Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is based on a different imagination of academics which combines progressive ideas of development and social change. TISS has been creating avenues for communities to articulate their respective issues and to act on them based on ideals of sustainable development. The National Rural Youth Festival (NRYF) is one of the initiatives conceived by the students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur. It aims at generating and sustaining a platform for exploring, exchanging and reflecting on ideas of rural development across a wide range of actors such as social sciences students, development practitioners, scholars, researchers and the youth in the village communities.
In 2008-09, TISS Tuljapur made the first attempt to reach out to rural youth in the Marathwada region through organizing the first Rural Youth Fest. Participant’s response was very encouraging. Around 400 youths participated in this festival. TISS has broadened the idea of organizing the Rural Youth Fest in subsequent years.In the academic year 2010-11, NRYF was expanded to the national level. More than 2000 rural youths across the nation participated in this mega event. The event crossed geopolitical boundaries of India and TISS hosted near about 40 participants from the neighboring country Nepal. This year, we aspire again to take NRYF to a national level event, thereby facilitating and encouraging a dialogue among rural youth, students, development practitioners, young scholars and researchers. In 2015, NRYF was celebrated at its peak capacity and saw the participation of several colleges and students from all over the country. It was a pleasure hosting the Governor of Maharashtra Ch. Vidyasagar Rao as the Chief Guest to the 7th NRYF.
NRYF aims at mapping and analyzing gaps in rural progress so as to define our role as youth, academia, civil society organizations and Government agencies in developing rural India.
After the huge success of the previous editions of NRYF, this year we have set out again to make the festival a memorable one. In the wake of the severe drought in the state of Maharashtra in general and the Marathwada in particular, the festival is keen to spread awareness and make the youth realize of their moral responsibility towards the people of the state.