YUVA, a national award winning voluntary youth organisation, recently completed 10 years and as they highlight their achievements, they also shed light on their future plans
It is better to fight for something than do nothing. These famous words by George Patton is a motto that YUVA swears by.
An association of enthusiastic youth who dream big and have potential to fulfill their dreams, YUVA was formed in 2012 to channelize the potential energy of the youth into the development of society – specifically youth, women and restoration of environment besides helping youth mould themselves by providing them a platform and opportunity to build a personality that is able to connect, converse, collaborate, and co-operate with likeminded people to serve society.
Over the years, membership of the organisation has grown to include not only the youth, but a lot of people who are experienced in their respective professions, who will help give the youth depth and purpose while they work towards a cause. Every year, YUVA conducts membership drives in schools and colleges in and around Panaji and after a thorough screening procedure, memberships are granted free of cost. In the last ten years, more than eight youngsters have played a part in the journey. Currently they have fifty active members.
In the past decade, YUVA has achieved different milestones with the major one being crossing the ‘valley of death’, where they had to be consistent and convince a lot of youth to do social work and devote time for society in whatever way possible. The second milestone would be the consistent effort of organising at least one activity every month for over five years. The third would be the dedication and perseverance with which everyone has been working hard for over a decade to serve society.
The four pillars of YUVA has been health and senior citizens, women and child, youth and environment. Every year, the organisation sees an increase in tree plantation and sapling distribution activities. The sense of imbibing Swachh Bharat among young minds has been possible by getting their own hands dirty while cleaning roads or heritage sites and painting bus stops, walls and the Panaji Market. Through health camps they have served over 2000+ people over the decade. Their programmes like Community Kitchen during the covid lockdown and serving people over a month has been a highlight of their journey. The recognition by Prime Minister Modi in ‘Man Ki Baat’ has been a huge motivational factor for the organisation.
YUVA has received various state and national recognitions for their stellar work since the time that they have started out. In 2015, they received the ‘Best Youth Organization’ at District Level by Nehru Yuva Kendra, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India; in 2016, YUVA was awarded the ‘Best Youth Organization’ at State Level by Nehru Yuva Kendra, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India; In 2017, the Goa State Youth Award for ‘Best Youth Organisation’ by Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Goa; In 2018, the National Award for being the ‘Best Youth Organization’ by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India; In 2019, the ‘Samajratna and Samataratna Puraskar’ at Nasik, Maharashtra and the GEC Award for ‘Charity Leadership’ in Goa in 2022.
YUVA’s founder Raghuvir Mahale has received the Goa State Youth Award by Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Goa and ‘Best Social Worker’ Award by Directorate of Social Welfare, Government of Goa in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
As YUVA completes a decade, the vigour, frequency and magnitude of events and activities has increased exponentially. They have conducted eight health camps ranging from women’s special, general; breast cancer screening camps and Ayurveda camps compared to the conventional one or two camps that they organise every year.
This year, YUVA has organised the Balotsav 2022 which was a mega fair filled with a fusion of sports and cultural activities for high schools which was a first of its kind, and had a participation of over 1200 students of 16 high schools from all over Goa.
YUVA is known for its enviro-tech and tradition fusion in their Ganesh Dekhava that they create at Zor / Fonte Pheonix, Mala, Panaji. This time they not only cleaned the spring and installed the Ganesh Dekhava but also curated an art exhibition inside the underground spring with the artworks of 50+ prominent artists from across Goa.
International Yoga Day was celebrated with over 500 people from across the state. YUVA has conducted a Ramayan and Mahabharat examination for kids in Marathi, as well as in English.
During the covid lockdown, YUVA commenced their community kitchen where they served stranded people, senior citizens, and homeless people with food twice a day.
The founder of YUVA, Raghuvir Mahale has been the driving force of the organisation and they have had Dr. Rufino Monteiro and Aakash Khaunte as their presidents in the past.
YUVA plans to expand not just geographically but also in its scope of work by transforming it from a completely activity- based cause driven organisation to a project based result driven organisation within the next five years. Being the first and only youth organization from Goa to win a National Award, YUVA has requested the Government to provide them with land to build a YUVA Bhavan which will have its own day care senior citizen centre, a clinic space for homeopathy as well as allopathy practise. This will be clubbed with a library and a small hall for meetings.