We envision a world where all people are equally respected, fully protected and universally realized. Included in this vision is a world where all young people – regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, gender or other differences – are encouraged and empowered to non-violently claim their own rights and serve as advocates for the rights of others.
We believe there are capable young leaders in every global community, who can become catalyst or ‘Agents of Change’. Bringing those leaders together to inspire change is the mission of Global Youth Peace Fest-GYPF.
It was significant that the year 2000 had been designated by the United Nations as the International Year for the Culture of Peace. The Euphoria generated during this period and concerns that were expressed also affirmed growing concern over the consumerist culture, dwindling moral values, disregard of human concerns and widespread environmental degradation. At that time various international initiatives were taken to involve youth. It was a fact that youth are not being effectively involved. Mahatma Gandhi who emphasized the importance of youth being given higher roles said that a society which doesn’t ensure youth involvement will have little chance of growth. And in keeping with these thoughts Yuvsatta first organized the World Youth Conference on theme of ‘Millennium without Violence’ in January, 2000.
This attempt of Yuvsatta to organize an international event was quite successful in which young students from 15 different countries and personalities like Sri R. Venkataraman, former President of India, Prof. BR Nanda, prominent historian and senior gandhians like Prof. KD Gangrade, Prof. N. Radhakrishnan participated. Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti, New Delhi in India also published a book on the proceedings of the Conference, which later was released by Prof. Moegiadi, then Director of UNESCO, New Delhi office. An event of this scale involves lot of networking with stakeholders, logistics management and financial support, which at that time became very difficult for Yuvsatta volunteers and resultantly they were not able to make such an effort again for next six years.
But this doesn’t mean that Yuvsatta volunteers remained silent in between, on the contrary they started the concept of ‘Peace-city Chandigarh’ with opening of Peace Clubs in Schools and Colleges of the city. Under this campaign, more than 100 “Peace Clubs’ were formed in major educational institutions of tricity i.e. Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula, where in many Principals and teachers incharge of respective Schools and Colleges are dedicating their time and resources to the task of making these clubs vibrant and result oriented. Education of the peace volunteers on the positive aspect of nonviolence through constructive activities, discussions, interactions and effective dialogue is the main focus of the initiative.
In 2006, Yuvsatta volunteers once again made an attempt of organizing an international event by inviting 100 young people of India and Pakistan. This was quite successful in spreading the message that continuity in relationships is essential for better understanding and removal of misgivings. Next year in 2007 participants doubled with over 250 young people gathering from both the neighboring countries of India and Pakistan. As they were not willing to be mute witness to their futures being written and unwritten and destroyed by governments. They were not hesitant to stand up to be counted. And decided to spread their small network to young people from other countries as well, so that man-made barriers can be diminished, which in later years resulted in participation of young people from many countries around the world.
Progressing well into the latest edition of 12th Global Youth Peace Fest-GYPF 2017, over 200 young people from 25 countries of the world participated. Now, for 13th Global Youth Peace Fest-GYPF 2018, the target is to bring together young leaders, change-makers, peace activists, students from 50+ countries together for a better and just world.
Annual Global Youth Peace Fest-GYPF and its ‘Global Youth Peace Forum’ is a unique youth campaign to spread Mahatma Gandhi's universal message of living in peace and harmony with man and nature alike. It is organized in the sacred memory of Late Didi Nirmala Deshpande, a former Member Parliament of India and senior Gandhian Peace Activist whose relentless struggles for peace among people of this region was witnessed by a whole generation in Asia, particularly in Pakistan and India. Her commitment to all sections of the society for national integration and communal harmony remained paramount throughout her life. In reality she was a crusader and a great peace icon who believed in building stronger and durable relations among Asian countries.Read more about GYPF