' Rubaroo: Nurturing Stories for Social Change

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:

Char Minar is a monument and mosque located in Hyderabad, Telangana, India.


Participant shares the stereotype she wants to challenge post the workshop
Participants share what ‘Violence’ means to them through word web activity
Participant shares the stereotype she wants to challenge post the workshop

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.

'Rubaroo with Gender' is integrated within college curricula, as a workshop and leadership journey, as campaigns with young people, as modules in schools, and is also an advocacy space during the'16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence' annually.


Brainstorming session among participants during a workshop
Youth of different faiths visit religious places to understand the various perspective: A walk organized by Hyderabad Trails and Rubaroo during Agaaz-e-Baatcheet
Participants shares their own understanding of Role of religion: Both Pro’s and Con’s

“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.

‘Agaaz-e-Baatcheet’, ‘Empowering Young Global Citizens’, and ‘Keeping the Faith’ are some of the programmes which we have facilitated, promoting interfaith dialogue.

Youth Development

Wall painting activity by Youth and students at Grace Model School during “Samjho Toh Campaign: Friendship beyond Labels” led by Commutiny the Youth Collective, New Delhi
Doodling by students during their Orientation camp as part of their Rural In-Turn-Ship at RDT, Anantapur, AP
Posters to raise awareness on Gender Based Violence is set up during a Public event at LaMakaan, Hyderabad, Telangana

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 around them.

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.

'Rural In-turn-ship', 'Ladder to Leadership', and 'Looking within: Leaders for Change are some programmes that take young people on a journey from Self-Awareness to Self-Empowerment.