Empowering Youth as Peacebuilders in India

May 19, 2024
A large group of people, predominantly women, stands on steps holding colorful signs with various phrases in English and another language. They appear to be posing for a group photograph.

Students at Mata Sundri College at a GPF India peacebuilding training workshop.

Global Peace Foundation (GPF) India collaborated with Kamkus College of Law and Mata Sundri College at the University of Delhi throughout the month of April to organize workshops to empower youth as peacebuilders.

Esteemed dignitaries joined students at Kamkus College for an inaugural ceremony inviting youth to join the new Peace Club on campus to foster moral and innovative leadership geared towards peacebuilding.

Dr. Rajneesh Kumar, a distinguished Trustee of GPF India, took center stage to expound upon the principles of non-violence espoused by Mahatma Gandhi. His words resonated deeply with the audience, emphasizing the pivotal role of nonviolence in achieving sustainable peace in our communities and beyond.

Dr. Ashok Pandey, a luminary in the field of education, shared his insight on transformative education based on shared values and practical skills that promote a holistic approach to learning that develops both the mind and character.

Continuing the enlightening discourse, Dr Surendra Pathak and Ms. Anjali elucidated the significance of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the Indian motto meaning “one world family,” a concept of oneness and interfaith leadership skills in shaping the future of law practitioners. Drawing upon real-world examples and insights, they illuminated the path toward developing understanding, harmony, and cooperation across diverse communities and belief systems.

Dr. P.C. Sinha further enriched the dialogue, delving deeper into the essence of peacebuilding and youth empowerment. He explained the peacebuilding process in detail, with many examples inspiring participants to actively engage in creating a more harmonious world. Through his guidance, attendees gained a deeper understanding of their role as agents of peace and catalysts for positive change.

In the age of AI, cybersecurity, and the global internet, Dr. Vandana Guliya highlighted the vital importance of digital awareness for peace. She emphasized the youth’s potential to lead in creating peace through social media amidst rising cybercrime concerns.

An older man in a blue vest speaks at a podium in a wood-paneled room. A screen beside him displays a Peace Club event poster.

Dr Markandeya Rai speaks to students at Mata Sundri College.

Another training workshop at Mata Sundri College featured the chairman of GPF India, Dr Markandeya Rai, who explained Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam as a key principle of Indian culture and the process of peacebuilding. India has a massive population of 808 million youth. Dr. Rai called on the youth represented at the university to take up their roles as leaders in peacebuilding. The energy, passion, and innovative nature of youth around the world make them vital to community-driven peacebuilding efforts.

Other representatives from GPF India included Dr. Prabhas Chandra Sinha and Anjali Tyagi, who gave presentations on components of the peacebuilding process, including good governance, equitable distribution of resources, the free flow of information, and human rights.

A group of people, dressed in formal attire, are seated in a conference room with a panel of speakers at the front. There are bookshelves and a "KEEP SILENT" sign on the wall.

Inauguration of a peace club at Kamkus College in India.

They shared tools for active listening alongside a strategic discussion on overcoming the “us vs them” mentality that is a common roadblock in the peacebuilding process. Using examples spanning ancient, medieval, and contemporary India, presenters emphasized the syncretistic approach in Indian tradition to contribute to peacebuilding.

GPF India’s peacebuilding training workshops serve as a platform for young participants to engage in significant dialogues and gain practical knowledge, underlining their pivotal position as agents of peace in the contemporary era. By advancing dialogue, value-based education, and peacebuilding strategies, attendees were empowered to build a more cohesive and equitable society actively.

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