Youth report reveals need for a paradigm shift for sustainable urban development of the country

Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation & UN- Habitat announce the very first India Youth Fund Awards to support pilot models


Mumbai, 06 October 2013: UN- Habitat released a consolidated research report titled “The State of the Urban Youth India 2013: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills”, which brings together research findings, data and literature to suggest the need for a paradigm shift in addressing the issue of the urban young. The report developed by IRIS Knowledge Foundation and brought out by Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation (NSF), addresses the current status of youth in urban India through a focus on health, politics, governance, law, jobs, education, gender, migration, labour and other areas of opportunities in the country. Included is also a three-city survey on young people’s perception of employment opportunities.


Urban youth population in India is rising, resulting in a ‘youth bulge’. Moving from 353 million in 2001 to 453 million in 2011 and rising to 464 million in 2021, after which it will decline to 458 million. Addressing the issues of the urban young has become imperative in an attempt to garner youth voice and contribution in building a strong economy. The coming decades are critical for India if the demographic dividend is to be realised. India must address the needs of the young and provide them the opportunity to realize their potential. A paradigm shift that involves the incorporation of youth experiences, issues and skills in the conceptual policy framework and programme implementation is clearly the need of the hour. The report calls for result-oriented plug-in tools and strategic initiatives which advocates youth at the centre of urban change.


Following such a need for youth-oriented initiatives, UN-Habitat in its very first association with an Indian organization, NSF will be granting upto a total amount of Rs. 70 lakhs to youth organizations across India for their efforts in the field of sustainable urban and youth development through the India Youth Fund.


Leni Chaudhuri, Program Head, Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation said, “Youth in India have launched their movement for social change. Through the India Youth Fund, Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation (NSF) is acting as a catalyst to ignite their potential so that the country can experience the youth impact.”


The announcement of this initiative took place in the month of February 2013 and proposals for the funds were invited in eight focus areas – Urban Land, Legislation and Governance, Urban Planning and Design, Urban Economy, Urban Basic Services, Access to Health Information and Facilities, Housing and Slum Upgrading, Risk Reduction & Rehabilitation and Research and


Capacity Development. The award ceremony marks the culmination of a rigorous selection process and the initiation of 7 innovative grassroots youth projects across India. Following are The India Youth Fund Awards grantees for the year 2013-14:


  • The YP Foundation, Delhi  Active Citizenship and Governance – Empowering young women to lead communities towards improved quality of lives
  • Design Research Publication Cell [DRP], Balwant Sheth School of Architecture – Mumbai – Far (M)ore = Farm (grow) + More (income-livelihood).
  • Jeeva Karunya Trust-Tamil Nadu- National Snakebite Initiative – National Snakebite Initiative
  • PRO Rural – Nagaland-Solid Waste Management: Empowerment of waste wise managers for better urban solid waste management in Dimapur
  • Youth Movement for Active Citizenship-Mumbai-Building Slum Youth Leadership – Changing Communities
  • Light Innovative Organization For Rights, Tamil Nadu-Risk Empowering and rehabilitating transgender youth
  • South Asian Forum For Environment, Kolkata-Vertical Greens in Urban Environments as Career Corridors for Disadvantaged Youth


The India Youth Fund aims at advancing youth empowerment in India and provides a global opportunity to mobilize the youth for better youth related policy formulation. With an aim to transform ideas into reality through finance, training, and mentoring, projects will be led from their incubation stage into sustainable pilot projects towards wider reach and impact.


Both UN-Habitat and NSF strongly believe that the youth are a major force in the fight against urban poverty and the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. The synergies between the goals of both the organizations to work in partnership with youth and empower them to participate in decision-making in order to improve urban livelihoods and develop sustainable human settlements have led to this collaborative effort between UN- Habitat and NSF.




About Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation


Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation established in the year 2002 is a non-profit initiative created to support enterprising individuals and innovative organizations. Its goal is to promote excellence among individuals, improve the quality of life of those living on the edges of the society, promote and protect traditions, culture and art forms. The Foundation believes that if each individual has access to health care and an option to pursue a meaningful education and through it an opportunity for livelihood, India will truly progress.


About UN Habitat


The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It promotes socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN-HABITAT’s programmes are designed to help policy-makers and local communities get to grips with the human settlements and urban issues and find workable, lasting solutions.


About India Youth Fund


The India Youth Fund is part of the Global Youth Fund by the UN-HABITAT Governing Council that has so far awarded grants to 67 projects led by young people from all over the world. The India Youth Fund is a joint initiative by UN-HABITAT and Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation (NSF) that aims at advancing youth empowerment in India through the provision of grants upto INR 70 Lakhs to youth-led organizations in addition to training in functional areas of sustainable youth development.



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