Making Bhubaneswar Socially Smart with youth as active partners


Bhubaneswar: Under the citizen connect programme of the Bhubaneswar Smart City plan, a workshop on “Youth Connect” was organised by the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation(BMC) in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Youth connect is a component of the citizen’s connect initiative aimed at connecting youth in social development processes in the urban arena with a specific focus on promoting healthy lifestyle and creating an environment in campuses that is safe specifically for girls.

In a day long programme, around 70 nodal officers comprising of National Social Service (NSS) programme officers and faculty fromseven universities and more than 45 colleges of Bhubaneswar participated.The participants shared a wide range of ideas and activities that can be organised in their institutions on the two themes identified for the academic year, “Safe Campus – Safe City” and “Better Life – Better Style”.

The nodal officers will engage students in their respective institutions by creating awareness and promoting collective action.  Some of the activities planned include safety audit of the college campus, awareness on cybercrimes, creating a tobacco free campus, promoting gender equality, healthy habits and physical activities, steps to prevent sexual harassment, bullying and ragging. Overall, the idea is to create awareness among youth, channelize their energy to bring changes in the society, provide them platforms to share their experiences, exchange ideas and be change agents for a better urban living.

Deepak Kumar Routrai,GM (Operations), BSCL andDr Deepa Prasad, State Programme Coordinator, UNFPA, addressed the participants at the workshop.

Action plans were developed for each college by the participants who also appreciated the initiative. They suggested regular interface and a platform to share activities organised in different colleges to sustain interest of students and institutions.

The participants were informed on the plan by the city to further intensify the youth engagement by organising “City Changer Labs”. The City Changer lab is aimed at providing a platform for youth to come up with creative solutions, innovative models and applications for improved urban living.

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