Congratulations to YES 2009 alumnus Darshit Sagar from Chennai, India! Darshit was one of 11 young Indians selected as a member of the new US Mission Youth Advisory Council. Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, was present to help launch the Council in New Delhi on February 15.
Darshit writes of his experience, "the Council’s mission is to bring the over 400 million youth in India together to bring about effective social change and civic engagement with the help of today’s social media.
"Under Secretary Otero addressed the gathering and highlighted some challenges facing youth of the country such as, 'how can youth create a critical mass, how can social media be used for effective social and civil engagement, how can social media be integrated into the lives of youth especially those in rural areas? Do youth use social media in an effective way? How can this change be brought about?'
"At our first meeting, the council came up with some good ideas such as social awareness can be interspersed with fun and this also does not mean that if you have fun you cannot work. Youth need to see beyond their immediate surroundings and envision realistic goals for social change.
Participants decided to include more young people from rural India, make them part of the council, and identify the means of communication that would work best for each. Thank you to the U.S. Consulate in Chennai for their support.
Darshit was hosted in Pennsylvania during his YES year, and was also selected to participate in a 2011 YES Alumni Training of Trainers Workshop in Washington DC. Since the training workshop, he has implemented several local alumni trainings in Chennai and around India, and played a leading role in organizing and implementing the recent YES Alumni India Leadership Workshop.
Photo: center Darshit Sagar with Under Sec. Maria Otero to his right