The Cities for Children Report is an in depth analysis of the conditions of safety in the Sunder Nagar Nursery (SNN) an urban slum community in New Delhi. The report has been co-created by the youth leaders of the community who are part of the Blending Spectrum programme in collaboration with Safetipin a mobile app that collects safety data for the purpose of advocacy globally. It is an insight into the safety lacunae that exist in SNN and urban slums around the world. It is an effort to bring the missing lens of children and youth to urban safety in the context of the larger debates on urbanisation and the rights to children to the cities of the world.
The report contains large scale data analysis of safety audits, recommendations of change, and the communities interaction with government stakeholders like the Delhi Police, The Municipal Corporation and Delhi Government’s elected representative through Open Safety Audit Mapping exercise. It connects these to daily concerns of young people and children, especially girls about safety in the limited access they are able to gain to public spaces.
Recently, The YP Foundation conducted 12 consultations for the National AIDS Control Organization in India, in partnership with Plan India, consulting young people for recommendations to best address HIV prevention education. We did this with 280 young girls and boys from 5 states and in one community center, I got asked a question by 21 year old young man in a group discussion that really struck me. “Is sex an illness? Do we get sick from it? What’s the difference between HIV and sex?” Recently, a 19 year old boy who is a peer educator with us asked another question, he said –
‘How do you identify the difference between consent and violence if you don’t know what sexuality is? If I don’t know how to recognize what is acceptable and normal within me, if I can’t accept and celebrate the differences in myself, how do I know how to reach out for help, when I do need it and whom to go to?’
The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) reviews its strategic objectives and operational plan once every five years, with a high emphasis on young people and adolescents as a key vulnerable population. Currently at the close of its National Aids Control Programme III (NACP III), that is scheduled to reach its targets and objectives around mid-2012, NACO has renewed a multi stakeholder platform for civil society, working groups and technical experts to provide key recommendations for NACP IV. The programme will build on the successes of NACP III, focusing on increased coverage and prevention services for high-risk groups and vulnerable populations. As part of this process, ensuring participatory and inclusive decision making, TYPF worked to engage young people and adolescents to provide key recommendations for NACP IV.
I continue to think of The YP Foundation as an organization in the present tense, and not really a figment of the past. I think it holds relevance to me personally, and certainly to my work today. I can say the same for many others whom I have known, worked with and interacted with over the course of my association with the organization.
I remember my first meeting at Tarini Barat’s house over 4 years ago, with team facilitator Harsh Malhotra, both of whom now alumni of the organization, and also dear friends today. To me this is the true relevance of TYPF – it creates lasting relationships and relevant situations for young people to converge and converse, and to create conventional, and sometimes exceptionally unconventional change.
I never believe in pivotal turning points in time, an “aha” moment – they is illusory. One of the key values I learnt during my time working with TYPF as a team member and staff member was perseverance. I worked in the Facilitative Branch (project on the Indian Education System), and as the Administrative Coordinator (2007-2008) with a host of projects. Subsequently to leaving the staff team, in 2008 I worked on another project of which I am very proud – a cultural exchange project with Afghan students in Delhi through film, art, literature and dialogue. TYPF gave me 100% freedom and creativity to source, compile and edit and design a 180-page magazine featuring work on the issue of “Understanding Afghanistan Today”. I can’t think of any other organization that would do that!
– Sumaya Saluja, Programme Coordinator
Blending Spectrum began in 2007, on the basis of 3 realizations: