See how young people in India have run their Youth Consultations for the WYA

See how young people in India have run their Youth Consultations for the WYA

Young people from across the world have been engaging in Youth Consultations for the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety! The Youth Consultations create a space for young people to come together, reflect discuss their futures.

We want to hear your proposed solutions to transform our area into safer and sustainable spaces, considering topics such as health, environment, human rights, equality, poverty and other issues related to road safety and mobility. What issues do you face on the road? What could make your journeys safer? What needs to change?

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Young people from India recently completed a Youth Consultation using the simple Step-by-Step Guide. We caught up with consultation leader Soumita Chakraborty to get insight into how the consultation was set up and what made it successful.

Where did you conduct your Youth Consultation?  
Of the 2 youth consultations I had, although both of them were in the Badarpur region in South East district of Delhi (India), the one with community youth was conducted in the community park itself, whereas the one with Youth Facilitators of Restless Development, was held in the Badarpur Youth Resource Centre (YRC) of the organization.
Where did you find your participants?
Since I am working with Restless Development, a youth-led organization, I work with a network of community level youth leaders through some of the programmes that I co-manage with my colleagues. I was able to connect with young people passionate about working towards road safety within the age group of 18-29 years for the consultation through our Youth Facilitators (community youth leaders).

How did you bring them together?
I had a round of discussion with other programme team members managing our community young leaders, project officer in the field and her team on the World Youth Assembly, its importance, about the youth consultation and criteria of young people that we are looking for. They brought together the groups based on my indicated criteria, on the days of youth consultation.


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What were the major issues identified by the group?
The groups identified more than 3 issues that they feel are being faced by young people when it comes of transit system and safe mobility in India. They are as follows:

  • Lack of inclusiveness in the existing transport system- Neither are the pedestrian paths, roadways, over-bridges or underpasses accessible to people with special needs (which restricts them to personal vehicles and increases their dependability on family members)  nor do they ensure safety to women at all times of the day.
  • Lack of cameras in highways or high speeding zones- Although this service is available in major parts of capital city, it isn’t the case in smaller or inner lanes and smaller towns.
  • Underage driving is rampant in parts of the city- This is due to parents’ encouragement to help their children learn driving early in their adolescent years, without understanding the consequences of underage driving. Although the law is strictly followed in most of the city, driving without a license in teenage years is quite rampant within community lanes and smaller inner roadways. These sometimes being more populated colonies, more often than not, puts the driver and localites at risk.
  • Lack of patience among people driving- Although not applicable to most areas, there are parts of the city as well as the city where pedestrian pathways and footpaths are used by two-wheelers to speed up and avoid heavy traffic. Similarly, in the absence of traffic police within a small stretch of road, to avoid a longer route for U-Turn, cars and other motor vehicles also drive in the wrong direction, with passengers.
  • Lack of emergency corridors for ambulance and fire brigades
  • Differential laws to ensure safe mobility, when it comes to ministers and general public.

yours artwork consultation 1What were the solutions identified?
Installation of more cameras within a shorter distance to ensure that all roads are covered and regular maintenance or changing of the old ones.

  • Generate awareness among people to use more of public transport than private vehicles, particularly in the recent times, which is witnessing an unprecedented growth in ownership of multiple private vehicles by each household. This is increasing the congestion and pollution level, along with encroachment of more and more built up area for road ways. It is a vicious circle.
  • Generate awareness among parents to prevent them from encouraging their children to take up underage driving, even if that is restricted to their neighborhood lanes.
  •  Strict implementation of rules in all neighborhoods, bylanes and inner lanes, instead of only the major roads and highways.
  • Need to revise the traffic rules to align them to the current scenario and needs. Eg- some of the revisions on fine for breaking traffic rules need to be made widespread to ensure that everyone follows them.
  • Need for decision and policy makers to rework on the planning of existing urban infrastructure and facilities available, to ensure emergency corridors and provisions of safety for all vulnerable population

What went well?  
These young people belonging to different parts of North India, spoke of not only their immediate neighborhood or area, but of issues faced by young people in India at large. They also spoke from their personal experience, where some of them lost their family members to road accidents, others have close acquaintances who were perpetrators of ill practices that put other road users at danger or themselves were caught several times flouting the rules and learnt their lessons the hard way.

What was the youth’s commitment to safe mobility?
As a group, they committed to work at their individual capacity to promote behavior change among their friends and family that ensures road safety for all. They also agreed to have a discussion in their respective communities on what I informed them about the work being done globally to mitigate road accidents and injuries at various levels, to generate awareness and a comprehensive understanding of severity and importance of road safety.

Top tips for other young people wanting to conduct youth consultations?
Road safety isn’t something new. Issues related to transportation and safety concerns is something each and every young person faces or had faced at some point. It is something everyone can relate to and can also provide meaningful solutions to, as it is related to their day to day life. So it will be a great experience trying to understand and bring out differential or similar issues and stories faced by young people. You will be amazed to see how much they are aware of the importance of it and willing to take part in ensuring safety for all.

Any final words about the consultation? Did you enjoy it?
It was a good experience, where very different point of views emerged due to the group’s diverse background. There were also implications of gender specific safety concerns.


Inspired? Take part in the Youth Consultations