Ishita Chaudhry

Ashoka Fellow
India,
Fellow Since 2011

Citation

This profile was prepared when Ishita Chaudhry was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Ishita thinks most youth movements are not cognizant of the sociopolitical and economic history of previous initiatives and therefore, do not benefit from that experience or understand the history. She anticipates adult-led movements eventually dying out if conversations are not extended to younger generations. In this context, Ishita believes that building intergenerational collaborations that foster youth-focused and youth-led initiatives are critical to creating changemaking societies.

Ishita’s vision is to see young people recognized as powerful decision makers and equal stakeholders, leading initiatives and collaborating with adult-led systems to influence policies and practices that advance their concerns as citizens. TYPF’s interventions are designed to put both economic and social power in the hands of young people and create opportunities for them to proactively engage in solving social problems that they identify as important. TYPF equips young people with the tools to access information, services, and rights so that they can build collective platforms to create social change and negotiate with adult-led systems. Working directly with approximately three hundred young people every year, TYPF provides youth with the framework to organize themselves into action-oriented teams leading initiatives across six focus areas at the grassroots and policy levels. TYPF bridges the intergenerational divide by building partnerships with citizen organizations (COs) that provide a basis for the youth initiatives and facilitate cross learning. In addition, each young person in TYPF is connected to an adult mentor from among the network of partners who provides inputs and dialogues with him/her through their entire experience with TYPF.

TYPF also establishes strong connections between youth movements across India to build their capacities and encourage them to collectively lobby for their causes. Over the last ten years, TYPF has provided a space for youth to undergo transformative experiences and created sustainable social impact through their initiatives. More than 40 percent of TYPF’s alumni are working with human rights related issues and an additional 20 percent graduated to establish their own organizations and initiatives that TYPF continues to support.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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