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The face of change

Nina C George, DH News Service, Jun 28 2017, 0:19 IST

Young voices

committed: Young people are increasingly coming out on the streets to create awareness on social issues.  (Above) College students miming about the problems of the differently-abled recently. DH Photo by B H Shivakumar

committed: Young people are increasingly coming out on the streets to create awareness on social issues. (Above) College students miming about the problems of the differently-abled recently. DH Photo by B H Shivakumar

Youngsters taking to the streets to voice their opinion may not be a new phenomenon but it has certainly gained momentum over the last few years.

Students can be spotted at prominent traffic junctions in the city, holding placards with socially relevant messages. They aim to educate and enlighten people about important issues such as child
trafficking, violence against women, drug abuse and road safety.

A group of students from St Joseph’s College were recently seen lining the streets of M G Road, armed with posters about road safety. The students would walk across the road when the signal lights turned red and hold out placards to attract the attention of motorists.

Ravi Kumar, a student who was a part of the movement, says “Road safety was the focus of our theme. The messages on the placards were put together after a thorough research on the problems faced by motorists. We talked to people about the dangers of overspeeding, reiterated the importance of wearing a helmet and using a seat belt when driving.”

He also points out that people were very receptive to them. “People asked us a lot of questions and we were more than happy to answer them all. We felt like we were leading the way towards something good,” he adds.

Students of Mount Carmel College recently organised a ‘Superwoman walkathon’ to throw light on the increasing cases of violence against women.

The students made T-shirts resembling that of Superman. Kaveri Charithara and Susan Shalini V, who were a part of the event, say that they identified with the theme that was knit around women’s progress.

“Even if we talk about the need for an egalitarian society and gender equality, there would still be a section that wouldn’t be comfortable with the thought because societal norms don’t permit women to be on par with men,” says Kaveri.

The walkathon highlighted issues like the need to empower women and provide equal opportunities. Says Susan, “Independence and safety of women was the motto. The idea was to instill confidence in women and make them feel secure.”

Another group that works with students to highlight problems faced by the differently-abled is Giftabled. Prarthana Prateek, the founder, says “Students are an integral part of all our events. We choose to stand at traffic junctions because we get better visibility for the cause we wish to highlight. We are also able to connect with more than 100 people.”

She adds that youngsters are more outgoing, have no inhibitions and are committed to the task at hand. Roopa Shastri, a student of Christ University, says “It is my eagerness to highlight socially relevant issues that inspires me to be a part of such events. I am happy that I am working towards sensitising people about issues related to the differently-abled and contributing to making society a better place.”

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