Welcome to Navchetna! My name is Sundari Nanda . I am a police officer, currently serving as Inspector General of Police, Government of Mizoram.
In spite of all the technology and resources available today, what is missing is the time to spare – for our growing children. Sometime in the past, somebody gave us a very patient ear, and that enabled us to discover ourselves and maximize our potential.
Life was easier then. We still took things as they came and had the time to stand and stare. And dream...
The time-anxiety-achievement affliction has spread. And how! Personalities, relationships ,families and societies have crumbled and fallen by the wayside.
Life is on a very fast forward mode for all .
But ,13 to 25 - young adults know no other lifestyle. They find this not giving them the happiness they are searching for…many of them do not have anybody who has the time, to give them the right advise and the right information at the right time . The burnout rate is high and is evident in the increasing violence ,crime and terrorism, involving young adults.
Navchetna is a unique civil society initiative, a movement ,that seeks to mentor young adults with the right information and advise at the right time ,which will help them celebrate life ,maximise their potential and pass on emotional wellbeing to the future generations .
Emotional wellbeing is crucial for any kind of sustained growth,of individual,family,society,country and the world.
The important milestones of this movement:
I was posted as Additional Commissioner, heading the licensing unit of the Delhi Police.
The rush for arms licenses, the increasing numbers of young adults indulging in violent crime and the absence of any palpable and effective system to prevent young adults from taking to violence and crime were important factors in the background of the inception of this movement. An instance of a shoot out in a school in Gurgaon, wherein a high school child shot a classmate to death with his fathers licensed weapon and yet another instance in Delhi, where the father of a Class 12 student used his licensed weapon to threaten his son’s detractors in school, probably added to the urgency.
During hearings of the criminal case registered subsequent to the second incident mentioned above, the then Principal Magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board in Delhi, Ms Ila Rawat passed an order, which contained valid observations on the state of society which led to this kind of violent behavior both amongst adults and children alike.The judgment also had directions to the Delhi Police to educate arms licensees on the responsible use of arms.(Judgement)
The fact that Globalization could probably be a root cause for increasing violent crime was already working on my mind ,after I did a preliminary research study on Globalization and Crime, a couple of years back, as a Senior Chevening Fellow at the London School Of Economics.
Although various proactive steps like the Crime and Disorder Act had been put into place in the UK, realizing the far reaching consequences of more young people falling into the clutches of disillusionment,drugs, addictions and consequently sometimes crime, there is no such system on ground here in India which looks at addressing basic issues like truancy from school ,as the starting point to preventing crime.
It was hence necessary to go beyond the official mandate of licensing arms etc, to reach out to schools and students about the issue of violence and crime amongst young people.
letters were written to about 500 school principals in Delhi and as a result, two brain storming sessions were held with them on the issue of increasing violence in schools, the causes,and how best it could be handled. (Photo Gallery)
A slogan and a logo competition was announced for high school children.
A short film on the issue of violence amongst teens was compiled by putting together two telling documentaries on the issue by the Times Now and the CNN-IBN news channels and widely circulated to all the schools in Delhi to sensitize teachers, managements and parents to the issue.(Video Gallery)
November 2008 –
A Students Council was constituted comprising of ten high school representatives each from the state Government, Kendriya Vidyalayas and public schools . An interaction was held with them wherein senior functionaries from the Department of Education and the Kendriya Vidyalayas were present.
In a free wheeling discussion the students opened our eyes to the extent of violence in their day to day lives,and came up with the idea to start ‘non violence clubs’ in schools , which would give a collective voice to children who abhorred violence.
About 50 schools responded to this idea and informed about the starting of such clubs in their schools(Navchetna Clubs)
This Students council was also asked to judge all the entries received in response to the slogan and the logo competition. This would give the movement an identity.
Navchetna, meaning - a new consciousness, was born.
A two day workshop on Aggression Management was organized for all those schools which had shown initiative. This was conducted with the very active support and help of Ms Varsha Sharma, Assistant Commissioner,Delhi Police,Dr Samir Parikh and his team from the Psychiatry department of the Max Hospital in Delhi and Ms Puneeta Roy and her team from the Tehelka Foundation. About 400 children participated. One of the unique features of this workshop was the effort made to build bridges between the beat constables and high school participants. This was warranted because of a palpable communication gap between civil society and police today.Amongst other systemic deficiencies which do not allow the police to deliver services to suit the needs of civil society,this communication gap is also important, because of a public perception based on a continuous negative media image.
Interfacing the citizens of tomorrow (the high school children ) and the service delivery edge of the police, the beat constables, would go a long way in correcting and balancing this perception.At the end of the workshop ,it was heartening to see the bonding between the children and the police personnel.
Simultaneously, it struck me during this interaction, that there was nothing better than the internet to give the site and the work ,sustainability .www.navchetna.com was thus born with the help of Sidharth Luthra, Senior Counsel, Supreme Court of India, Currently Solicitor General of India, Sanjay Grover & Karan Arora of Indyacom and Constable PradeepTyagi of Delhi Police..
www.navchetna.com was inaugurated at the conclusion of this workshop, by Honorable Justice Madan B Lokur, of the Delhi High Court, in the presence of Shri Neeraj Kumar IPS, Special Commissioner, Delhi Police. Currently Commissioner of Delhi Police, delhi Justice Lokur was the Chairperson of the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Delhi High Court, Currently Honorable Judge, Supreme Court of India.
Since April 2009 we have been receiving a lot of requests for advise through the post your problem link (of the earlier website format).
Public response on the volunteer link has been overwhelming.
The new look website and the wide ranging services it offers today is the outcome of the feedback and experience so far.
Should you wish to contribute in any manner to this movement in your area, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org