CEE and South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN) supported by Rajiv Gandhi National Institut e of Youth Development (RGNIYD) hosted 300 youth in Yuva Samvaad – Regional Consultations on Sustainable Development and Youth Empowerment for Marginalized Youth. The consultations were held in a series starting at Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) on March 11 , Ahmedabad (Gujarat) March 29 and lastly at Bhagalpur (Bihar) on March 30, 2016. This was an effort to bring out and address major concerns of marginalized youth in these states and also discuss youth empowerment, especially skill development and entrepreneurship and how it can be useful to bring about Sustainable Development for society at large.
Experts and practitioners who chaired the opening panels of the consultations included – Mr. Arvind Kumar, Action Aid, Shri. Nand Kishore More, Ambedkar University, Mr. Prakash Solanki, Faculty at Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Mr. K G Patel, Principal Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Kubernagar, Prof. Dr. Sunil Kumar Chaudhary, H.O.D Botany Department, Bhagalpur University, Dr. Tapan Kumar Ghosh, Zoology Department, Bhagalpur University, Prakash Kumar Gupta and Dr. Vibhu Rai, Deputy Director, Global Environmental Organization.
The panelists shared their views on issues of eradicating injustice and the various dimensions that prevent participation of marginalized communities in the ‘mainstream' occupations. Sharing of positive stories and case studies that promoted entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development also took place.
CEE made presentations on the concept of Sustainable Development and opportunities for youth in engaging with the local, national and international processes for sustainable development. The team also talked about skill development and opportunities existing in the form of programmes and schemes offered by the Government of India.
The participants were divided into groups for discussion on different topics such as Sustainable Development, skill development, Eco Entrepreneurship, Green Skills, Government schemes and support mechanisms available for skill development. The teams probed over opportunities and challenges faced by them in each of these strands.
Education for All – inclusive and accessible, access to information technology, funding support and information on existing schemes and policy for skill development and youth empowerment were some of the key suggestions from the youth. The need to revise existing pedagogy and integrate mechanisms that promote green skills was suggested. They also suggested that enhancing competencies and soft skills such as communication and computer literacy should be prioritized at skill training centers.