The youth camp in Bodhgaya was opened by Ekta Parishad-founder Rajagopal P.V. with a inspiring speech to welcome
he 150 women and men, aged between 18 to 35 years. With this youth camp, Ekta Parishad wants to focus on the development in the villages around Bodhgaya and Gaya and implement new activities in the community life, concerning the topics of land rights. „We always fight for ourself in the daily life. But we are stronger in unity“, Rajagopal P.V. said to the audience. "We have to learn together how we can collect the best ideas around land rights and how to improve them in our villages."
The majority of the assembled people participated in a youth camp for the first time. The learning and working in such an environment was a new experience for them and they also got instructed by experienced Ekta Parishad workers.To start the working flow for the youth camp, the 150 participants had to collect the most challenging issues in their villages in a group task. For that they were working in groups of around 20 people and shared their thoughts and points and noted them on a flipchart. These findings were then presented by the group in front of assembled participants.
Every village is unique but several problems are the same – and most are connected to the cast system which is still strong in the state of Bihar. It brings out the Dowry system, early childhood marriages and untouchability. But the members of the youth camp brought other struggles on table: Domestic violence, loss of Homestead land, Alcoholism, education, water shortage, child labour, unemployment, lack of sanitation and main topics about agricultural land. In the presence of Rajagopal P.V. the 150 participants discussed these problems in front of the crowd and presented their thoughts from the group work. So it became clear what the main challenges in the villages are.
On the second day the participants were working on solutions for the field work. What are the steps to improve new programs in the villages? In his morning speech Rajagopal P.V. said to the participants: "The youth camp is not just a training program. It is also necessary to meet each other, get an inspirational thinking on solutions in other villages and of course to build friendships".
In the afternoon the youth camp was coming to an end and the participants were on their way home to their villages. Rajagopal P.V. draws a positive conclusion from the youth camp in Bodhgaya: The training with the people who take initiative in the villages is the foundation of Ekta Parishad and takes a main role beside the marches and the political work on land rights.