In a space of their own

Exciting Venture

In a space of their own

Bangalore has different youth-related activities happening throughout the year and many cafes to interact at.

 Opening more opportunities for the youngsters in the City to communicate and explore their thoughts is Nithya Devaraj’s youth community collective space Namma Adda, located in Chamrajpet.

This concept of opening a space for the youth occured to Nithya about two years back. “I was interning with an organisation in the UK, which does workshops on confidence-building and anti-bullying among the youth, and that made me think about my City, where there was no such space for the youth to come together collectively and voice themselves,” she says. 

Ask her about the concept and she says that the group is currently working on different themes like defeating gender stereotypes, strengthening confidence among the youth, soft-skills training and sustainable development for the youth.

Nithya aims to create a platform where youth from all walks of life would be able to express themselves freely. “When I communicated this idea to people I knew, it was initially met with reluctance. The idea of intermingling between the middle-class and low-income groups confused them but now, a lot of young IT professionals have expressed their interest,” she says.

Working with other coordinators like George Deepak,  Malathi Vimal and Omita Jain, Nithya is hopeful that the concept will click. 

   Commenting on the space, Nithya says that they have more than 10 volunteers with Namma Adda now after their first activity, which was held in March. “We’re trying to build a network first and also go about with different activities so that we can build interest among the people,” says Omita, one of the coordinators. 

She adds that most youngsters go through different incidents in life and this space will help the youth grow together as responsible citizens. “We hope to interact with youngsters who have gone through varied experiences like ourselves and be able to share our thoughts and help each other in the process,” says Omita.

George Deepak, another coordinator who also works with an NGO which deals with youngsters from six to 18 years of age, says that Bangalore needs a space like Namma Adda, where information can be shared. 

   “The City doesn’t have a space where people can voice their thoughts as well as showcase their talent for free,” he says.

 So what can youngsters expect from this space? Nithya excitedly says, “There is a lot that can be explored with Namma Adda. This space will not only serve you tea, coffee and coconut water but also engage the youth to learn, understand and question.”

 She says that the space will see a lot of workshops, film screenings and many interactive activities and she vouches that the place will be accessible freely for any youth group to host events as long as Namma Adda is informed in advance. 

The youth is tomorrow’s future and Nithya hopes that despite progressing at a slow pace, Namma Adda will help in conditioning the youth of the City. 

   “Apart from coffee places or pubs, there are no spaces where the youth can just hangout in the City. I wanted to create such a space where it doesn’t cost much to share thoughts and experiences,” she wraps up.

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