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Youth For Ecological Sustainability - Yes’ Initiative – India

Problem analysis

India faces severe problems related to sustainability and environmental protection. Air and water pollution as well as garbage collection and the employment of single use plastic are just some of the issues that contribute to environmental degradation.

As part of the determinants of pollution and unsustainable behaviours is the lack of awareness and access to information at community levels, to provide eco-friendly alternatives. However, campaigning and advocacy activities for the protection of the environment were not as common in the country and were sometimes also restricted.

Project/practice formulation

               “Youth activities rather than project activities: this is the future.”
               tdh representative - South Asia Region

In this context, children and young people collaborated to create the ‘Youth for Ecological Sustainability – YES’, a national-level youth network with members from all over India, working together towards the right of the child to a healthy environment. The group decided to use social media and in particular Facebook to spread awareness of their initiatives and to promote sustainable behaviours (e.g. clean-up campaigns, stop single-use plastic, etc.) and eco-friendly alternatives in their communities. 

The group has been active and grown since its inception. It coordinated campaigns in various communities and became a hub to provide information and engage children, young people and communities.


Several initiatives have characterised this very successful project, namely:

  1. The youth network used the hashtag ‘#youthforecologicalsustainability’ to start a petition to stop single-use plastic, i.e. plastic products that have a one-time use before being thrown away. Often these kinds of plastic are not disposed properly, and therefore not recycled. More than 500 people supported this initiative by signing the petition online. The petition was widely received by the public, influential persons and local leaders. The Indian government has been discussing a ban of single-use plastic and declared such ban effective on 1st July 2022.
  2. As part of a campaign to support ECR, ‘Voice for Green Earth’, the YES-affiliated Delhi Youth Network organised a marathon run called ‘Delhi’s Run for Clean Air’. The main goal of this activity was to raise awareness on the importance of air cleanliness and to support the reduction of pollution, which causes severe respiratory diseases to children born and living in the New Delhi region. The marathon was discussed by senior governmental officials and local leaders, and the District Magistrate of New Delhi as well as Child Welfare Committee members participated in the same.
  3. Lastly, another YES-affiliated network, the Tamil Nadu Youth Network, prepared over 1000 seed balls for afforestation. This was a remarkable initiative that promoted environmental protection and action for the prevention of the negative consequences of climate change. Out of the 1000 seed balls, 450 plants grew large.

Results/ M&E

Children led and managed this project which represents a good practice, not only because it led to many creative initiatives that support the right of the child to a healthy environment, but also because it successfully used social media to raise awareness on these issues in a comprehensive way. With over 1000 followers on the YES Facebook page only, children and youth manged to organise different activities ranging from gatherings to clean the streets and rivers of Delhi to the coordination of online and in-person meetings to discuss the child right to a healthy environment and celebrate key events such as National Youth Day.

If you are interested in knowing more about the activities and initiatives organised by the ‘YES’ initiative, follow them on Facebook:

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