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Youths driving the campaign

mumbai Updated: Apr 08, 2011 01:12 IST
Aarefa Johari
Aarefa Johari
Hindustan Times
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Anna Hazare’s campaign has caught the imagination of Mumbai’s youth, who have been at the forefront of organising and drawing the limelight to the snowballing movement.

“The footfall at Azad Maidan [where the protests are being held] has been increasing every day; a majority of those there are youths and students,” said Ruben Mascarenhas, head of the youth outreach group of India Against Corruption in Mumbai.

For Suhas Sonwalkar, 23, who joined the campaign with the Mumbai Dandi March at Bandra on March 26, the inspiration came two weeks ago when he saw a news report on Americans of Indian origin marching in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

“I have seen my parents and others grow frustrated because they are caught up in corrupt systems. Finally, an option has opened up,” said Sonwalkar, a tourism professional who is an active member of the campaign’s youth outreach group.

In Malad, students, parents and staff of DG Khetan International School will organise a short rally against corruption near the school. “When we discussed the issue in our Thursday assembly, I was surprised that even children from Classes 4 and 5 talk about it knowledgeably,” said

principal Kavita Aggarwal, who is expecting at least 500 students and parents to turn up for the rally.

According to Aditya Paul, 24, who has been active in the ‘Safed Patti’ campaign launched on Thursday, this is a rare movement that has gathered so much support.

“Mumbai’s youths are usually lazy. Initially, there was skepticism but many of my friends joined the fight after I signed up,” said Paul, a political science student.