Government of Punjab, YuWaah, UNICEF join hands to launch a partnership for socio-economic empowerment of Punjab’s youth

Chandigarh: Driven by the mission to enable the best opportunities and future for young people, the Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Punjab, UNICEF and YuWaah announced a new partnership to enable the best opportunities for eight million young people in Punjab.

The Government of Punjab’s partnership with Yuwaah and UNICEF was announced in the presence of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, Hon’ble Sports & Youth Services Minister, Shri Rana Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, Ms. Vini Mahajan, Chief Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Mr. Ravi Venkatesan, UNICEF Special Representative for Young People & Advisor to Punjab Government and thousands of young people across the state of Punjab through a Facebook live event.

Building on Punjabi youth’s inherent strengths – boldness, courage and entrepreneurship – over the next three years, Pride of Punjab initiative aims to connect millions of young people of Punjab across 22 districts with aspirational economic opportunities, gain relevant skills for productive lives and become changemakers.

Announcing the partnership, Captain Amarinder Singh, the Hon’ble Chief Minister expressed his keen interest in joining hands to ensure the best for youth in the state and said, “young people of Punjab are not seen just as passive receivers of support, but active drivers of change”.

Mr. Ravi Venkatesan, UNICEF Special Representative for Young People and Member, Punjab State Advisory Council said, “YuWaah! is all about helping young people develop the mindset and skills to thrive in a volatile, uncertain, fast-changing world. We see the Covid-19 crisis as a “crucible” for developing the leadership potential of Punjab’s youth by engaging them as volunteers, problem-solvers and change-leaders in their communities. We are thrilled to be launching our work in partnership with the Government of Punjab.”

The partnership in Punjab will begin with a state-wide poll of young people to hear and understand their challenges and aspirations. Subsequently, YuWaah in collaboration with the Government of Punjab, will launch youth innovation challenges including an innovative mobile app called ‘YuWaah Ninja’ to engage young people in solving civic issues and learning 21st Century skills, especially critical and innovative thinking. A state-wide career guidance portal will also be introduced to support more than 800,000 young people in secondary/higher secondary schools to make informed choices about their careers and future.

The Sports and Youth Services Minister, Shri Sodi said on the occasion, “The Department of Sports and Youth Services has been at the forefront of supporting the youth of Punjab. As the nodal department for the partnership, we will ensure that the benefits of the partnership reach every youth of Punjab.

Speaking about the partnership, Ms. Vini Mahajan, the Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab said, “These new ways of thinking and collaborations are imperative to address many of Punjab’s persisting and upcoming challenges. We are glad to partner with YuWaah and UNICEF to bring transformative experiences for the young people in Punjab. The Government of Punjab will extend all the support required for the partnership to succeed”.

UNICEF India Representative, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, also congratulated the Hon’ble Chief Minister and his Government for their leadership and said “These new ways of thinking will support young people to build the state, lead their own agendas and thrive. This is an opportunity for the partners of YuWaah, including Government of Punjab, private sector, industry associations, UN agencies, civil society organisations and of course the youth to join hands and work with the young people to transform Punjab and India.”

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