A two-day festival called ‘Hejje’ is being conducted at Freedom Park by Samvada, a youth empowerment organisation, and Baduka Community College to celebrate young people’s leadership in society.
On the first day of Hejje held on Friday, the events included a graduation ceremony for Baduku Community College, two book releases, and a gathering where everyone shared their experiences of working in the Dhwani Campaign, an initiative by Samvada. The chief guest for the event was Dr H L Pushpa, a poet and the keynote speaker was Shri Veerabhadra Chennamalla Swamiji.
Students from St Joseph’s College, Bangalore, SIGNA Yuva Samvada Kendra, Tumkur, and Sakhi Yuva Samvada Kendra, Hospete attended the festival. The meeting between students and youth leaders of these colleges involved introductory and interactive sessions including games.
The Dhwani Campaign seeks to fight for justice and empowerment. “Every year we organise this campaign so that the volunteering students are aware of the four cells that every college should have: anti-ragging, anti-harassment, equal opportunity, and gender sensitisation cell. These students go back to their colleges and educate their friends,” said Navaneeta, II BSW, an intern at Samvada.
Ravi Kumar, a student from Baduku Community College said, “I have been attending this festival for the last six years and we all enjoy this festival. The knowledge we get from the Dhwani Campaign is extremely useful for us, as it teaches us to know how society functions and what we should rightly stand for.”
Reflecting on the work done by Samvada, Anita Ratnam, Executive Director of Samvada said, “I started this organisation 25 years ago and this is that time of the year when we all celebrate. Our volunteers take part in a month long training session where we educate them about Dhwani Campaign and teach them to stand up against discrimination and harassment in colleges.”
On Saturday, the volunteers will be conducting a public hearing on youth rights and there will be a declaration of the Youth Rights Charter, and a valedictory programme at Yavanika, Nrupathunga Road from 11 a.m. onwards.
– Saili Desai, I MS COM