The Youth Fellowship, PUKAR’s flagship project, is a unique knowledge initiative, which provides a space for the critical engagement of the youth.
It uses research as a pedagogical, interventional, and advocacy tool to empower youth to negotiate the city and focuses on transforming the quality of life in Mumbai. Based on the essay “Right to Research” by Professor Appadurai, this project aims at democratizing the research process and makes it accessible to everyone who is inside as well as outside the formal education system.
It aims to challenge the prevalent paradigm of knowledge production as well as the very definitions of the knowledge producers and that of research itself. This project encourage the youth in Mumbai Metropolitan Region to explore social, cultural, economic and political aspects of their neighbourhood, their localities.
It considers every youth as a repository of knowledge – through his/her location within the city. When this living, growing archive connects with all kinds of other impulses within the city – especially those linked to activist groups and initiatives that are concerned with transforming the city, an opportunity for social transformation is presented.
Each year three hundred youth coming from all spheres of the society join this process of “Search” which starts in July and ends in following June. Most of the topics they wish to learn about are situated in their localities and neighbourhoods and anchored in their daily living and working. The PUKAR Team partners with them through the year, helping them with research questions, methodologies – traditional as well as nontraditional, data collection, analysis and synthesis.