New Delhi, June 20th, 2022: Village Square in partnership with The National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) celebrated World Localization Day at NCUI Auditorium, Delhi with prominent rural change makers, urban youth, development professionals, and artisans from across India. The event was designed to raise awareness of local goods and artisan products and to promote eco-friendly living.
World Localization Day celebrates localization as a force for systemic change throughout the world. The event is a platform for urban audiences to learn more about local influencers, opportunities, and products. The focus was on creating a conducive environment for rural artisans to develop, thus expanding their business opportunities. It is an initiative to work with local ecosystems in order to reimagine a society based on Gandhi’s philosophy of Swaraj.
Shri Vinay Kumar, Director of Village Square Youth Hub and Shri Sumit Singh, National Advisor of NCUI, welcomed the participants and set context for the event. Opening the day’s proceedings, well known Indian journalist Mr. Neelesh Mishra spoke about what each one of us could do to make a better society. In an engaging speech, he encouraged everyone to contribute for improving the society. Mr. Saurabh Dwivedi, Founder of Lallantop and a renowned journalist delivered the closing remarks. His motivating topic was ‘Be the Change: Inspiration Manifesto to Connect, Create & Contribute’.
The highlight of the event was “Story Telling by Five Prodigious Young Rural Change makers” who gave an insight into their endeavors and challenges in striving to transform the lives of local people.
Ms. Dolly, two-time sarpanch, left her posh corporate job in Delhi-NCR and moved to Gaya, Bihar, and contested the local-body gram panchayat elections. Ms. Megha Parmar is the first woman in Madhya Pradesh who scaled Mount Everest and is a world record holder in Scuba Diving. Although she has achieved a lot, she never forgets her roots and keeps working towards the development of her village. Mor Mitti is a sustainable cafe based in rural Jharkhand’s Simdega district where from food to infrastructure, everything is sourced locally to promote local business. Ashish Birulee, Co-Founder Adivasi Lives Matter, is the first Adivasi photo journalist from Jharkhand, India, and a TEDx speaker with eight years of experience in digital storytelling. He hails from the Ho Adivasi community in Jharkhand. Shubhranshu Choudhary – Founder of CGnet Swara (Voice of Chhattisgarh) mobile news service which transformed how people in remote areas of India receive and share the news.
There was a “Panel Discussion” on numerous opportunities for youth in rural development by Ms. Angel Konthoujam, SBI Youth for India Fellow, Mr. Ajit, Good Politician Program, Indian School of Democracy, Ms. Rinee Rajeev, India Fellow – Social Leadership Program, Mr. Satyam Mishra, Period Fellow – The Period Fellowship Program, Vivek Kumar – CEO, Kshmatalaya – Gandhi Fellow.
Mr. Vinay Kumar, Director, Village Square Youth Hub said, “Village Square are the pioneers of celebrating the localization movement in India. It is all about living in alignment with mother nature, promoting technologies and systems that are sustainable. We are delighted to receive an amazing response from the youth of our county. Our movement urges the global community to recognize and honor ecological economies, traditional art forms, and healthy local food systems. Village Square’s foremost goal is to bring stories and insights from rural India.”
Added to this, Sanjana Kaushik, Manager at Village Square Youth Hub said, “Village Square aims to bridge the gap between urban and rural India. By bringing voices from rural India to urban spaces like Delhi, the event provided a platform for people to meet rural changemakers and know their journey in transforming the lives of millions of people by promoting local products, providing them education opportunities while working in harmony with nature.”
The movement believes in everything local, there was scrumptious local food. One could truly experience the rich cultural heritage at the Craft Fair, where all the products were made by rural artisans using methods and materials that balance the ecosystem of the earth.