Project life: Youth action in modern India

There is a critical absence of qualitative research on the everyday social activities of young people around the world, despite their being energetic, active, and creative agents of social transformation. This paper addresses this gap in our knowledge by considering young people (16-30) as facilitators of social change. Through qualitative research spanning Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, conducted with Dr. Jane Dyson, I describe how and why educated youth from ‘marginalised’ backgrounds are enhancing the capabilities of subordinated sections of society and how policymakers might work better with this crucial group. The paper advances substantive knowledge of youth across the world, offers a compelling new framework for analysing social action, and provides policymakers and the public with vivid material on how young people contribute to society and how organizations could enroll such youth in development drives.