A new youth movement to tackle the global pandemic is gathering steam in India. Called the #YoungWarrior movement and backed by UNICEF and the Ministry, it has already gained 60 lakh millennial volunteers from rural and urban quarters.
Close to 5,800 girls aged 18-30 years recently registered as Young Warriors and pledged their support to take positive action against COVID-19 in their own villages. They are Team Balika volunteers for Educate Girls, a non-profit working in the most rural and remote villages of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to bridge gender and literacy gaps among girls.
What is the Young Warrior Movement?
The Young Warrior Movement has been initiated by the Young People, Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYAS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), YuWaah, UNICEF and 1,350 partners, to engage 5 million young people to take action against COVID-19, and cumulatively impact the lives of 50 million people across India.
Through this movement, young people are engaged in easy real-life tasks to encourage families and community members to get vaccinated, curb COVID-related misinformation through fake-news busting tools, promote and amplify information on COVID-appropriate behaviour, among other important initiatives. In the last two months, more than 6 million young people have taken action as a part of the #YoungWarrior Movement.
Dhuwarakha Sriram, UNICEF India’s Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah), Youth Development and Partnerships, said, “If we can equip young people with the right support, they can change the course of the COVID-19 trajectory in India. The Young Warrior Movement aims to engage young people from all parts of the country. For those with phones and internet, we have developed a simple chatbot that issues tasks related to fighting COVID-19. Those without internet connectivity can give a free missed call to an IVR number. For young people who may not have access to device, information is shared through 200 community radio stations. We welcome Educate Girls’ Team Balika volunteers as Young Warriors to safeguard themselves, their families and their communities in this fight against COVID-19.”
As a part of their COVID Relief Initiative, Educate Girls’ community volunteers called Team Balika and their 2,200 employees have been promoting Covid-19 awareness, distributing ration and hygiene kits to over 115,000 ultra-poor households in remote villages of India.
Efforts of more than 15,000 Team Balika volunteers have helped Educate Girls in ensuring 2,30,600 children from the most marginalised, rural villages of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh stay connected with education through Camp Vidya, a community-based learning initiative. Educate Girls is also collaborating with YuWaah for multiple trainings for its community volunteers that will enable them to tackle issues like gender-based violence, caring for people with disabilities, among other initiatives as part of the collaboration.
How you can join the #YoungWarrior movement
1) Type ‘YWA’ and send it to +91 96504 14141 on WhatsApp
2) Give a missed call to 080-66019225 on your phone
3) Take the pledge, post ‘I am a #YoungWarrior’ & tag 5 friends on social media.
4) Log on to yuwaah.org or visit its social media pages
5) Search for UReportIndia on Telegram.