I am Sehaj from Chennai, India. I am a youth analyst and have been researching on various aspects of youth psychology for past 3 years.
My journey started with the formation of a youth project called- Indian Youth Café- An experiential project designed to bridge the offline disconnect among the youth. Through our journey in knowing youth and their issues better; we realized that there are not one but many issues surrounding a young one in India. I can show you more distressing statistics but leaving all the negativity behind; I would rather show you how our team conceptualized a truly self-sustainable institution called Youth cafe during these years.
What’s a Youth Café?
Youth Cafe is an empathetic space designed for the youth which would not only sell affordable food/beverages but also host a plethora of free activities like workshops/youth meetups, etc. to engage the youth in meaningful connection and conversations. Now one may ask that there are already a lot of institutions in place like schools/colleges/coaching institutes but all these institutes instill a feeling of competition. We at Indian Youth Cafe strive to instill a feeling of Collaboration among the young people which can lead to a domino effect in the sustainable urbanization of India.
How a youth café can be made?
We have taken the creation of spaces very seriously and our observations have revealed that a profitable youth café in an urban area can be built for as low as 10 lakh rupees. Just to imagine the scale of collaboration that can be achieved if ultra low cost pop-up cafes in rural India shall be installed. We have been researching on various up-cycling techniques to bring down the cost of building a café and other costs respectively.
Youth Cafés In India – An Imagination.
A youth Café is a membership based café which sells food/beverages to the users ( Youth ). It also enables the young people to be a part of a community working towards the betterment of themselves as well as the community on whole.
Youth themed cafes- a study ( Low-cost/Ultra low-cost pop up cafes )
We have verified and checked the sustainability of a youth café by creating one. We built a café named Urban Desi House in the year 2015. It is a self-sustainable youth themed café where we have engaged young people in various projects. We have also organized truly unique meetups like YOUNG WEIRDOS MEETUP. These are the free events which are sponsored entirely by our project- Indian Youth Café. Tea and refreshments are served on the house- along some highly intensified discussions. We have been in touch with various other youth initiatives and expanded our network gradually. Moreover, we have been striving to give a platform to young people who wanted to showcase their skills/art. As of now, we are receiving cash/online/card payments to sustain the operation of the café. Thankfully, we broke even in just about 1 year and we have seen a tremendous support and enthusiasm among the local youth to see a creative social space made just for them.
YOUth- An emotion. YOUth Café- A Bridge.
Third institution for the youth- Equality for all.
A platform to help initiate and empower youth projects.
Attract funds for youth projects through events- Empower potentially strong start-ups.
Mentor – Mentee model to create a knowledge repository at low cost- exchange of thoughts.
Indirect employment for thousands of youth- Youth workers, graduates (Stipend based model).
Free networking for the youth. Connecting like minded change-makers on regular basis. Not just once.
Career guidance workshops/ Notifications of job postings for local youth.
Most affordable co-working spaces for young people on registration basis.
Eco-friendly – Made by creative up-cycling techniques- using Up-cycled Shipping Containers, scrap wood pallets, tetra-packs, etc.
Learning based workshops/events.
Engaging youth in community awareness programs.
Apprenticeship, residency programs, internships – India and the World.
Stage: A platform for new-age artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, coders to showcase their art and skills- Unending learning from thousands of youth- for thousands of youth.
In line with United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda.
Looking forward to discuss and share more with you! We would love to partner with you in securing a sustainable future for our lovely youth. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do together to catalyze the future of India.