Harnessing the Power of Youth for Change
by Aarushee Shukla
Curated by Vandita Morarka
You’ve gotten to know our team, we’re bringing you this series so that you can get to know our work better too. We explore the different verticals of our work through the lens of the people leading them.
As rightly penned down by Kofi Annan, “Any society that does not succeed in tapping into the energy and creativity of youth will be left behind”. The indomitable spirit of the youth can effectively contribute to the development of a nation. We, at Safecity, echo the same view. My job as the Volunteer Outreach Officer primarily involves reaching out to the youth to connect them with our cause. I prefer describing my work as a framework of four integrated stages.
Knowledge is power. As long as people remain unaware of their rights and duties, of what is right and what is wrong they remain powerless. Stage one is reaching out to these masses through different forums like workshops, sessions, online-campaigns, mass audits, awareness stalls. This is one of the most important stages because it determines the magnitude of people that we can connect with. Therefore I try my best to reach out to as many people as I can, as diverse as they may be with diverse backgrounds and hope to impact or at least influence the lives of as many people as possible.
Stage two involves familiarising the masses with our cause. Though at second place, this stage is the determining factor of the efficiency of our outreach. At this stage I try to ensure that while we depict the truths of society as they are, truths like the deteriorating condition of our society inflicted with sexual harassment, abuse, gender inequality, stereotypes we also show our audiences that there is hope for change, that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. We speak of breaking silences, of standing against injustice, of being active citizens by explaining the brilliant concept of reporting and thereby taking action which is what Safecity does.
With great power comes great responsibility, right? Equipped with the knowledge and power of knowing what sexual harassment is and the laws that protect us, it then becomes our responsibility to pass on this knowledge, this power to others which is stage three of my integrated framework. Bill Courtney rightly points out by saying, “Serving and attempting to inspire others is a responsibility, not a choice”. Similarly, I believe that every individual should always try to encourage and motivate others to be a better human everyday and thus make this world a happier place to live in. Safecity does its job by encouraging the masses to report the incidents of sexual harassment. UN Women states that 1 in 3 women face some kind of sexual assault at least once in their lifetime. Yet most of these crimes go unreported because of multiple reasons like fear of society, culture, victim-blaming, fear of police, tedious formal procedures to name a few. Safecity empowers the masses to break this uneasy silence and take a stand for themselves and the others.
Stage three is easily the toughest. It demands a lot of patience, determination, compassion and empathy; qualities that each of us need to develop. It is the heart and soul of my integrated framework. It is at this stage where I am lucky enough to connect with people on a personal level, hear their stories, dig deeper and help them explore their untapped potential. Safecity offers diverse volunteering and internship opportunities to individuals. Our Campus Ambassador program inspires young college students to become the agents of change in their college spaces. The fourth and the final stage is the one where we warmly welcome the volunteers, interns and our Campus Ambassadors into our Safecity Family. Safecity believes in cherishing a life-long bond with its change-makers who work relentlessly day and night for a better world, for a safer world.
With the Safecity app, we are now able to transfer the knowledge and power on an even larger scale. Each one of you can now make yourselves aware of the law. You can create teams, become Campus Ambassadors in your cities and garner the power of the youth to bring change, to stop sexual violence.
“Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached.”
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