Last month, Youth Ki Awaaz (YKA) launched an interactive-mobile platform that enables anyone, again ANYONE, to voice their opinion, take action and meet like-minded people. Confused? Just call 09310952952 and experience India’s first and only mobile platform for youth opinions. And you don’t need a fancy-Smartphone to do so. And that’s what makes the platform BIG. Imagine, no more feeling helpless when you see a cop taking bribe, or eve-teasing in the metro. The platform has a potential base of over 800 million people and can change the dynamics of citizen-journalism.

Youth Ki Awaaz, which literally translates to ‘voice of the youth’ in English, is an award winning and India’s largest online and mobile platform for young people to talk about issues of importance and seek action on them. The youth-run news and views blog and mobile service founded in 2008 with focus on Politics, Society, Environment and other issues has successfully created a channel for young Indians to voice themselves. Making best use of online and mobile journalism, social media advocacy and new media tools, Youth Ki Awaaz has, since 2008, given voice to over 20,000 young people from across the country and has a readership of nearly 6 million people every month. Breaking the barrier of Internet-penetration, last month YKA kick-started a mobile-service that empowers people to share their opinions, and also take action by simply calling up 09310952952 and recording their opinions or report issues within 60 seconds. Anshul Tewari, the journalist who founded YKA, says, “The idea came to us in 2011 because wanted to have an outreach that went beyond the internet and was not mainstream media driven, but something that used simple tools of conversations - that was the reason why we wanted to launch a service accessible through a normal black and white phone, which everyone has.” 

YKA has set big goals for the future. Tewari further adds, “We hope to reach out to at least 2 million people annually through this service, to begin with. Moreover, going mobile and being voice driven breaks the language & accessibility barrier, and enables anyone to confidently speak up on issues they are passionate for.” Considering the fact that YKA has been behind countless stories of change in the last few years, this potentially unleashes a gold mine for change-makers. The idea is just not people voicing their opinion but, a two way dialogue taking place (not just the youth speaking their opinions, but people in power responding as well). Eventually, this can alter the paradigm of how much a ‘responsible’ citizen can contribute to the society. So the next time you feel that you need to speak up and make yourself heard, call 09310952952 (which for a non-qwerty keypad reads 09310YKAYKA) and make your opinion count, there will be change.

Manav Seth

Photo Courtesy : Youth Ki Awaaz Facebook page

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