The Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) will soon launch a platform for youth to volunteer in local civic and environmental action in the national capital, vice-chairperson, Jasmine Shah said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Delhi Volunteering Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) under its India@75 initiative, Shah said young people were eager to volunteer and find solutions with governments.
He added, “Until now, the emphasis of civic duties and democratic engagement of citizens has been only on electoral participation. The governments across India have failed to create any formal platforms to engage volunteers on neighbourhood issues such as schools, hospitals, environment and civic amenities,” said Shah while mentioning about “Desh Ke Mentor” programme by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in October 2021.
Elaborating further, he said that young volunteers act as guides for over lakhs of students studying in Class IX to XII of Delhi government schools, many of whom are first generation learners. The programme has a well-designed process to assess volunteers who apply and go through a psychometric test and then they are trained on all aspects of mentoring children.”
Shah explained that in over two months, 45,000 young volunteers have formally registered over the mobile application and are mentoring approximately 1,75,000 students. Out of these 45,000 volunteers, nearly 500 are from IITs and IIMs each and 15,000 are from other well-recognized universities.
“This demonstrates that there is a desire within the youth to volunteer, which can be channelized if the government creates opportunities and designs tools for engagement,” he added.
During his address, he described how the school management committees play a crucial role in the transformation of the education system in Delhi.
Shah said, "In August 2020, CM Kejriwal launched the Delhi@2047 initiative to build Delhi into an equitable city with per capita income of Delhi being equal to Singapore, a modern city with world-class infrastructure and public services, and a sustainable and resilient city. Resilience and sustainability is not limited to physical infrastructure, an important facet is social infrastructure or the social capital that comes together to fight a crisis.”
"Delhi @2047 initiative hosted by the DDC is dedicated to fostering long-term partnerships with individuals and organisations to build Delhi of our dreams by 2047," Shah added.
In its first phase, DDC has collaborated with private sector and philanthropic organisations on key projects such as the City of Lakes and School Health Clinics.
In the next phase of the initiative, DDC will soon launch a platform with well-designed roles for young volunteers to participate in environmental and local civic issues.