Hyderabad as a city has evolved over the last ten years with the incoming and investment of the IT Sector
in the state’s capital. Along with this, the political scenario of the recent divide between Andhra Pradesh
and Telangana has churned many young-people’s movements in taking action and stances in various issues within
the city and around.
Young people – both adolescents and youth in Hyderabad have been driven by movements around and have started to question their own understanding of their perspectives on social issues and how they engage them. Hyderabad’s youth population – be it schools students, college students, or young corporate employees also have a vision to give back to their communities by taking social action.
When we talk about change, we talk about mindset change. And a lot of this mindset has been ingrained and deep rooted through a cultural handing down of values and practices. Conflict in society is also often a handed-down bias of identity and identity-based discrimination. At Rubaroo, we facilitate and create time and space for individuals to reflect upon various identities that they hold and how it may influence them to see the world around them.
Among the many interconnected issues existing in the world around us, some of the focus areas of Rubaroo, are:
The issue of Gender, especially, is a deep rooted one, where the understanding of roles has
been a cultural movement across generations. So much, that these gender roles, stereotypes, and
stigmas have only become accepted realities, that exist within the current one. At Rubaroo, our
work also includes enabling young people to connect the dots of various issues together – Gender,
Violence, Sexuality, and Rights, amongst others.
Rubaroo, since its inception has, in solidarity, campaigned with the ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence’. Rubaroo partners with organizations across the city in creating a space where they engage with gender and violence, and understand how each one of them plays a role in enhancing the gap, even if subconsciously. Each year, on 10th December, as part of International Human Rights Day, we organize a public event, a self-facilitated space, to engage with Gender and it’s issues through games, quizzes, movie screenings and discussions, theatre, and social action projects led by youth.
While our core work remains in working with adolescents and youth, we also work with teachers to learn and work with Gender within their classrooms.
“We have to sit down, have a meal together, pray together and then actually talk together.
Then we realize that, yes, although we have some differences they are not impassable
differences.” ~ Pauline Tangiora
Tangiora’s words resonate louder than ever in the world we live in today. The relevance of these words has grown visibly over the last few decades that have seen ethnic, racial, and religious conflicts spreading fear, discord, and violence across the globe. India, also, is home to diverse religions, cultures and people. As much as there is beauty in the diversity and coexistence, we often find ourselves constantly surrounded by stories of differences and disharmony, and fail to appreciate and celebrate this diversity. At such a time, it becomes crucial for everyone to come together to not only deconstruct these notions, hate messages, and conflicts, but also spread messages of love, understanding, and religious harmony within their communities and society at large.
We, at Rubaroo, believe in creating a platform for young people to reflect deeply and interpret the underlying message of different faiths and identities, and in finding and celebrating the commonalities between them. It needs to be such a space where they question their doubts, address their fears, and celebrate their diversity. We facilitate the building of an organic Interfaith community, by inspiring Youth to lead Social Action projects within their communities.
Young People are often in spaces where they are expected to become part of existing cultures,
or adhere to norms / rules of any space, or become active workers because they are young and energetic.
Very rarely are they ‘allowed’ to create a space, or be active decision makers in spaces governed by adults
At Rubaroo, we work with young people in creating a platform where they facilitate their own learning. Our programmes are spaces of self-reflection for an adolescent or young person to facilitate change in a non judgemental and a non threatening nurturing environment. We offer varied exposures, workshops, camps, internships, among many more learning spaces, where, with a little bit of openness and a desire to challenge themselves, young people are able to become change makers of / within their own lives.