Pooja came in as a participant from Bassi village representing Doosra Dashak, an NGO working on community upliftment in various ares in Rajasthan. For the first two days, Pooja was a girl with a headscarf who couldn’t even gather the courage to hold the mike. By the time we started performing, Pooja was the star of the show with a monologue of her own. The headscarf had come off and she was a girl brimming with confidence and self-assurance. For Pooja and her friends, this was the first ever trip to a city. A few days after the festival, Pooja’s father called up our Managing Director Ms. Puneeta Roy, expressing gratitude for his daughter’s transformation. “Pooja affected me the most for I have noted a drastic change in her in the last few days. When she came on the first day she was so shy that she didn’t even want to give her introduction. But as we proceeded with the activities she started to interact a little. I could actually hear her voice her voice for the first time. On the second day she seemed a little more comfortable. She was making eye contact with people and participating in activities more openly and confidently. When I got a chance to personally talk to her, I found that she was a sweet and ambitious girl who loves her family and wants to help them in any way possible. She feels a little shy talking to boys so I insisted her in doing so, and she agreed. I felt as if I could trust her. Both of us share similar interests and will definitely be in contact after the workshops are over.” Darshi, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya, Jaipur (Workshop Participant) For 10 consecutive years The Yuva Ekta Foundation has conducted ‘Youth Outreach Program’ at Jaipur Literature Festival, the largest free literature festival in the world. Through this program we integrate students from Jaipur schools with participants from NGOs across the country. This diverse groups comes together a week before the festival to explore a socially relevant theme using Theatre. Through this program we have connected with over 10,000 students, teachers, community stakeholders and JLF visitors over the past 10 years. The idea of the outreach at the Festival is to give back to the city. Workshops usually last for 8-10 sessions divided in two halves each day. We introduce participants to techniques of theatre and expressive arts as they begin the journey of exploring ‘the self’ and ‘self in relation to the other’. Each year we take up a different theme to engage our participants. In our latest edition, we explored ‘Freedom to Dream’ as India approached 70 years of its independence. These themes are worked upon with creative tools as every participant brings in his/her experiences into these workshops. As the workshops progress, it becomes a mutual learning space where students unite on issues that they see beyond the rural-urban divide. This module culminates in an ‘Interactive Performance’ that is performed in various schools and community spaces in Jaipur before finding its way to Jaipur Literature Festival Grounds. Our participants realize the importance of their performance once they see students of their age connecting with the scenes on stage. When we interacted with students from different schools, we realized that many students were able to relate their lives with the scenes of our play and they said that we inspired them. This comment made me understand the power that we, the young generation possess and if we are determined we can definitely change all the ill practices around us and make the world a better place.”- Malya Sharma, Rukmani Birla Modern High School We have already started preparations for 11th Youth Outreach Program at Jaipur Literature Festival- 2018 with its theme “BREAKTHROUGH – building emotional intelligence through the Arts”. Following our model every year, the seven day workshop will aim at creating a performance based interaction that will be taken to various schools, communities and NGOs in Jaipur. “Pooja affected me the most for I have noted a drastic change in her in the last few days. When she came on the first day she was so shy that she didn’t even want to give her introduction. She wouldn’t give a word, and was really shy in activities. But as we proceeded with the activities she started to interact a little. I could actually hear her voice her voice for the first time."