Monday, April 13, 2015

The politics of Colombo Youth Activism

Its been a long time since i last blogged. So thought ill write something about a matter that I've been thinking about so much over the last few months. The Politics of Colombo Youth Activism.

Well it may be a list of words that could look not right when put together, but hey.. its my blog, my thoughts so the title will be anything that i want it to be.

So what is this Colombo Youth Activism and whats this politics im talking about you may ask. So here's the deal. Many people who know me know that over the last several years, ive been involved in some kind of youth related activities, volunteering, organizing a hell of a lot of events etc. At first, it was fun, refreshing and gave me a good feeling about what i was doing. But, over the years, ive noticed that things are changing.

HOW? Well, to start off with, youth clubs have become like political parties in Sri Lanka now. Except without the part where they together form a government. ;) Every Tom, Dick and Harry (or rather Ram, Mohomed and Perera and George) wants to have an organization. Everyone wants to do a fund raising to help the cancer hospital, to help an orphanage, to refurbish a school but doesn't want to do it together in a big way. They want to do it in their name. why? my view is to fill up their worth for nothing CV!

In my personal view, youth activism in Colombo is in such a pathetic state now that all the posh boys and girls from these high class school in Colombo have out of no where become youth activists who care about what happens to the society but dont know shit about what the young man from Anuradhapura has to go through to feed his family of 5 members. Meetings are held every other week, in posh restaurants and coffee shops to do what? You spend 10000 bucks on a meeting to plan a fund raiser which collects 15000 bucks. WOW! Yes. Every penny donated counts but you could have saved that 10000 and given that away too if you just had the meeting at someone's house or done it via skype (or hangouts or what ever online thing).

Following the Trend
Now this is another issue. No one organization wants to do one thing. I do a car wash. One week later, he does one, two days after, she has another, and for a couple of weeks, we see car washes in havelock road or at the kanatte junction in borella. Then we have the "walks".. Some people were even smart enough to have a walk on a weekday evening too. And do I need to even talk about the so called fundraisers through celebrating "holi"??

No one cares about the cancer patients when the trend is aids awareness. And no one cares about people in elders homes or children home when its the "season" of cancer hospital projects. I suggest that the Social Services Ministry might aswell designate some project for every month or every week so that beneficiaries know when their "day" will be.

Know it all..
Another problem with these youth groups in Colombo is, they have a lot of people who think that they are the ones who know everything. And these guys try to make all the decisions and "influence" decision makers with the knowledge in their peanut sized brains. And this effects those causes that need attention because these know it all people just get others to work on the cause they believe in only. Not the cause that needs more attention.

So why am I writing this?
Nope. Not to just complain about it only. I have been involved in this for years but since ive joined the corporate sector, my involvement has been reduced in the front end of the work to being in the back end of many. But, ive seen a lot. Ive seen a lot of organizations, ive seen a lot of people and ive seen how people work. In addition, ive seen a lot of people who need help, lots of areas that could do better with help, lots of places that havent had any help and lots of places that dont need help getting loads of help.

This needs to be fixed. Simple as that. Like the title of this post says, its like politics now. Everyone wants to be a leader but doesnt want to do anything to help anyone except those he cares for only.

May be a "yahapalanaya" like change is what is required here too..


1 comment:

Rumesh Eranga said...

Great post Ahamed. You have mentioned that there are lot of people and places that actually need help. Write a separate post on it. Would be an eye opener for the "kids" out there. :)