Young People Need To Step Out Of Comfort Zones And Make Friends Beyond Borders
Tehelka|October 31 2016
Young People Need To Step Out Of Comfort Zones And Make Friends Beyond Borders

SAMJHO TOH EXPRESS is a unique initiative of Commutiny — the Youth Collective (CYC) to explore cross- border friendships and relations. CYC’s associate coordinators Aparna ravi & Saudamani pandey, in an interview with mishika bangia, say the effort is to create a ‘5th space’ where young people take a journey from self to society, talk about their experience and the importance of freedom of choice while making friends.

Aparna Ravi / Saudamani Pandey

What is the objective of Samjho Toh Express?

This is an initiative of ComMutiny —The Youth Collective and its forum members to explore cross-border friendships and engage young people on issues of social inclusion in order to build vibrant systems across India. The Samjho Toh Express journey looks at amplifying, nurturing and creating safer spaces for young people. The objective is to engage young leaders and youth led organisations on issues of social exclusion, to enable a range of stakeholders like youth collectives, civil society groups and media groups to expand and strengthen the concept of a ‘5th space’ and to activate social media engagements and friendships beyond borders or labels.

How did you come up with the idea for the campaign?

We took Samjhauta Express as a metaphor for exploring cross border friendships beyond labels and voices of young people about stereotypes they hold for the ‘other’ (people from different background). The phrase Samjho Toh is about understanding the ‘other’ and ‘Express’ stands for expressions (through murals), opinions and journeys (including metro rides, walkathon, cyclathon and claiming public spaces). For the same, we put up advertisements in Delhi Metro and auto-rickshaws in Lucknow. These ads were displayed to collect responses and opinions of general public around the idea of social inclusion.

What are the stereotypes you tackled on the way?

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October 31 2016