Meet the Young Activist who is Empowering the Youth through Youth Parliament:

Multiple-award winner Raghavendar Askani was inspired by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayana to involve youngsters in Liberalism and Policies, Politics so that India can reach its full potential. The Raghavendar Askani has been engaging in social service activities since his earlier years. Raghavendar completed bachelor’s degree in Bachelor of Arts from Palamuru University and Post-Graduation master’s in Economics from Osmania University. He is a social entrepreneur and well known for his contribution in civic engagements and empowering youth through platforms such as Youth Parliament Programs at Swatantra Centre. He is also a Development consultant and worked at various Indian and International Non-Profit Organisations.

Raghavendra’s contribution or involvement with Youth Parliament Program (YPP) started an independent project and Supported by multiple well-known youth organization. In 2019, Integrated the YPP into Swatantrata Center which is a liberal public policy think tank that advancing human progress and flourishing. YPP a platform for Youth to voice their opinions, ideas and act as a change agent in Building India has created a great impact, one such was Citizens’ Charter Bill and Right to Service Act, it has been one of the big steps towards curbing corruption and other impact was National Education Policy where the platform has been offered to the youngsters to participate in designing the policy and was introduced to state legislative committee and National Human Resource Development. This policy was first of its kind to be introduced by youngsters in the Parliament and suggestions of over 40,000 students were taken for the policy and In the area of the Agricultural reforms, Youth Parliament Program organized discussions focused on finding solutions on “Agricultural Crisis & Farmer suicides” in Telugu states. It involved many agricultural NGOs and farmers. The opinion of the grassroot organisations and farmers were and was submitted to Foundation for Democratic Reforms for real time policy solutions.

Raghavendra is also co-founder of Swatantrata and being part of the team, he contributed to the hosting of Policy Conclaves, Leadership Bootcamp, Policy meetups and Youth Parliament Programs and Swatantrata Yatra. The programs have immensely received support from Educational Institutions across India and made Swatantrata Yatra and Bootcamp successful. The Swatantrata Program has created a platform for the youth to present their ideas, brainstorm and strategize that would help in shaping the policies of economic growth with inclusiveness and sustainability. In a pandemic, Swatantrata has been a pioneer in hosting one of the largest virtual conference #SWACON on Human Flourishing.

In future, Raghavendra wants to invest in public policy and is committed to making social change by bringing community participation and enhancing youth and women in the Governance Process. Currently, Raghavendra is focusing on National Education Policy 2020 and its further implementation. He is looking forward to carrying out liberal policies and seeking support from the young aspiring entrepreneurs and academicians for Economic Reforms. Raghavendra believes in the empowerment of citizens and their conviction and commitment to bringing social change rather than focusing on mere welfare policies. Raghavendra states that “Each step that he takes would be in the contribution of Progress of the Nation and endeavour to bring out the hidden and untapped potential of Indian Citizens.

THE FIRST STEPs & EARLY YEARS Work of Raghavendra Askani:

 He Associated different sections of social teams like youth organizations, political foundations, election campiness, think tanks and research organizations. Not just with the Youth Parliament Program, he had done tremendous efforts in solving some of the social issues.

Dr. JAYAPRAKASH NARAYAN and ANNA HAZARE MOVEMENT:

 He have been a foundation point of Loksatta  party in 2009, slowly moved towards student activism after drawing inspiration from Dr. JAYAPRAKASH NARAYAN and his Youth for Better India(YBI) campaign, the Youth organization promoting strong anti-corruption as National Co-Ordinator and established a massive movement against corruption in India and organized many anti-corruption walks like Dandi March II (an event organized globally in more than 60 cities to bring Strong & independent Anti-corruption institution in India) in United Andhra Pradesh. Also conducted more than 30 rallies in rally in Mahbubnagar District supporting anna hazare Movement for strong Jan Lokpal, Lokayukta Bills. I also started working with the Outreach & training division of Foundation for Democratic Reforms, India’s leading think-tank and research-resource center for promoting democratic institutions and formulating fundamental reforming democratic and governance spheres and in critical areas of public policy which supporting Youth of better India to train young leaders, Citizenship on Leadership and management skills.

Foundation for Democratic Reforms:

He Closely involved in conceptualizing, resource planning and execution of key programs and interventions at Foundation for Democratic Reforms including Research, e-Knowledge Centre management through Youth for Better India in partnership Friedrich Naumann Foundation we conducted Leadership pieces of training for youth/student in public policy projects Strengthening the brand identity of the organization through the development of a distinctive website and Social Media management. Developed and deepened relationships with key stakeholders by closely monitoring projects, providing information, and resolving concerns Visualizing interactive digital presentations on Anti-Corruption Reforms, Healthcare and Education and several public policy projects.

Student issue:

 Fees Reimbursements Movement and He had applied for the Right to Information Act info enquiring about fees Reimbursements in the Palamuru University under All private Degree colleges he Used RTI (2013) to grant fee reimbursement for degree students in Mahbubnagar(dist.) In this effort, a total of 61,328 rightful students across 92-degree colleges (Palamuru University, India) from 2003 to still who are studying continuing could complete their degree without paying a single rupee from their pockets. major achievement saved more than 1 billion Government Funds.

Surajya Udyamam:

 Worked as state coordinator for Surajya Udyamam, a movement to awaken people about good governance. It gave a slogan, ‘Quit Corruption.’ Advocating youth to be at forefront in transforming India, Surajya movement aims at GOOD GOVERNANCE and YOUTH EMPOWERMENT. Conducted Voter registration drives in colleges, Youth empowerment trainings, State level competitions on short films-slogans, photos, case studies Led state and local election campaigns at various levels in the past on behalf of loksatta party and conducted Round table conferences on Empowerment of Local Governments various towns.

INDIA’S FUTURE FOUNDATION:

Programme Director India’s future foundation is a think tank which promotes free markets and Entrepreneurship in Students through various events, seminars, and conferences in partnership with International think tank organizations and Educational institutions, As programs Director , I lead outreach activities of foundation across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana where we organization various kinds of educational activities to promote Entrepreneurship great Economic reforms that sustained by Good governance.

International Opportunity:

He had been selected and participated in my first international training by “Capitalism: Unlocking Human Potential”, a division of Foundation for Economic Education in Clemson University, South Carolina, United states of America. through highly competitive 1 month online based process where Only 40 participants are selected out of 300 from all over the world. I also attend Acton University (an annual conference on Faith and Economics) organized by Acton institute in 2016 & 2017 in Grand rapids, Michigan, USA. Attended LYMEC | European Liberal Youth IMS Training Dec 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. European Liberal Youth is an international organization of liberal youth movements – mostly the youth wings of members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party. LYMEC holds full members status to the European Youth Forum.

Honours & Awards:

· Youth inspiration award for Anti-corruption movement from United Hands Society for the People in 2012.

· Public Citizen Award from People Action for Social Service in 2016.

· Nominee ‘Young Achievers Awards 2017’ by Vision India Foundation. under Education category for my contributions to suggestions for New Education policy drafting Policy.

· India star Golden Award 2020 by India star book of records.

Model Youth Parliament Program:

The Model Youth Parliament Programs (YPP) laid a bridge between youth/like-minded people working for society/who are socially conscious and government by providing a common platform and fostered healthy discussion on political reforms, parliamentary activities, policymaking, education, and employment. Through this initiative YPP has been successful in acting as a catalyst in building leaders for better Society.

YPP Leadership Bootcamp:

The Leadership Boot Camp was a flagship project of the Youth Parliament Program (YPP) and Swatantrata Center in association with the Council for transforming India and 100 Smiles Foundation; supported by JD Foundation, Abhaya Foundation and VNR VJIET. The event took place from Feb 21st to 23rd 2020 at VNRVJIET Institute Hyderabad which brought together 100+ delegates across the nation and hosted 30+ policy experts from various domains such as public policy, business, academia, non-profits, civil society movements and media. The Boot Camp focused on the three areas, mainly the Policy Development, Sustainable Development Goals, and Technology. Bootcamp provided the new generation with an understanding of contemporary reforms in the world and helped them grab the networking opportunities to facilitate knowledge-sharing, connections, and real-time action on these issues.

Policy in Practice:

Youth Parliament Program organized an event on National Education Policy 2020 and hosted a series of virtual conversations from August to September which involved more than fifty thousand policy enthusiasts and youngsters. The event has been addressed by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Gurcharan Das, P Murali Manohar, Venkatesh Geriti, Sheelu Raj, Dr. Amit Chandra, Nadendla Manohar and Shantanu Gupta.

Impacts:

Citizen’s Charter bill / RIGHT TO SERVICE ACT:

Many ideas have been implemented to stop the practice of corruption since independence. One of the biggest steps towards achieving it was, the Right to Service Act, which has been proposed by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan in the form of a bill to the central government body through FDR (Foundation for Democratic Reforms). FDR has been conducting a series of youth parliament sessions in various colleges reaching thousands of students under the leadership of Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan. Through these sessions, the Youth Parliament Program team successfully collected opinions from a large section of educated people and innovative youngsters on the Right to Service Act. The Act gained success when the Telangana government took the step for implementing it and handed the draft proposal work to Nasar Law University. Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, with the support of youngsters, played a key role in finalizing the RTS act bill, as it contains opinions and new ideas from many sections of society. Finally, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh states Public Services Delivery Guarantee Bill was implemented in 2017.

National Education Policy:

The Youth Parliament Program didn’t seize just to be a learning program. The Education Policy from Youth Parliament was the first of its type which was completely prepared by youngsters adding various needed elements about the education system and was finally submitted to the state legislative committee, National human resource development. For the first time, youngsters were introducing the Policy into parliament. The team monitoring the preparation process had taken suggestions and proposals from more than 40000 students across the country.

Agricultural Policy:

 In the area of the Agricultural Policy, Youth Parliament Program organized discussions focused on finding solutions on “Agricultural Crisis & Farmer suicides” in Telugu states. It involved many agricultural NGOs and farmers. The opinion of the grassroot organizations and farmers were and was submitted to Foundation for Democratic Reforms for real time policy solutions.

Impact on Society:

Through Youth Parliament sessions across the state of Telangana the organization was able to identify, engage and nurture some of the brightest minds. Swantantrata and Youth Parliament Programs (YPP) mentored the youngsters and helped them to pursue careers in policy through internships, opportunities in Civil Society Organizations, Think Tanks and CSR initiatives. Swatantrata and YPP were successful in creating the next generation of leaders. Many of them are changing the society in real time through Right to information act- RTI and Public interest litigation – IPL and creating Policies. YPP and Swatantrata also witnessed some of its members contesting elections in Telugu states. The work of the Swatantrata and YPP was able to deepen Democracy and enhance community participation. The organisation’s work has been a pioneer in mentoring the youngsters and building character and competence in them for Nation Building.

Future planes:

He believes every aspirational nation needs a band of committed youngsters with Character, Competence and deeper understanding about Democracy, Our Institutions and Good Governance. Over the years each effort that he took up is an effort to Deepen Democracy and enhance community participation, especially Youth & Women in the Governance Process. India has immense potential for Economic Growth and given the situation we are in (Covid), he want to focus on National Education policy 2020, and its farther Implementation and we are started Discussion on National Education Policy program Name called Youth Parliament Program (YPP) Policy In Practice series For inciting all policy enthusiasts and young leaders amylose its positive and negative impacts by bringing data based policy effects from ground and experts in those fields. And Liberal Ideas, Policies and Economic reforms and support aspiring entrepreneurs with increased number of Workshops and Leadership Camps not just in Cities but also in Tier1 & Tier 2 areas which he believes can be tremendous growth engines and can script our net economic leap. At the heart of it I believe with conviction that – “We can’t be a Developed Nation by focusing too much on Welfare and thereby creating dependents, I believe in empowerment and I believe with conviction that each and every citizen can contribute to the progress of our Nation. Each step of mine will be an endeavor to bring out the hidden and untapped potential of India, Our Human Potential.