This review has given me the opportunity to make a complete fool of myself- and this time, I think I'll take the bait! It is my honour to vouch for TYPF because it has not doubted me; because it has taught me discipline; because it has helped me differentiate talk and action; because it has made me look beyond myself; because it has allowed me the space to do the work I want to do, and not JUST what it requires of me; because it has taught me that what you create is much bigger yourself; because it has given me a better interdisciplinary education than my University did; because it has let me take risks, and MADE me take some, as well; because it has made me laugh at myself; because it has taught me responsibility, and sustainability; because it has given me the gift of confidence, which I can take anywhere and everywhere; and lastly, because I know I am always welcome, within its fold.
Six years ago, it was about 20 non-adults, a lot of conviction, a million questions and a cynical shade of idealism, which proved extremely contagious. We sat around trying to figure out how to transcend systems, issues and trajectories that define, envelope and often condition the lives of a certain section and segment of India's youth. We started small, and soon after 8 public workshops, our 9th had about 250 people trying to balance themselves in a conference hall that seated just about a 150 people. It was our first glimpse of the larger potential which went beyond the 20 or so volunteers. The i stretched to the you, the them became an us and soon we began perceiving, planning and penetrating into uncharted territory. Advocacy, governmental policy, rights, duties, cinema, sexuality, pleasure, suffering, and the other stuff of life; saw no bounds. Today, we're faraway from claiming to cover/represent/interpret/etc all of India's youth populous, but the steps to assimilate and tap into this section has definitely begun. Today with a vast volunteer base, developing work systems, processes and structures, a ready vision/mission statement, a more goal oriented worksheet and a very intricately emotional and humanistic centre, I feel that The YP Foundation is continuing to evolve and realise its dreams and scope. You know, The YP Foundation has never really been a satisfying experience for me because it never fails to whet my appetite for more, it never hesitates to constantly question and push the envelope enough to expose the one lying beneath and then you have to push that and so on. It isn't an organisation as much as a living breathing organism which is still learning to define, grow, live and probably the toughest art of all sustain. And I'm intensely proud of being a tiny part of this organism, and being able to look at a registered organisation and think it has pieces of me and I would unflinchingly recommend its viability, flexibility and visceral potential as it helped me discover and excavate through mine in the process.
My association with The YP Foundation is a long and fruitful one. Through my involvement with the organization I have had the opportunity to work with a number of young people and have had the chance to be part of the team that nurture their talent, helping to actualize their ideas into realities and translate their passions into movements of social change. The organization has also played an integral role in my life, providing me with the platform to develop key life skills such as communication, conflict resolution, leadership skills and organizational ability. The most valuable aspect of the organization is the investment that it makes in young people by giving them the agency to contribute towards social change and believing in their talent, their passion and their ability to make a difference.
I started TYPF with a group of young people in 2002, and am absolutely amazed at what this organization has done for me in the last 7 years. I've grown as a person in the most incredible ways, become confident, articulate and been able to see myself as an active change maker in society. TYPF has brought together young people who for the longest time, where underground, not in their talents but in the access they had to opportunities and tools. This is a tough organization to work in - but never in my life have I met 7 generations of such committed young people - and I know it's thanks to the kind of training, mentoring and space that TYPF collectively provides. I found my space :)