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Celebrating Youth Voices: Eco-Feminist Graduates are Ready to Lead Change!

The inaugural cohort of our Youth Eco-Feminist Community Action Course has successfully graduated, marking a significant milestone in their transformative journey. 

Developed collaboratively by Dhaatri, Sakhi, and Keystone, the 10-month course offered a comprehensive blend of praxis and theoretical learning to the participants coming from diverse Adivasi and Dalit backgrounds across four states in India. Through field visits to organisations working on Adivasi, Dalit, and women's rights; livelihood initiatives; and cultural knowledge practices, they gained invaluable exposure to various community action strategies and intervention design principles.

During the graduation ceremony, they presented their course experiences and outlined plans to apply this new found knowledge to address critical issues within their communities. By sharing their insights gained from community-based projects they undertook in the course, the youth exhibited a profound understanding of community-specific needs and gender-inclusive solutions, such as recognising the importance of forest access and sustainable agriculture in Telangana's Adilabad, addressing livelihood and women’s health challenges in Karnataka's Hosapete, and advocating for climate action in urban Maharashtra.

In addition to these learnings, the youth also spoke about their personal growth during the course. For instance, Rathnamala, from the Gond Community in Adilabad, expressed, "Previously hesitant to even speak up, now I confidently submit representations to authorities and assist others in form-filling."

Looking ahead to the future, these youth harbour diverse aspirations. While some plan on pursuing higher education, others are already spearheading community-driven projects. Despite their diverse paths, they are united in their shared goal of ushering in a greener, more equitable future for their communities.

"Eco-feminism has profoundly influenced me. We are all equal in nature's eyes, our society too must reflect this equality. I aspire to raise awareness about our own rights in the community and mobilise collective action to overcome our challenges." - Maharaja, Karnataka

The graduation ceremony was attended by senior Adivasi leaders and veteran social workers who lauded the youth for their innovative ideas and encouraged them to continue their constructive efforts in combating challenges and inequality within their communities.

We extend our deepest gratitude to all the mentor organisations who provided a nurturing environment for the youth, inspiring them with novel ideas and perspectives.

Pictures from the graduation event:


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