Youth leaders join hands for sustainable water solutions

The 7th YUVA Meet, held as a prelude to the DSDS 2015, helped connect the academia and students with governments, local communities and other stakeholders to evolve multi-disciplinary approaches to understand and solve water problems.
Youth leaders join hands for sustainable water solutions

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) organised the two-day ‘YUVA Meet 2015’, where experts, including youth in large numbers, deliberated on the theme ‘Sustainable Solutions: Safe Water for All’ . The YUVA (Youth Unite for Voluntary Action) Meet has been held annually since 2009, and has brought together young people from various parts of the world to find sustainable solutions to key developmental problems. Previous YUVA Meets witnessed the participation of youth from not just states across India, but also from over 25 countries.

The YUVA Meet is an event of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) and is held prior to DSDS so that the voices of the youth can be heard at this major international forum. The DSDS is the annual flagship event of TERI, and the 15th edition of the Summit will be held in New Delhi from February 5 to 7, 2015. YUVA Meets have received support from the Government of India, the Delhi Government, British Council, RCE Network, United Nations University IAS, Tetra Pak India Pvt. Ltd. and Dell Global Giving.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr RK Pachauri, Director General, TERI, said: “Water is a subject which is at the top of challenges that India, and indeed the world, would be confronting in the years ahead. There are growing stresses on water resources in many parts of the world and these are likely to be exacerbated by climate change. YUVA 2015 focuses on this important resource and its management, and will have the youth of India define actions that need to be taken in hand to create a water secure future for humanity and this country.”

Rajeev Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, said on the occasion, “Water for all has many aspects – cleanliness of rivers requires development and management. We need a behavioural change to address the issue of waste disposal. The government is doing its bit, but society has a major role to play to achieve success. Enlightening the youth is a great mission to ensure safe water for all.”

Speaking on the occasion, Richard Everitt, Director Education, British Council India, said, “Water security is a critical issue. India has one of the largest young populations in the world. We need to address the youth as leaders of the future. Social entrepreneurs are working in this area and they have the capacity to tackle the problem.”

Ranjana Saikia, Director, Educating Youth for Sustainable Development Division, TERI said while her address, “The journey of YUVA has been fascinating… In 2010, we had the first group of international participants. And this year, we held a series of seminars across seven states in India focusing on water as a sustainable solution for all.”

State Level Youth Seminars

As part of the YUVA Meet 2015, a series of State Level Youth Seminars under the theme ‘Sustainable Solutions for Access to Safe Water: Promoting Innovation and Collaboration’ were held in the seven states in India, Assam (Guwahati), Bihar (Patna), Maharashtra (Pune), Uttar Pradesh (Noida), West Bengal (Kolkata), Karnataka (Bengaluru) and Punjab (Ludhiana). More than 150 youth from colleges, universities, NGOs, NSS, NYKS and youth groups from the respective states participated in these seminars. These seminars provided an opportunity for the youth to enhance their understanding on issues concerning safe water accessibility, youth engagement and sustainable development. 

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