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Empowering Youth for Sustainable Development

Hari Om Dahiya, President and Youth Chairman of the Commonwealth Students Welfare Group of India and Founder & President of the Commonwealth Chambers of Commerce shares his reflections on the Commonwealth Youth Empowerment Conclave (CYEC)

As India prepares to celebrate its 76th Independence Day, the role of youth in shaping the nation's future continues to be paramount. Youth are known for their energy, passion, and enthusiasm. They have a remarkable ability to question established norms, challenge injustices, and drive positive change. The Commonwealth Students Welfare Group of India, at the heart of our commitment to fostering positive change lies our dedication to empowering and engaging youth from different parts of the country. Through an array of diverse projects, we are actively shaping a generation of leaders, innovators, and change-makers. Our commitment resonated in the recently concluded Commonwealth Youth Empowerment Conclave, a grassroot level event engaging over 200 young people. The Conclave was organised in collaboration with the Commonwealth Chambers of Commerce (CWCC).
In the heart of Bihar, a transformative event took place that ignited the spirit of youth leadership and sustainable development. The Commonwealth Youth Empowerment Conclave, held on 4-5 August, 2023, at the RNAR College in Samastipur, was a resounding celebration of innovation, empowerment, and the unwavering potential of our young leaders. 'Youth Leadership for Sustainable Development' was the conclave's theme, and it captured the attention of more than 200 enthusiastic young individuals from different parts of Bihar. The Commonwealth Secretariat endorsed the event as a key component of the Commonwealth Year of the Youth 2023, emphasizing its global importance and dedication to cultivating youth leadership and promoting sustainable transformation. The Commonwealth Students’ Welfare Group of India (CSWGI), as a branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society in India has always been dedicated to empowering youth for a sutainable tomorrow. This designation marked its significance on a global scale, underlining the event's commitment to fostering youth leadership and driving sustainable change.
The atmosphere was charged with excitement as renowned speakers, experts, and mentors graced the conclave to share their insights and experiences. RCS Branch representatives also graced the occasion with their online presence from different regions: Mr Peter Mann MBE (Hong Kong), Mr Kanti Jinna OAM (Australia), Mr Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi (Nigeria). Thought-provoking sessions spanned various domains, including Youth & Women Empowerment, Environment, Climate Change & Sustainability, Commonwealth & SDGs, gender equality and education. These sessions brought together visionaries, change-makers, and aspiring leaders to engage in meaningful dialogues that aimed to propel collective action. It was a true confluence of visionaries and change-makers.

The conclave was not confined to the walls of RNAR College; its impact reverberated far beyond. Participants left with new perspectives, broader networks, and a renewed commitment to action. The connections forged during the event are poised to fuel collaborations, initiatives, and projects that will extend across regions and touch countless lives.
The Commonwealth Youth Empowerment Conclave was more than an event; it was a stepping stone towards a future defined by empowered youth leaders who are committed to driving sustainable development. As participants returned to their communities, they carried with them a sense of purpose, a wealth of knowledge, and a network of like-minded individuals ready to make a positive impact.
The conclave concluded with a collective promise to harness the power of youth leadership to steer our world towards a more sustainable and equitable future. The event showcased that the energy, innovation, and determination of the youth are the driving forces that can shape societies and redefine possibilities.
As we reflect on the Commonwealth Youth Empowerment Conclave, we are reminded that the journey has only just begun. The true measure of success lies in how the knowledge gained, connections made, and inspiration ignited translate into concrete actions that transform communities and, ultimately, the world. In the end, the conclave was not merely an event; it was a catalyst for change. It was a testament to the fact that when youth leadership and sustainable development come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. The journey continues, fuelled by the passion, dedication, and determination of the young leaders who will undoubtedly shape the future.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Royal Commonwealth Society.
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