook page on Wednesday, 22 July at 4pm for regional, state and district officials including Youth Coordinators, as well as interested young people.

This partnership comes at a time of great significance to the United Nations – the UN’s 75th Anniversary.  As part of the global UN75 initiative, YuWaah will also collaborate with the UN in India's #UnitedForHope campaign, which aims to create youth-led dialogues on issues that matter to them.

 

Background Note for Editors:

  • The online webinar event on Wednesday, 22 July 2020 at 4pm will be live-streamed on the UNICEF India Facebook page (http://facebook.com/UNICEFIndia) and is free to join.

 

For more information:

UNICEF:

Alka Gupta / agupta@unicef.org / 7303259183

Sonia Sarkar / ssarkar@unicef.org / 9891861445

 

UNDP:

Moumita Dastidar, Head of Communications / moumita.dastidar@undp.org

 

About

The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYAS:

The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is under the overall guidance of the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports. It has two separate Departments, namely, Department of Youth Affairs and Department of Sports, and , each Department is under the charge of a Secretary to the Government of India.

YuWaah:

YuWaah is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to prepare young people to transition from education and learning to productive work and active citizenship. It was formed by UNICEF, together with public and private sector partners, UN Agencies, civil society organisations, foundations and young people as the Generation Unlimited (GenU) partnership in India. By 2030, in India YuWaah aims to:

  1. Build pathways to aspirational socio-economic opportunities for 100 million young people
  2. Facilitate 200 million young people to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work
  3. Partner with 300 million young people as change makers and create spaces for developing their leadership.

Launched in 2019 by the Honourable Minister for Women and Children’s Development, Smriti Irani, YuWaah also received strong words of encouragement from the Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi in the form of a letter of support. Follow YuWaah on Facebook and Twitter.

UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. More than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

For more information about UNICEF India and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/india

UNICEF India relies on the support and donations from businesses and individuals to sustain and expand health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection programmes for all girls and boys in India.

Support us today to help every child survive and thrive!

Follow UNICEF India on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn

UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.

UNDP:

On the ground in about 170 countries and territories, UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress. UNDP has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development, from systems and institutional strengthening to inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods, as well as sustainable energy, environment and resilience. UNDP’s programmes continue to fully integrate a global vision for catalytic change with India’s national priorities.

With over 30 projects on the ground in almost every state, today UNDP India works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by transforming traditional models to do development differently. For more information, please visit https://www.in.undp.org/. Follow UNDP India on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.

UNFPA:

UNFPA, the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency, works in more than 150 countries around the world, including India, to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.

We seek to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. 

To know more about work in India, please visit https://india.unfpa.org/en 

Follow UNFPA India on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

UN75:

Launched by the UN Secretary-General, the UN’s 75th anniversary initiative aims to listen to the global public, with particular focus on youth, marginalized communities and new audiences. Over 12 months, the UN75 team will gather public perspectives on global challenges and solutions on how to tackle them through a one-minute survey, online dialogues, formal opinion polling and media analysis. The results will be presented in September 2020, at the official commemoration of the UN’s 75th anniversary, after which UN75 will focus on how best to take them forward, with a final report to be published in January 2021. For more information, see: http://www.un.org/UN75

 

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