Catalyzing the Energy of Youth
With over 50% of India’s population being under the age of 25, no movement can be successful without meaningful involvement of youth.
Consumers India has been organizing All-India Painting and Slogan contests on important consumer issues ever since its inception. On-line Photography Contests, Nukkad Natak and Internship Programme were introduced during 2012-13. With a basket full of such multi-dimensional activities, Consumers India has been able to involve youth actively and successfully with its concerns and campaigns. Details regarding some such activities are given below:
I am a City Changer Contests
‘I am a city changer’ campaign has been launched by UN Habitat, with a view to make cities better. To carry forward this campaign in India with the involvement of bright and enthusiastic young citizens from all over the country, Consumers India organized painting, slogan and on-line photography contests on this subject during 2012-13 in collaboration with Human Rights Group of the Society for Upliftment of Masses, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of United Nations. A Declamation Contest on the subject was also held in Bharti College of Delhi University.
‘I am a city changer’ contests fired young minds like never before and thousands of entries poured in from different nooks and corners of the country. The massive exercise of screening those entries and finalizing prize winners was carried out with the help of a selected group of members of Consumers India who volunteered their time, energy and expertise to complete the process well in time.
The response, in terms of prizes, had to match the overwhelming flow of high-quality entries. Over 300 entries were, therefore, selected from 130 Institutions for Prizes and Certificates. The prize-winning institutions are dotted all over the country, including the remotest corners like Goalpara in Assam, Zemabawk (Aizawl) in Mizoram, Garhi (Udhampur) in J&K, Karakhul (Imphal) in Manipur, Malappuram in Kerala, Latehar in Jharkhand, to name a few.
‘The Future We want’ Contests
‘The Future We want’ is currently engaging attention of the entire world since new set of development goals, which will be our guiding force beyond 2015 are being considered by United Nations in consultation with all stake-holders. Consumers India had, therefore, organized All India Painting, Slogan and On-line Photography Contests on the theme ‘Creating the Future we want’ during 2013-14 in collaboration with the Society for Upliftment of Masses, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
Thousands of entries were received from all over the country, including the remotest corners. They were meticulously evaluated by a dedicated team of examiners and around 250 students from 65 Institutions have been awarded Medals and Certificates.
Inter-College Nukkad Natak Competition on Safe Online Shopping
An Inter-College Nukkad Natak Competition on ‘Safe Online Shopping’ was organized in Miranda House College of Delhi University on 4th April, 2013 in collaboration with Miranda House College and FICCI-FACC. Dr Roopa Vajpayi acted as the nodal officer and not only worked out details with the collaborating institutions but also guided and prepared teams from various colleges to participate in the contest. The event was marked by highly enthusiastic and energetic participation by the young enthusiasts!
Friends of Consumers India
Consumers India considers youth participating in its activities, be they contests or internship, as its ambassador and to win over their continued involvement, enrolls them as ‘Friends of Consumers India’. They are given a Friendship Number and ideas regarding the wonders that they can do as a Friend of Consumers India are emailed to them from time to time.
The ‘Internship’ programme was launched for students pursuing higher education. It serves the twin purpose of meeting the increasing demand from youth for involvement with Consumers India as well as enriching the research base of Consumers India. The programme was flagged off with the enrolment of the first batch on 15th September, 2012 and three to four batches are held every year since then.
55 Research Studies Completed till August 2014
55 Research Studies have been successfully completed by nearly 200 students, who have interned with Consumers India since September, 2012. Important consumer issues studied by them during internship has not only enriched the research base of Consumers India but also created a network of young consumer enthusiasts all over the country!
Important consumer issues like ‘A Study of State Medical Councils with reference to unethical medical practices’, ‘A Study of implementation of Supreme Court Judgement regarding treatment of poor patients in private hospitals’, ‘How safe is our Municipal water? Is Govt silently promoting packaged water industry?’, ‘A Study of Hospital Waste Management’, ‘A study of education loan in India’, ‘A study of opening new account in banks in India’, ‘The Truth about selected misleading ads relating to hair replacement or spot fat reduction’ etc have been studied under the able guidance of experienced mentors. Several issues, highlighted by interns in their studies, have been taken up with the concerned authorities at the highest level.
One distinguishing feature of the internship programme is the overwhelming desire in students all over the country to be part of this programme. They have been coming from reputed educational institutions like National Law Universities at Kolkata, Odisha, Vishakhapatnam, Punjab, Lucknow etc, IITs at Kanpur, Kharagpur, Delhi, IIM-Indore, FMS-Delhi, Delhi Technological University, Lady Shri Ram College, Sri Ram College of Commerce and other colleges of Delhi University etc.
The major findings emanating from such studies are disseminated through social/electronic media for the benefit of large number of consumers. Many of them have also become part of the Advocacy Campaigns taken up by Consumers India from time to time.
List of studies undertaken by interns may be seen on the following link :-
Core Internship Team
The internship programme has been immensely successful due to the willing and voluntary support provided by the following team, which is never shy of sharing their knowledge and experience for the well-being of society:
1. Dr Jayashree Gupta, M Phil (Social Sciences), Ph D (Public Administration); President, Consumers India; Former Additional Secretary to Govt of India & Chairperson-cum-Managing Director (CMD), Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL).
2. Dr G S Tiwari, Masters in Law and Ph D in Environmental Law; General Secretary, Consumers India. Former Principal Director, Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
3. Dr. Roopa Vajpeyi, University Academic and Consumer Activist with long experience of teaching & mentoring students.
4. Shri S K Virmani, Electronics & Communication Engineer and Consumer Activist
5. Dr Naresh Gupta, Director-Professor, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals and Chairman, Advisory Group set up by Consumers India.