Youth As Change Agent



Ganjaipadar is a small tribal hamlet of Kerenga Panchayat with a population of 703 mostly inhabited by schedule caste and schedule Tribes. This village was partially displaced by the multipurpose upper kolab project. This village has a good mass of youth population. The village is of two patches with one inhabited by the dalit community and the other by the tribal.

 

The village has nothing to be proud off except its young youth mass. Starting from bringing electricity to the village to ensuring a healthy life for its villagers is the task of the village youths. Though the youth club is few years old yet their involvement in identifying village issues and representing their village at different forum for advocacy can be gauged from the small but effective achievements they have made.

 

Alcohol was a curse for their village. Health condition of both male and female was very poor. Less to be spoken of pregnant and lactating mothers. Lack of family support led to more than 50% home delivery in the village with few health provisions being accessed. Elderly people used to sell the household commodities to purchase local made alcohol. Most of the women lost ornaments to their husbands. They would prefer wine to PDS rice but the sudden demise of a couple due to excessive consuming of alcohol leaving behind three children in the mercy of the village community for food.

 

The youths in an urgently called meeting decided to ban liquor in their village. The next week they explained the villagers and the brewer to abstain from their activity. Finding no respond they warned them and ultimately destroyed all the liquor centres in their village and its neighbouring area. Anyone found drunk were bathed with cold water and imposed fine on them.  There was no fear of repercussion as every house had a representative at the youth club. Female members of their village are quite but there were some disturbances from the males at the initial stage.

 

It was surprising to find the village people quietly sitting in front of their houses at the evening even during their local festival “chait parad”.

This youth club during last few years has made media highlight to help restoration of the village tube wells. They ensure payment of electricity by all consumers in time in order to prevent from disconnecting the electric line. They have sent all the preschool children to AWC to avail the nutritional supplements provided by ICDS. Immunization program are visited by them to ensure that all the children of their village are timely immunised. They are monitoring the AWC to ensure cleanliness in the centre. They discuss health with the community every month and also track the CMIS system.



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