Youth Ki Awaaz news

salman khan

By YKA Staff:

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who has been fighting a court battle over charges of drinking and driving and then killing a man sleeping on a footpath by driving his car over him was exonerated on December 10.

The Bombay High Court cleared him of all charges and ruled that the prosecution was unable to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

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Image source: WordPress

The High Court also refused to consider the testimony of the prime witness in the case, constable Ravindra Patil, who passed away a few years ago. The Court ruled that his testimony was not reliable as he had modified it too many times. Patil had deposed that Khan was driving the car when it careened off near a bakery in Mumbai in the early hours of 28 September 2002 and that he had asked the superstar to slow down. The Court also said that the prosecution had not been able to prove that Khan was driving the car while being drunk. Salman had taken the plea that it was his driver who was behind the wheels.

A Mumbai sessions court had earlier convicted him for the alleged offence although he was granted bail the very same day, leading to criticism from some sections of the public. The High Court, however, said that the sessions court had erred in its decision by basing its decision on purely circumstantial evidence.

Salman Khan, who has acted in several successful films in his career, was present in the High Court when the verdict was delivered. The TOI reported that upon hearing the verdict he broke into a sob and was later heard humming a tune.

The verdict was welcomed by his friends like Adnan Sami who congratulated him on Twitter.

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By Artika Raj for Youth Ki Awaaz: 

The one thing that we as a nation do not do, just refuse to, is to actually sit down and chat, have a heart to heart with the big ‘ol elephant in our drawing room. No mann ki baat with him. No chai pe charcha. And therefore he stays – ever present, but never mentioned.

But here’s the thing with elephants, they are kinda hard to ignore.

And so it is with sex and love in our country. Bollywood tells us “dhadakne do“, “stay away from the kiss of love”, as also the “emotional atyachaar” there in. But give us a chance and we’re back to doing what we love – Love! Then there is that three letter word. Arrey, we don’t talk about it. We do it. But talk, eh, no sir! We have ‘clinics’ taking care of ‘gupt rog’ but it’s the most open secret there is!

So this is what this survey is trying to do. Get people to #OpenUp. Let’s talk so we can all understand what are our views when it comes to love and sex. Do we feel free to love in this country? Are we okay with multiple partners? Is dating someone you met online okay? Who decides?

Actually, no one. And that’s why this survey has been kept completely anonymous so that all ye fair folk may contribute to this exercise tan, man and dhan se. Maybe not dhan. This is a first of its kind, all-India survey to understand what the current generation thinks about ‘Love and Sex’. And the questions have been researched and put together based on scientific principles so that the information that we gather can be of tangible use.

So Love Matters and Youth Ki Awaaz urge you to take this survey. Do it for mankind. Do it for fun. Do it for time pass. Just Do It!

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pen and paper

By YKA staff

Who can write?

Everyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz. Click the ‘Submit’ button on the upper right-hand corner of the Youth Ki Awaaz header and log in to start contributing. You can also hit the ‘Submit a Story’ button on our homepage.

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How can I write?

Once you’ve logged in, use the submission form to submit your story. This can be an article, a photo story or a video/audio story. Just type it out or paste it in the form and send it in. You can also upload a Word document. We usually take 24 to 72 hours to get back depending on the urgency of the topic you’ve written about.

Can I write anonymously?

Yes. If you feel that naming yourself could cause harm, or if you just don’t want to reveal your identity let us know and we will make sure your identity is not revealed.

What can I submit?

Anything: Send us an article, a photo or a video or audio file. We currently do not accept fiction or poetry. Hence, barring that, send us anything and everything and our editorial team will get back to you ASAP.

Editorial team?

Yes! Our editorial team reviews every piece of content that goes up on Youth Ki Awaaz. If your piece does not make it, we’ll let you know. But chances are – if your story is strong and fits well, we will work with you on it.

So what are you waiting for? Make your first submission now!

raghav bahl

By Anshul Tewari:  

Youth Ki Awaaz, India’s largest crowd-sourced media platform has received its first round of investment of INR 4 Crore from Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur led Quintillion Media Pvt. Ltd. (publishers of The Quint).

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Youth Ki Awaaz was founded in 2008 on the basis of a simple idea: Youth opinion is the real superpower when it comes to change. And the media can do a lot more to engage the younger generation by helping them voice their opinion and taking up issues that matter to them. YKA is exactly about that – it is enabling India’s youth to speak up openly and debate on important social issues including those that are often considered highly sensitive. Every piece on YKA is a contribution from a young writer, though each piece goes through curation and thorough fact-checking by YKA’s editors. Over the past 7 years, nearly 30,000 people have contributed articles to YKA. Many of these stories broke stereotypes and created visible impact.

The investment will help acquire new readers and contributors, blend technology with citizen journalism more effectively, and measure YKA’s impact. Most importantly, the support and mentorship from industry veterans Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur will help create a much stronger content strategy and a sustainable business model.

As we grow ahead, more power to your pen (or keyboard)!

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Far too many times many of us find ourselves in the midst of conversations on gender, sex and sexuality, that either have us wondering what the terms being thrown around are, or that would someone please just simplify the jargon for us. Too many custodians of truth sit around bartering in opinions and views that leave little place for difference, for a question, for a query, or just a curious look from a bystander. Curiosity loses to intimidation and a conversation that fails to be inclusive, and we continue on our path of ignorance. Unwillingly so.

cake logoWith Cake, we’re hoping to change all of that.

Issues concerning gender and sexuality impact the daily lives of all who inhabit this world, consciously or unconsciously. And it is only fair that we together figure the best way to learn and share with each other, our understanding of things like identity, gender rights etc. This conversation is going to be vast, mind you – from how we view one another, our speech and deportment, to how much power each individual is allowed to wield, and how we contribute to these systems of power.

We’re hoping to cover more ground and explore new angles all in a fun way (we’re called Cake after all), all the while making sure the gender and sexual spectrum gets the recognition it rightly deserves. To infinity and beyond!

So what goes on Cake? (Besides icing, that is) Your articles, your views, and, most importantly, your voice. Tuck into light but punchy flavours as we peel away the layers of gender, sex and sexuality. Cake is a collaborative effort, mixing together diverse voices on issues that matter – identity, education, health, empowerment and much more. We are committed to challenging the status quo. We are about to re-orient ourselves. Join us, won’t you?

Spoons at the ready! It’s time you had some Cake.

PS: Why Cake, you ask? Because we need a sweet start to the conversation.

Visit us at cake.youthkiawaaz.com

WAN IFRA

By YKA Staff

In another news, Youth Ki Awaaz has been awarded the World Young Reader Prize for ​​​Enduring ​Excellence in ​Public ​Service, from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers​ (WAN-IFRA)​. The World Young Reader Prizes are part of WAN-IFRA’s efforts to recognize, encourage and disseminate innovative ideas and thinking to help build stronger and vital news media. World Young Reader Prize winning strategies are celebrated and shared as they benefit not only the media companies and their young audiences but also society as a whole.

WAN IFRAThe awards are supported by SitesAlive, the news in education initiative linked to the Vendee Globe sailing race (news in education category), CCI, the Denmark-based editorial systems and innovation specialists (editorial category), and Eram Group, the multi-faceted business conglomerate operating in the Gulf region, India and Europe (public service category).

This year, we share this space with other winners from The French news media, to The News Lens, Taiwan. (Full list here)

About our work at Youth Ki Awaaz, the jury had this to say – “This is a good model how storytelling journalism can address society’s taboo’s, become viral content and trigger debate. Since 2008, ​​they have tackled such difficult subjects, but these are exactly the subjects young people want to hear and talk about. A good lesson for news publishers.

As we move ahead, here’s a shout out to the amazing community of readers, writers and comment​ators who’ve been standing strong with us since the last 7+ years. Thank you!

About WAN-IFRA

WAN-IFRA (www.wan-ifra.org), based in Paris, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India and Latin America, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism, editorial integrity and the development of sustainable media businesses.

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By Anshul Tewari:

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If you’ve been following us for the last few years you know well about how seriously we take user experience. Over the last few months, we have toiled late nights to figure out what has been working really well and what hasn’t – and we came across some interesting observations.

With this new design we are not only making a move to a different user interface and experience, we are also trying to create a better, more meaningful place for our community to speak up on issues they are passionate about. Jumping quickly to the whats and the whys, here’s a list of what you’re in for:

Introducing ‘Staff Picks’, and the likes: With the growing content and contributions on YKA, we, the editors felt the need to connect better with our readers. And what better than showcasing the content that moved us, personally. ‘Staff Picks’ will be your inlet into what we love the most at YKA.

A reader friendly approach: We removed all the frills and fancy from the right side of the content pieces, made them simpler and moved them to the left – to not disrupt your flow while you read the pieces we put up. The site also transforms into a sleek and trendy mobile experience to let you access the content on the go – much like an app would.

Comment interactions: We have added our internal ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ system in the comments under our posts to let our community register their agreement or disagreement in more than one way. Disliking will also play a key role in helping us identify spammers and trolls.

Your stories: Over the last few months, YKA has been trying to reclaim social media as a safe public space to talk about people’s personal experiences of facing violence, fighting back and building movements. With the new interface we are also launching ‘My Story’ which will be your space to narrate your personal experiences and stories that come well under our existing themes but also go beyond to talk about positive experiences, success stories, and much more.

More to take action on: As we work more closely with high impact organizations, our impact driven content series will continue to grow – focusing on how we can make taking action easier and more meaningful for you.

With this shift we are hoping to strengthen our resolution to build a media organization that can further democratize the process of news and opinion building and sharing. Stay tuned for more and drop in your comments to let us know how you like the new design. You think we look good?

COLLAGE TOP 10

By Akhil Kumar:

2014 was quite an eventful year, and we saw a varied spectrum of opinions coming in from our readers and writers on the events that transpired during the year. It was a challenge to select 10 stories among the many powerful pieces that we published. Here, we bring to you 10 powerful stories that were the highlight of the year that went by.

Section 377: How Natural Is Normal?

On December 11, 2013, the Supreme Court set aside the Delhi High Court’s verdict, and upheld the constitutionality of Section 377, leaving the decision to amend or repeal it to the Indian Parliament. In this post, prominent feminist author and academician Nivedita Menon delves into the nuances of Section 377 and the myths surrounding it.

Section 377: How Natural Is Normal?

Afzal Guru’s Secretive Hanging Lays Bare The Truth Of ‘Collective Conscience’

In a highly controversial move, terror accused Afzal Guru was hanged to satisfy the ‘collective conscience of the nation’. In this post, Saem Hashmi writes why he sympathises with Afzal Guru for being treated as an icon of suppression by the powerful.

Afzal Guru’s Secretive Hanging Lays Bare The Truth Of ‘Collective Conscience’

The Doctor You Didn’t Show And The Saint You Didn’t See: A Reply To Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy’s much acclaimed ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ came out this year, and kicked up quite a controversy on the question of appropriation and representation. In this post, Abir Misra articulates his differences with Roy.

The Doctor You Didn”t Show And The Saint You Didn”t See: A Reply To Arundhati Roy

This World Cup, Some Sick Men Are Travelling to Brazil For Sex With Children

The Brazil World Cup was one of the most popular events of the year. While there was a lot of reporting on the various aspects of the sports saga, not much was written about the dark underbelly of Brazil. Here, Bala Sai writes about a horrific practice that went on along side in the name of tourism.

This World Cup, Some Sick Men Are Travelling to Brazil For Sex With Children

FULL BROADCAST: Exclusive Election 2014 Google Hangout By Youth Ki Awaaz And ADR

Prior to the Lok Sabha elections, we organised a Google Hangout with prominent faces like journalist Ravish Kumar to talk about the election. Here is the full video of the hour long hangout.

FULL BROADCAST: Exclusive Election 2014 Google Hangout By Youth Ki Awaaz And ADR

This Powerful Performance By Kalki Koechlin Is A Refreshing Look At Disability And Sexuality

Veda Nadendla writes about a film showcasing the coming of age journey of a young girl with cerebral palsy, played by our very own “Girl in Yellow Boots”, Kalki Koechlin.

This Powerful Performance By Kalki Koechlin Is A Refreshing Look At Disability And Sexuality

In Pictures: Jadavpur University Shows The Power Of Solidarity, Over 1 Lakh March For Justice!

This year also saw massive protests in Jadavpur University regarding administrative inaction on a case of molestation. The students took to the streets and raised slogans of ‘Hokkolorob’, which reverberated throughout the country.

In Pictures: Jadavpur University Shows The Power Of Solidarity, Over 1 Lakh March For Justice!

IIT Non-Veg Food Issue: Why The Demand For ‘Veg Only’ Spaces Is Dangerous

In October, there was controversy surrounding the issue of separate spaces for veg and non-veg food in IIT. In this post, Abul Kalam Azad writes about the politics of what he calls ‘food fascism’.

IIT Non-Veg Food Issue: Why The Demand For ‘Veg Only’ Spaces Is Dangerous

The Nithari Case: Should A Mentally Ill Convict Be Hanged Based On A Torture Confession?

Amidst popular demands of death penalty for Surender Koli, Veda Nadendla explains why she believe Koli shouldn’t be hanged.

The Nithari Case: Should A Mentally Ill Convict Be Hanged Based On A Torture Confession?

Dear Shenaz Treasurywala, “A Collective Thirst For Blood” Isn’t The Solution, “It’s Our Shame Too”

The popular MTV VJ wrote an open letter to some of the most prominent public faces in our country addressing the issue of safety and security of women. The letter instantly went viral on social media. Guneet Kaur, in this post, points out what she thinks was problematic in the letter.

Dear Shenaz Treasurywala, “A Collective Thirst For Blood” Isn’t The Solution, “It’s Our Shame Too”

Also Read: The Year That Was: 10 Youth Ki Awaaz Stories That Grabbed Your Attention In 2014

stories2014

By Anshul Tewari:

As 2014 comes to an end, here’s a look at the 10 stories that grabbed your attention and sparked multiple conversations across the internet. These stories were the ones that were most read and shared by you, and proved how much our generation is concerned about some of the most pressing issues our society faces. Garnering over 2.5 million readers and over 300K shares, the following are the conversations that started some very intriguing debates:

I Am Not A Kitchen Appliance: A 35 Seconds Advertisement That Debunks ‘Traditional’ Gender Roles

The moment we saw this video, we fell in love with it. Havell’s set the much needed precedent for how advertisements should be made. This 35 second video does three very important things: Breaks the stereotype around how women are and should be treated, questions the way we look at the idea of arranged marriages and tells us how women should really be portrayed in advertisements. A big hat-tip to Havell’s for putting this together. This one topped the charts at YKA with over 1.3 million views.

‘I Am Not A Kitchen Appliance’: A 35 Second Advertisement That Debunks ‘Traditional’ Gender Roles

Putting A Man In A Woman’s Spot. If This Video Doesn’t Make You Cringe I Don’t Know What Will

This was another monumental video for two reasons: It smashes patriarchy in the best possible (and much needed) way, and it started a conversation around how men treat women. 2014 was the year when many of the conversations around gender, feminism and rights started up on YKA in full flow, and all of it were community driven. This video added a unique perspective on how men look at the fight for equality, and scored over 600K views from our community.

Putting A Man In A Woman’s Spot. If This Video Doesn’t Make You Cringe I Don’t Know What Will

“It Was On Our Wedding Night That My Husband Broke The News To Me”

As the year came to an end, Oxfam India and Youth Ki Awaaz got together to participate in the ‘16 Days of Activism‘ from Nov 25th to Dec 10th, by highlighting stories of 16 women who faced violence at home. This story, a part of the 16 days advocacy, was shared thousands of times and read by nearly half a million people. We knew that the compelling stories from the 16 days had an impact when young people from across the country started sharing their own stories of violence that they had experienced, and wanted to talk about it openly.

“It Was On Our Wedding Night That My Husband Broke The News To Me”

How Arranged Marriages Push Our ‘Great Indian Morals’ To The Backseat

Arranged marriages are deeply rooted in the Indian culture, but what goes in the minds of people who do get married through this system is less talked about. YKA writer Elisha Mittal shared her personal opinion on YKA, which sparked a conversation and got people talking more and more about arranged marriages in India, the attaches stereotypes and the pressure that both men and women face.

How Arranged Marriages Push Our ‘Great Indian Morals’ To The Backseat

WATCH: The Reality Of The Qatar FIFA World Cup Of 2022 Will Horrify You

2014 was also the year of the FIFA World Cup. While FIFA is known to be a controversial non-profit (see John Oliver’s satire on FIFA) most of the media conversations restricted themselves to the game. What wasn’t talked about was the fact that by the 2022 FIFA World Cup, 4000 migrant workers in Qatar might have died due to inhumane working conditions and human rights violations.

WATCH: The Reality Of The Qatar FIFA World Cup Of 2022 Will Horrify You

How Times Of India Told Deepika Padukone That She Was “Asking For It”

This needs no introduction. The Times of India’s Bombay Times edition first went on to objectify Deepika Padukone, and then defended themselves by suggesting that she was ‘asking for it’. This rebuttal by Dhruv Arora is not to be missed.

How Times Of India Told Deepika Padukone That She Was “Asking For It”

This Powerful Performance By Kalki Koechlin Is A Refreshing Look At Disability And Sexuality

Here is a film showcasing the coming of age journey of a young explicable girl, with cerebral palsy, played by our very own “Girl in Yellow Boots”, Kalki Koechlin. This movie goes on to talk about sexuality and disability and how it connects back to the journey of the protagonist in discovering herself – an important topic that does not find its way in the mainstream conversations, but forms a very important part of sexual and reproductive rights for all.

This Powerful Performance By Kalki Koechlin Is A Refreshing Look At Disability And Sexuality

Arnab Goswami And Rahul Gandhi’s Interview’s Dramatic Reconstruction Is Hilarious

Remember that interview of Rahul Gandhi by Arnab Goswami? Well now replace Arnab with Cyrus Brocha, and Rahul Gandhi with well… Cyrus Brocha. Need we say more?

Arnab Goswami And Rahul Gandhi’s Interview’s Dramatic Reconstruction Is Hilarious

Dear Shenaz Treasurywala, “A Collective Thirst For Blood” Isn’t The Solution, “It’s Our Shame Too”

Just last month, actor Shenaz Treasurywala came out with an open letter addressed to some of the most influential male celebrities, business tycoons and politicians, asking them to take a stand against violence against women. However, that letter went on to suggest violence as a solution to the problem. Guneet Kaur felt that it was important to address the fact that “a collective thirst for blood” is not the solution. In fact, it represents the same violent culture that violence against women stems from.

Dear Shenaz Treasurywala, “A Collective Thirst For Blood” Isn’t The Solution, “It’s Our Shame Too”

I Was Molested In The Delhi Metro, And Here”s Why I Refused To Suffer In Silence

Coming out and talking about the kind of violence one faces in their life takes courage. This piece by Megha Vishwanath needs no description. What it did was very important. After her post, tens of other young women started talking about the violence they faced and took the conversation mainstream.

I Was Molested In The Delhi Metro, And Here”s Why I Refused To Suffer In Silence

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Youth Ki Awaaz recently organized ‘CONVERGE‘ – a series of talks ‘for those who give a damn’, on a diverse range of subjects from politics and society to entrepreneurship and writing. The first speaker was independent Journalist Neha Dixit who spoke at length on ‘the courage to tell a hidden story’. Neha, who covers development, gender and politics in South Asia and has reported for India Ink-The New York Times, Outlook, FountainInk, Al Jazeera and others, talks about corporate and political takeover of the media, why a story is killed and how journalists need to recognize their privilege.

Subscribe to the CONVERGE YouTube channel for more videos that we will put up regularly.

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For Youth Ki Awaaz, the CONVERGE journey started first when we realized that most of the platforms created for conversations about young people do not actually talk about their personal experiences and stories. The ones which do, are not focused on having young people take the dais. And when young people do take the dais, their opinions do not play a crucial role in decision making. That is how CONVERGE was conceived.

So on November 29, 2014, the Barsoom Bistro in Delhi’s hipster hub HauzKhas Village saw the coming together of an eclectic bunch of people – an investigative journalist, an author, a litigator, a social entrepreneur and a campaign director. One by one, Neha Dixit, Ira Trivedi, Apar Gupta, Akshay Saxena and Preeti Harman took to the stage, sharing their intriguing stories and personal experiences of development and social change.

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In the audience – carefully selected young participants from all corners of India – joined in on the conversations, while absorbing the ingredients of an enriching spectrum.

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Our co-hosts Tamseel Hussain, Digital Lead at Oxfam India and Anshul Tewari, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Youth Ki Awaaz initiated the conversation.

It was also an opportunity for us to create a power shift in the kind of stories that have been central to public sentiment for the longest.

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Independent Journalist Neha Dixit told the story of how corporate takeover of the media has killed ground-breaking stories of human rights violations and development.



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Best-selling author Ira Trivedi talked about how she got around writing a book on India’s sexual and marriage revolution, and the kind of research she did to understand India’s changing sexual moods.



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On the Forbes 30 under 30 list in the ‘Law Policy and Politics’ category, SC litigator Apar Gupta delivered a crisp and compelling narrative about the fine line of free speech in India, taking us on a journey of his first incident in college where he was punished and forced to take down a blog he had written against his university – and then went on to talk about the banning of Jaswant Singh’s book ‘Jinnah’, a case he was associated with. Apar also focused on nuances of when free speech becomes abuse and harassment and also spoke about how banning porn might be a part of the problem we are trying to solve.




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A participant asks questions

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Performance artist and beat boxer Vinith Johnson lifted the energy in the crowd with his vocal percussion skills – from hip hop and dub-step to desi south Indian music tunes.


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Participants collaborated on discussions during the snack break organized by Barsoom Bistro.

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Social entrepreneur Akshay Saxena, who took a break from Harvard to change the world through his enterprise Avanti Fellows told us why he chose to teach math to children from marginalized backgrounds and how young people can collaborate to change the world for those less privileged than them.



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And lastly, Change.org Country Director Preethi Herman took us on a journey of 6 stories of how regular people took on the power centers through petitions and brought about on-ground change – from auto-fairs in Chennai to forest preservation in Chandrapur.


CONVERGE ended with compelling conversations, feedback from the audience and Test Tube pitches by those who wish to tell similar stories at the next event.

While CONVERGE started as a platform ‘for those who give a damn’, the response and collaboration between the participants and speakers has given us the validation that this is a community here to stay.

Until next time, then!

PS: Videos coming soon.

CONVERGE

By Artika Raj:

As CONVERGE, the first in a series of talks by YKA gets underway; the team at Youth Ki Awaaz is but obviously very excited. We’re an excitable people you know. Many things get us going, jumping on our feet, occasionally practising skidding on our office floor (maybe a little more than occasionally, say at 30 minute intervals?! everyone’s got their own pace) and in those rare moments, breaking into Royals in harmony. But that this Saturday, Barsoom will have us hosting our very own event, with our friends in tow, the mood is downright Pharrell Williams drugged-up Happy!

Wondering at what all this happiness is really about? I mean the talk is going to be spectacular of course, we’ve made sure of that. But here’s a little more, straight from the horse’s mouth. From Us. The Team. On what’s really going to make CONVERGE kicka**!

Anshul Tewari (Founder, Editor-In-Chief)
For the longest time, most of the ‘inspiring’ youth talks have not been delivered by young people. A severe lack of events and summits that make young people’s participation inclusive leaves most of us on the sidelines of these conversations. CONVERGE creates a power shift! It is a platform that turns the top down approach into a peer-to-peer one, and reshapes the narrative around social change and culture.

Woah. So Anshul may have skipped my brief. Can’t really blame him guys, it’s way too close to the event. And his funny bone is buried in his kitchen garden safely till the whole thing is over. But here is the real dig from the rest of the team:

Artika  (Managing Editor)
Because we’re going to get to go completely Hannibal on our speakers’ brains, picking at them till we’ve drained them of all their knowledge (True Blood style) and emptied our question bank. And also because our Editor-in-Chief is offering all team members multiple rounds of JD on the rocks at the after-party. All for if we just show up sober. He doesn’t know this yet of course.

Akhil (Senior Editor)
I haven’t done anything about it, will just be there for the free food.

Tanaya (Executive Editor)
There are enchanting stories, awesome storytellers, engrossing conversations, the coolest group of people gathered at one place. And then there is me – enviously waiting for a bullet train to connect my city with Delhi so I can be at that one event called CONVERGE.

Dhruv (Head of Engagement)
Picture this: Two velociraptors engaged in a battle to death with one Tyrannosaurus Rex on an island surrounded by flesh eating pirhanas and prehistoric predator birds. Now imagine our speakers. If you still need to ask me why Converge will be awesome, you need to re-evaluate your life or something.

Kirrat (Digitial Campaigner)
I’m travelling right now but in one glimpse, how I feel:

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In case you’re wondering what CONVERGE is all about, click here.

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Do you love John Oliver and SuperWoman? Remember being in splits watching the All India Bakchod videos and vowing to create something yourself? Want to have your own show on YouTube, but have a hard time creating a following?

We’re creating something incredible and are looking for driven, funny and creative people from across the world to be the next big YouTube show hosts.

You must have a knack for the news, politics, pop-culture, spoken word poetry, art or music and should be able to talk well in front of the camera. You should be brimming with ideas and know that in the age of the internet, content delivery must be hard hitting!

Sounds like you? Well then go ahead and send us a video pitch (of under 60 seconds) of what you want your YouTube show to be about, and see it come to reality!

Send in your pitch at [email protected] ASAP, and come join what’s next!

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By Anshul Tewari:

Save the Children India and Youth Ki Awaaz got along in March this year to advocate for inclusion of child rights in political manifestos running up to the elections, through the #Vote4Children. While the campaign saw success right before the polls, and massive support from all corners, we kept the advocacy going on to ensure implementation.

In April, the campaign launched a blog-a-thon, or a blogging marathon, inviting blog entries on child rights. The response was overwhelming with over 150 individual blogs participating, and it took us a while to go through each of the fantastic entries to select the top two, who would be featured on YKA and would also win a Moto G phone and an Amazon Kindle, respectively.

The editors at Youth Ki Awaaz selected the top 20 posts, and the experts at Save the Children helped us bring it down to the top 2 entries, and after a much awaited period, the winners for the #Vote4Children blog-a-thon are announced.

The top 2 entries for the challenge were:

  1. Priyal Choubey’s “Ek Maatti sa katora“, and
  2. Shiraley Chandra’s, “The fragile butterfly

We congratulate the winners for the beautiful posts and thank all those who participated and helped us amplify the voice for India’s children.

Stay tuned for more!

dash

If you’ve been regular here and have ever submitted a post to Youth Ki Awaaz, you’ve known the dashboard as a place to get access to the submission forms at Youth Ki Awaaz and send in a post to publish on our website. We wanted to change things a little and make the submission zone a little more relevant for you. Starting today, the Youth Ki Awaaz user dashboard will have personalized recommendations for you from our editors and a space to pitch a story.

Why pitch, you ask?

We want to add value to the way you write and what you write, and we want to be able to help you write to engage more and more users and create a better and bigger following and audience for yourself, online. Hence, now when you send in a pitch, you receive a reply from our Community Editor to assist you on going through the process of writing the article, or creating the relevant and proper post. This also help us know you better, and vice versa.

Can you still submit urgent articles or stories? Of course! Just email them to us at [email protected] and we will follow the same process as we always did.

Want to know more? Head to the dashboard and pitch a story!

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By Anshul Tewari:

Youth Ki Awaaz is looking for a voracious social-media consumer and innovator with attitude and a deep knowledge of digital campaigning for social causes, to serve as a full-time Digital Campaigner in our New Delhi office. You’ll work with the Editorial and the Engagement team to turn-in and run innovative campaigns to engage young people on pertinent issues and causes, produce smart and engaging content, and drive high quality impact.

Youth Ki Awaaz is the fastest growing media platform for young Indians to express themselves on crucial issues, with 2+ million readers a month and over 20,000 writers. We’re transforming the media landscape and democratizing the opinion creation and development process. Youth Ki Awaaz campaigns form the back-bone of the action our community takes to further the causes and issues that we work on, supported by high impact non-profits and social good organizations.

Here’s what you’ll do as part of our team:

  • Identify, design, and execute high-response advocacy campaigns and youth engagements in collaboration with potential partners and high impact non-profits and social good businesses.
  • Work with a team of content and social media experts to build audience for campaigns that drive social change, challenge status quo and, break stereotypes and transition mindsets. Additionally, provide strategic advice, conduct media outreach, and promote them across the web and to our members via social media and email.
  • Contribute to Youth Ki Awaaz’s success measurements and lessons learned to ensure organization-wide skill building and best practices.
  • Build and maintain long-term relationships with organizations and community members to enable them to use Youth Ki Awaaz as a tool for youth engagement and social change.
  • Work on building a strong network of volunteers and campaigners around Youth Ki Awaaz.

Skills & experience required:

  • A deep commitment to collaborate on our mission of empowering young people through path breaking content and social campaigns.
  • Proven track record of designing strategies and tactics for organic growth of campaign/project on social media, including engaging users and deriving analysis.
  • Keen understanding of the Indian media landscape.
  • Experience and expertise in creating content for social media, and understanding of content for different social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
  • Skills to write effective, short and high quality emails
  • Excellent copy writing skills with sufficient experience
  • An inclination towards building interesting content
  • Understanding of numbers and trust in them — know how to measure a campaign’s success in numbers, and how to set up various tools to measure a campaign for analysis
  • Experience and willingness to work with a diverse set of people with different abilities and understanding
  • A willingness to take risks, fail, learn and adapt.
  • Strong sense of fun, innovation and exchange – that is what our team thrives on. You should be able to imagine and aim for the impossible.
  • 1-2 years of experience in social media driven campaigns or projects
  • Project Management Skills – this job requires timely and decisive project prioritization and resource allocation.

The job is often driven by a campaign cycle, so there are times that involve long hours and times that don’t. Our culture recognizes both the needs of campaigns and the need for rest and for our staff to have a life.

The position should be held in New Delhi.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, physical disability, or length of time spent unemployed.

How to apply:

Email careers (at) youthkiawaaz (dot) com with –

  • Cover-letter (not more than 500 words) and Resume
  • Writing sample on a recent current event or an issue you are passionate about
  • List of the campaigns you have run in the past, or social media projects you have managed in the past
  • List of the websites you get your daily news from
  • One paragraph identifying the one impossible invention you’d like to come up with and why – the bolder the better!

Why so much, you ask?

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By Anshul Tewari:

6 years! What can happen in 6 years? 6 years ago, in 2008, I started Youth Ki Awaaz, and a lot has changed since. Today is a big day! As I look back at my journey since 2008, much has turned around. Social media, that was looked at with suspicious eyes is the biggest form of media available to people, organizations, decision-makers and causes. Bloggers, who were once just mere writers for the world are now agents of change. Politics, that once fought out its battles via television and newspapers is now battling it out on social media. But what can really happen in 6 years? In 6 years, what started out as a personal blog where I’d voice my opinions has grown to give a voice to over 25000 young people. A blog that was once read by a minuscule number of people now gets 1.5 million readers a month. Things have changed for a population that was ignored, stereotyped, termed as apathetic and kept on the fringes of decision making; the same population is in the center of every dialogue and discourse of our times. We started out when no one was willing to invest time and effort in this population – and see how things have changed in 6 years.

Every day of our journey, we learned, unlearned and relearned. Every decision we took was taken by an unshaken belief that there is more that media can do to empower the everyday folk with the right tools and technologies to speak up and voice themselves, because after all, they hold the power to change their future. Last one year in particular has been exceptional. We read stories of change, of personal battles by young men and women against the norms of the society, of victories and failures and everything that made us believe that we are here for a reason, and we won’t go away till we fulfill our purpose. Every single person who read, commented, and wrote has contributed to the creation of this platform and has played a huge role in ensuring that we grow strength by strength.

I still remember one of the first questions posed to me by a fellow student back in college, “But what can a blog really change?“, and the answer is right in front of us. Happy birthday, Youth Ki Awaaz! You changed my life, and that of so many others. And congratulations to the amazing team that takes up the mighty battle to empower the everyday young folk, every single day. And thank you all for standing by with your stellar support. Many more years to come! :)

Here’s a special post about what the team behind the scenes has to say! Check it out.

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By Anshul Tewari:

Today we are very excited to announce a brilliant partnership between Youth Ki Awaaz and the CNN IBN Citizen Journalist program for the Youth Ki Awaaz Internship and Training program.

Starting February, the YKA Internship Program will power pack a video blogging module, designed by CNN IBN Citizen Journalist. The selected interns will receive an exclusive opportunity to get trained, over a Google Hangout, by producers from the Citizen Journalist team at CNN IBN and also receive opportunities to do assignments and create video blogs to be featured on YKA and the Citizen Journalist website.

Details of this partnership and the modules can be found in the internship program brochure, which can be downloaded from the internship page here.

In case you have already applied for the internship batch, there is no need to apply again, as your internship module will be automatically upgraded to include the video blogging training. In case you haven’t applied yet, the last date for applications is 2nd Feb, 2014.

So don’t wait, head to the internship page and apply now!

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2013 was your year!

Youth Ki Awaaz writers wrote over 2000 stories, you reached out to millions of people, drove massive awareness and impact on issues that did not find their space in the traditional media. From the personal story of a courageous girl suspended from her college for voicing herself against gender discrimination on campus, to the rage against the Delhi Gang Rape and Government corruption, stories written by thousands like you were shared by hundreds of thousands of people. 2013 was a terrific year – for women rights and gender equality, for political advocacy and awareness but more for thriving opinions and the power of sharing. All this because YOU believed in the power of opinions being shared through YKA.

Below is a look at how 2013 was for Youth Ki Awaaz. Here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year, and hope you’ll join us in growing strength by strength in 2014.

[button url=”http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/login/” size=”large” style=”red”]Voice yourself! Join YKA and submit your opinion, story photo or video.[/button]

Manthan

The evening before yesterday was extremely exciting for all of us at Youth Ki Awaaz. We were nominated for the prestigious Manthan Awards, South Asia’s highest honour in Information and Communication Technology for Development in two categories – ‘News and Journalism’ and ‘Social Media and Empowerment’.

And we won in both categories.

Manthan Awards had over 400 nominations this year, and Youth Ki Awaaz’s work was widely appreciated throughout.

Thank you each and every one who has helped us build a fearless platform, take up hard hitting issues that the traditional media has ignored for long and drive youth opinions around them. Cheers to the most amazing and passionate team that never fails to stay strong.

Most of all, all those who have ever written on YKA and broken every stereotype, gone against the status-quo. This award is for you!

Manthan

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Yes, for those of you who’ve been visiting us for quite a while now, we’ve changed the look and feel of YKA – undergone a bit of a re-brand in terms of the design. With this new design, we hope to:

Have more content accommodated on the home page:

With focus on big news and opinions, YKA will now serve featured opinions to you right when you enter the website, without having to scroll too much. The featured panel delivers hard-hitting news and opinions from the last 48 hours.

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Add more visual features such as graphs, charts and infographics on a regular basis.

Strengthening our political analysis, YKA will also focus a lot more on reportage on policy issues that directly affect the future of the current generation.
Vote Up-Down opinions:

Our comments section now gives you the power to also agree, or disagree by voting up or down an opinion you agree or disagree with, respectively.

With this redesign, we also plan to build a stronger community of writers and contributors around YKA, who write diverse opinions on crucial issues and topics. Moving ahead, we plan to strengthen our coverage on all categories mentioned in the menu bar above, on a daily basis.

To know how you can write on Youth Ki Awaaz, head to our submissions page here.

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A month ago, over 20 organizations came together to start the #unManifesto campaign on Youth Ki Awaaz for online crowd-sourcing of promises that people want their politicians to make as a part of their manifesto. From having #unManifesto trend on Twitter, to the campaign being featured on NDTV. Below is how we’re making this work!

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