Students who attempted our #ConstitutionLiteracy exam this January, realised as they engaged with the constitution that the exam was just the beginning! There is so much more to do! Thus were formed these friends of the Indian Constitution, who shall soon be taking its values, fundamental rights, responsibilities and overall framework to bastis, villages, schools, colleges, youth groups, administration, political parties and other stakeholders.

This was the true vision behind the Constitution Literacy Competitive Exam launched this year by Anubhuti. The exam was an incentive for college youth to read and understand the Indian Constitution, and more importantly gain sensitivity to social issues that can only be solved by implementing the Constitution. On the Prize Distribution day, the idea of “Constitution Friend” was thus announced and slowly but surely about 15 youth signed up for it. The number might seem small, but read ahead to see the power of these youth!

On 19th February 2019, on occassion of World Social Justice Day the next day, the first meeting of Constitution Friends was held in Anubhuti office, and they blew our mind away!

Youth are a revolution. My icons are Karl Marx and Gandhi.

– Prabhat Gupta

Youth have capability to change, youth are dynamic leaders. My icons are Marx, Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru.

– Yash Jha

Youth are interested in change but need direction to get to root of problems instead of just reacting. My icons are P.L.Deshpande as a socially conscious author.

– Sandeep Vadde

Youth have power, capacity but lot of divisions of caste, gender, even of ideology – because of which they can’t connect to change.

– Sayali Shinde

Youth are vocal, not scared to speak out. Ideologies should be changing, dynamic, open to reflection and critique. I want to find my own direction, so have come to this space.

– Annapurna

Youth mean a community with immense energy. I want to work in grassroot, women’s education, etc. There cannot be social change till we don’t understand our Constitution. This should be part of our education, but the objective of the education we access is not what it should be.

– Dhammashri More

I often feel guilty that I have seen something wrong happening but did not take any step to stop it. I can take strong steps in the future if I know our Constitution. Youth is the group that is seen as “useless” by most of society, so are not given any voice or importance. We have to create an identity for ourselves as youth so people respect our opinions.

– Snigdha Morais

In my village, powerful people just waste youth’s lives in addiction and other harmful things. As youth we should show courage to establish ourselves as social change leaders.

– Sandeep Rathod

The youth I have seen are on the way to destruction because of addiction, poverty, exploitation. There is a youth population of whom I am a part for whom this is the reality.

– Pradeep Parde

The above are searingly honest takes on who youth are – by our youthful constitution friends. These statements shred to pieces the common thought that youth are frivolous and waste their time. This meeting saw discussions on topics of: unequal distribution of resources, how this is directly connected to our social status, how this translates to concrete negative impact on the development of oppressed groups and therefore how measures like reservation are extremely relevant. Few more doubts of the group about reservation were cleared, eg. if economic reservation is more viable.

Overwhelming feedback of the group after this meeting was energetic and positive. They decided that they needed in-depth training on various topics to start working as Constitution Friends