India as a nation is gradually growing into an edifice of superpower politically and economically. Being a country with the largest youth population in the world a question that should be raised as a global discussion should be like, what aspects of development are youth representing today? If at all they represent, what part of rural or urban population of youth do they portray? The very pertinent aspect of inquiry remains that youth being considered as the demographic dividend are they only growing as agents of economic development. Being the frontline force of the booming nation they are often seen as the objects of development but the plans for their holistic development somewhere falls flat in the process.
It was to bridge this gap and fix up that exact piece of the missing tile, Rupantaran was initiated to build a space where youth can be aware about human rights, build up their perspective and enhance their skill with a motivation to build up a stronger community.
In 2009 Rupantaran was established, the first two years were more of an experimenting phase focused on ideas on social change through a single rural education centre. The finding from the pilot programmes reflected the dearth of young organizations and very few institutions with safe spaces for youth and adolescents in local context for rural areas in West Bengal. The issues remained the same but the manifestations and the divide between the rural and the urban scaled differently.
Gradually our journey expanded from self and connecting active citizenship to self and gender rights we noticed that there has to be an outlet for action connecting the self to the society. Through a problem tree analysis done with the youth the need for education, steps against early child marriage and child labour were a few issues that youth and adolescents pointed out as the menace to be fought against. So Rupantaran along with youth started designing the components of gender based programmes based on education, child marriage, trafficking and child labour tweaking the program from a local perspective. Collaborating with parents and local government was a necessary step for transformation as no cycle of youth action were complete without including the entire community. It was not a rebellious youth action that we were planning for, we were actually aiming for a sustainable development.