Niharika Dabral


Stories, mine and yours, hold in them the charisma that can  keep the world  moving ahead. Converging stories of inspiration from almost all walks of life, Youth ki Awaaz’s Converge 2016 brought to the fore some tales that told the audience to raise their voice and give a damn. Find out how the event unfolded some of the most inspiring life-lores.


Giving a better life to innumerable children in the country, Nineismine’s young team set the pace of the event with their drum performance highlighting the organisation’s 17 goals to a better life. The first speaker for the event, Kartik Lokhande from Hitavada enlightened the audience about sanitary hygiene, something which is never paid heed to. During his conversation Kartik welcomed 10 year old Ram from Nineismine who only wished for one thing when he said, “Main nahin kehta mujhe paisa do, bas humein humare adhikaar de do!

Drawing attention to the ill practice of Racism in the country, Monika Khangembam shared her experience of racism in India and the inspiration to fight against the practice. Next came Sabbah Haji, who had envisioned to provide quality education in a village 7000ft. above sea level in 2009. She shared with the audience her journey of successfully realizing this dream. The smiles of her students brought many smile around.

Making the audience rethink about the definition of success, Ankur Warikoo, CEO and Co-founder of Nearbuy told the young audience “Don’t let others” opinion of you become your reality” and inspired them to shun the predefined notions of success. M. Suman gave a glimpse of  her trans rights and HIV awareness through her work at Samara and currently through her role as director of Swatantra Organisation.

Deepak ramola, educationist and the man behind project-fuel was his reminiscent best in talking about his tryst with stories  and the experience with the migrants in France. “The world, as you sit here, has 7.447 billion people, which means there are 7.447 billion mistakes to learn from, heartbreaks to mend and life lessons to live with.” he said amid his smiles.

Sabika Naqvi, the eloquent speaker from Pinjra Tor, the women’s rights champion made her stance clear in the best way possible. She mocked the patriarchy, sarcastically crushed the sexists and took the curfew at girl’s hostels across the indian universities at her point-blank and effectively made her way into the hearts, minds and souls.

The man of the hour, Tanmay Bhatt, the AIB man pragmatically defined the power of comedy. He talked about his struggles, success and the feminism and similar  issues he is taking up at different platforms. ” The biggest global crisis is that the intellectual haves are not conversing with the intellectual have-nots. This is what the comedy can do at times“, the man was quoted as saying. The roaring, clapping crowd only proved that “Comedy is contagious”.

At 6.30, the show was far from over. The show-stopper in Ska-vengers came up with back to back numbers on varied nationalist causes, only to be followed by the socio-rap. The crowd made those noise and moved to the beats, till the very end.
Very few events charge your mind, body, heart and soul all at once. For me, this show did just that.” Vikram from Jamila Milia Islamia quipped, munching at the delicious snacks at offer, after the show was over. This quite summed up the fantastic day the audience at Converge 2016 had had.


Reported by: 

Nikhil Kumar ([email protected])

Niharika Dabral ([email protected])

Priyal Mahtta ([email protected])

Images by : Stanzin Yangdol

Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA) in collaboration with Delhi University Community Radio (DUCR) initiated an 11 part legal rights awareness programme. While talking to DU Beat, Gayathri Mani, media coordinator of the campaign explained that the objective, in its short term-pilot project basis, is to direct and route people to nearest Legal Aid/ Services Clinics set up by the Delhi state Legal Services Authority and managed under the supervision of concerned District Legal Services Authority. She added that the thrust area of the campaign is ‘Students’ and their involvement in areas of ‘Legal Literacy’. Besides, 65% of the population in India comprises of Youth and thus the youth needs to be aware and able regarding the issues of justice. This campaign was wholly executed by the student volunteers.

The radio series, which ran 30-40 minutes per session, entailed question-answer format type interaction with the Judges and DUCR and Para Legal Volunteers on the enlisted topics ranging from sexual harassment of women at workplace, juvenile justice, consumer protection to rights of senior citizens. The recordings lasted from 15th March, 2016 to 6th April 2016 and the first episode was broadcasted on 5th November. “The timings of the show are not fixed, but will run multiple times between 1:00-4:30 pm”, Mr. Isaac John, Assistant Consultant, DUCR said. You can hear the radio show on DUCR at 90.4 MHz or you can also download the app “DURadio”.

After the successful completion of the project, DLSA and DUCR have proposed phase two of the project, in which they will connect a loop with the community radio in the country, to the Ministry of Broadcasting.

Feature Image: Bloomberg

Niharika Dabral

[email protected]

Professor Nandini Sundar, and Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Archana Prasad are among the 10 people accused in the murder of a tribal villager in Chhattisgarh. All the accused have been booked under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code. Prof. Sundar has been named in a complaint by the wife of Shamnath Baghel, who was killed by Maoists last in Nama village of the Maost-hit Dantewada district. “As per the complaint lodged by the victim’s wife, her husband had been getting threats from Maoists since he and other villagers had complained against Sundar in May for allegedly inciting innocent tribals against the government and seeking their support for Maoists,” claims Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range), SRP Kalluri. “Following the development, according to villagers, Sundar and others went in the village to allegedly threaten them not to oppose the Maoists,” he further added. Police also asserted that Prof. Sundar was using a fake name – Richa Keshav – while operating in Bastar. As of now, the Bastar Police has written to the respective Vice Chancellors of DU and JNU informing them about the undergoing inquiry against both the professors. “It is absurd, bizarre, and patently malafide. I haven’t been in Bastar in months,” the 48-year-old activist professor said in her defense. Professor Nandini Sundar also indicted IG Kalluri of specifically targeting activists because he fears being implicated in cases of fake encounters and human rights violations that the activists have been fighting for years. She believes that Baghel’s wife was coerced into filing a complaint against her. Nandini Sundar is an award – winning Professor of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, and has many publications in her name. Her latest book, The Burning Forest: India’s War in Bastar, was released in October this year. It was on Prof. Sundar’s petition that the Supreme Court in 2011 ordered the disbanding of Salwa Judum, a state-backed militia formed to take on the Maoists in Chhattisgarh. This is not the first time that Delhi University professors have come under the scanner of police. In February this year, a former Arabic professor of Zakir Hussain Delhi College, SAR Geelani, was charged with sedition, criminal conspiracy, and unlawful assembly, before that an English Professor of Shyaam Lal College was arrested in 2014 for having alleged links with Maoist. Featured Image: Niharika Dabral [email protected]  ]]>

Your college life is not fully accomplished without attending at least one outstation fest. After all, outstation fests are not just another activity that features in the college calendar every year. In the mundane life of a student, which basically revolves around food, sleep, lectures, assignments and more assignments, outstation fests provide a much needed break. For weeks in advance, societies start investing their efforts in its preparations. It’s their excitement that keeps everyone going. But is everything about fest, fun and frolic or are there any misadventures too?

Here is a list of all the Pros and Cons of an Outstation fest:


1. Overwrought in rehearsals, students hardly find any time to attend their classes and hence, the compulsory attendance of 66% is compromised. Situation becomes direr if the professors are uncooperative.

2. When you’ll reach the destination, chances are that you will be welcomed in not-so luxurious quarters. Apparently, according to the organizers, any space with mattresses qualify as accommodation, so there is no point complaining. Too few charging points will make sure that in a perfect Snapchat moment, your phone’s battery will die. Though, the worse thing will always be trying to find a deserted and decent washroom.

3. Hours without shelter and too much confusion. Difficulty in finding directions. Sound like a life or death situation? Well it sort of becomes so, if the assigned volunteers are bad. In an entirely new campus, you will need assistance in terms of finding venues, or coordinating your performance schedule, but if the hosts are uncooperative then may god bless you.

4. It’s an unspoken truth and understanding that often the competitions are rigged. If such a thing happens with you, then all the sweat and toil you perfused will eventually go down the drain.

5. Somewhere in the middle of merrymaking, you’ll lose your possessions – friends, phone, money, clothing, sanity and even consciousness!


1. Outstation fest will provide you lots of exposure, insights and learning opportunities.

2. They are a perfect place to meet new people, create contacts and play ‘Never Ever Have I’ or ‘Truth or Dare’ with strangers.

3. Many fests pride themselves in organizing around the clock festivities which means something or the other will always be going on even at 3 am, and gist of maximizing your enjoyment is to turn insomniac while you are at it.

4. Grand fests imply celebrity concerts and being a participant could mean direct (and sometimes free) access to your favorite artist’s gig!

5. However the best thing about outstation fests is that you will make memories. You’ll have pictures to prove that you went, laughed and lived. One day you’ll have stories to tell.

Featured Image Credits:

Niharika Dabral

On 16th October, an intimate video shot in Delhi Metro was made viral on social media. Immediately, the comments’ sections were polarized in two groups. While many slammed and shamed the couple for openly indulging in PDA and violating “Indian Values”, many criticized the person who posted it online and urged others to report the video so that it can be taken down by Facebook. The original post was taken down, though video can still be found online.

This incident has stirred a debate around the issues of PDA a.k.a public display of affection, moral policing, legality and Privacy Rights, and also raised the questions of what is acceptable and what isn’t. Here is an attempt to deconstruct the various diktats that have risen around this episode.

PDA is illegal – Yes, under section 294 of the Indian Penal Code, causing annoyance to others through “obscene acts” is a criminal offence with a punishment of imprisonment up to 3 months or a fine, or both, but because this law does not give explicit definitions of “obscene acts”, it is blatantly misused by police and vigilante to harass couples. Besides, the law gives freedom of subjective interpretation and hence, the cases involved depend on the disposition of police or the judge involved. For example, in 2008 Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere were booked in Obscenity Charge for kissing during a public function, but the court quashed all charges and instead described such legal complaints as “frivolous”. While the courts thought that kissing was no big deal, our observation tells us that a wide section of society clearly considers kissing a taboo. Many cited 294 of IPC to justify the video. It’s true, my friend, that according to this vague legal verbatim the couple can be booked, but since when legality has became morality? Triple Talaq is valid, homosexuality is criminal…will you also justify them simply because it’s legal?

The couple was asking for it – We often tend to get uncomfortable seeing couples kissing in parks or theatres. Many of us are not comfortable with showing affection. But how does your reluctance for public display of love give you the right to accuse others of indecent behavior, impair their image and seriously jeopardize their privacy and even security? One can only imagine what they must be going through. To say that the couple was asking for it displays typical victim blaming and as much as you would like to believe so, nobody likes to be filmed secretly, bombarded with unnecessary attention or be the subject of public ridicule. The couple may have exercised better discretion and sensibility keeping in mind that they are in a public space. However, if they made you so uncomfortable then instead of making a video to satisfy your voyeuristic tendencies, you should have either told them to get a room or simply averted your gaze.

Such behaviour is against Indian Culture/Sanskars – First of all, who has the right to decide which actions are in accordance with Indian culture?  I’m a part of Indian public so, does my opinion count?  Secondly, once upon a time Sati, child marriage and untouchability were accepted part of the Indian culture, were such “cultural” notions/practices not challenged? Lastly, if your sanskaar allows a creep to circulate MMS, but shames consenting adults then god bless you. By the way, I suggest you to see some pictures of Khajuraho temple as well.

One shouldn’t expect any privacy in public spaces – While one shouldn’t necessarily expect any privacy in public place, one doesn’t expect to be filmed, that too without consent either.

Uncertain state of Right to Privacy in India – While the Supreme Court has held privacy to be a fundamental right, it is restricted to certain aspects of a person’s life.  There is no statutory privacy legislation at present that comprehensively protects privacy. Rather, a combination of acts- 67 and 67(A) of IT Act, 354C of IPC, 66E of ITA-2000, these too are often tricky and insufficient.

Overall, the Privacy Rights need to be strengthened in India. Fortunately, some efforts have been made in this direction, such as Justice A. P. Shah panel, appointed by the Planning Commission  has recommended comprehensive laws to protect privacy and personal data in the private as well as public spheres. Similarly, The Privacy (Protection) Bill, 2013 is also a step in establishing concrete and clear provisions. Hopefully, this Bill sees the light of the day, till then; let us stop being the internet-version of Bajraj Dal.

Image Credits:

Niharika Dabral

[email protected]