Empowering Youth: Community Youth Hub Project Report

Community Youth Hub

Empowering Youth Voices for Change

The Community Youth Hub project, initiated in 2023, aimed to empower youth leaders from Kolkata and Roing, fostering freedom of expression and advocating for the rights of marginalized communities. Sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General Kolkata in collaboration with Prayasam and Amyaa non-profit organizations, the project focused on equipping youth with essential skills and knowledge to become advocates for change within their communities.

Workshop in Roing, Arunachal Pradesh

On March 12, fifteen local youth from Roing, Arunachal Pradesh, participated in the final workshop of the Community Youth Hub project. They engaged in activities centered around photography, video creation, and editing, learning how to express their opinions effectively through social media platforms. Additionally, participants developed action plans to serve as mentors and role models for future cohorts of the Community Youth Hub.

Objectives of the Project

The primary objective of the project was to raise awareness among youth about their rights, roles, and responsibilities as citizens. By providing training in various aspects such as leadership, filmmaking, social media content development, and countering misinformation, the project aimed to empower youth to advocate for their opinions and community rights at a grassroots level.

Impact and Outcomes

Throughout the duration of the project, thirty youth leaders from Kolkata and Roing actively participated in workshops, discussions, and practical exercises. They produced a series of short films addressing critical issues such as climate change, misinformation, gender-based violence, drug abuse, and cultural heritage preservation. These films were screened at various locations to sensitize local communities and garner support for addressing these concerns.

Statement of Support

Elizabeth Lee, Director of the American Center in Kolkata, emphasized the United States' commitment to freedom of expression and democracy. She highlighted the importance of programs like the Community Youth Hub in empowering youth leaders and facilitating the peaceful expression of thoughts and opinions.

Future Aspirations

The Community Youth Hub aspires to evolve into a central platform for youth communities across the region. By continuing to empower young leaders and addressing pressing issues, the hub aims to foster positive change and contribute to the development of vibrant and inclusive communities.


The Community Youth Hub project has successfully empowered thirty youth leaders from Arunachal Pradesh and Kolkata, equipping them with essential skills and knowledge to advocate for their communities' rights. Through collaborative efforts and a commitment to freedom of expression, the project has laid the foundation for positive social change and community development.

About the project journey

This project tackles the absence of knowledge and understanding of freedom of speech of economically backward communities, the existing ecosystem of disinformation and yellow journalism that leaves people on the periphery of society ignorant of their rights. After extensive planning since the beginning of 2023, Prayasam formulated a feasible plan in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs) of SDG-10Reduced InequalitiesSDG-11Sustainable Cities & Communities and SDG-16Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

Between April–December 2019, The National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRCI) formulated a Report titled ‘Locating National Human Rights Commission Within The Human Rights Discourse At The Grassroots In Rural India.’ The study concluded that people at the grassroots level lack awareness about human rights, including the fundamental rights elucidated in The Indian Constitution.

It is, therefore, not a surprise that there is a sheer absence of knowledge and understanding of freedom of speech among economically backward communities. With the rise and prevalence of social media directed trends, an ecosystem of disinformation and yellow-journalism has been created in recent years that disproportionately affect marginalized people because they are unaware of their basic rights. The NHRCI clearly outlined in the above-mentioned report that “the marginalized are not aware of their rights and mechanisms of redressal of their grievances.”

Given this prevailing situation, the need of the hour is to ensure a sustainable system is created and executed which makes the marginalized people to firstly understand what they do not know and to then empower them so that they can present their side of the story in front of the mainstream and bargain as equal community stakeholders.

For the Community Youth Hub which operates at the grassroots level, the content creators are from the marginalized communities who voice their rights and uphold democracy. The outcome of this project would be the Community Youth Hub acting as the central coordinating point of the other teams spread across different cities. The HUB will become independent and be able to sustain itself for the long-run. Through this project we wish to see marginalized people become the spokesperson for their problems and highlight other complex situations in their community which needed the attention all this while.

There have already been a series of workshops with the community youth & adults on their democratic and legal rights, activity-based capacity building workshops on freedom of speech & disinformation and how to utilize technology relevant to media matters so that we can reach more people. These workshops were held in Roing, Arunachal Pradesh in September-2023 and later in March-2024, a technical training phase was conducted along with a Final Exposition event which was attended by notable & accomplished persons in Arunachal Pradesh and received widespread media attention. Additionally, a workshop was also held in Kolkata during November-2023 and a similar Exposition event was held in the U.S. Consulate-General's Lincoln Room where the Director of the American Center, Ms. Elizabeth Lee, was the Guest of Honour.
The Community Youth HUB will be a means to an end whereby the local youth can foster a change in mindsets among people in their neighborhoods, their city and even their state (all of which are considered as communities). With a disciplined approach and dedication towards their work, the youngsters running the HUB will be able to positively influence policy matters at the very top through their advocacy activities and this will ultimately shine the spotlight of development on the same communities which used to be left out of the development agenda until now.
Besides the intangible benefits, there has been an observable impact of the training and exposition; for starters, the General Manager (HR) of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation has agreed to set up 50 disposal bins in Roing, Arunachal Pradesh after watching the HUB member's Reels on pollution and littering. Ms. Motto Mimi, Correspondent at ArunBhoomi News Channel has agreed to hire some of the youth from the HUB in her news channel thereby giving these long marginalised youths a job opportunity.

Furthermore, some of the guests at the Exposition event in Arunachal Pradesh have now come forward as change-agents, such as Mr. Drone Linggi from the All Idu Mishmi Student Union who has promised to advocate for opening a College in Roing with the senior political leaders in the State, while Advocate Bulia Pulu has agreed to help the underprivileged communities in the area with free legal advice and making them aware of their Rights & Responsibilities as Indian Citizens.

Below are the links to the media coverage that the Community Youth HUB has received (so far). As the HUB's work keeps expanding into other communities, this list will keep expanding. We thank you for taking keen interest in this unique project and we hope that one day you too can be a contributor to the Community Youth HUB!