Youth to Power: Empowering adolescents for life

Inequities and disparities among communities in India have deepened with the pandemic and economic downturn and have exposed discriminatory social systems more than ever. Bal Umang Drishya Sanstha (BUDS) is a non-profit organization formed to advance health, education, and welfare of children in India, by providing support services to vulnerable children, youth, families, and community members.

The Youth to Power Initiative is established in memory of Rishi, a teenager who cared deeply for his peers who were vulnerable to life’s disparities. The initiative is supported by the Rishi Children’s Fund run by Johns Hopkins University.

This initiative provides a safe learning space to impart functional literacy, numeracy, social sciences, and special skills training for out-of-school adolescents and youth in urban areas of Delhi and Mewat district in rural Haryana state. Interested youth will be supported for vocational skill development in different areas through local training centers to provide them with qualifications that will provide employment in the future. The holistic approach will provide learning that can become a lifelong asset and empower youth to make appropriate choices for their life’s goals.


  1. Empower adolescents and youth from urban poor and rural marginalized communities to succeed in life, by creating learning opportunities, and holding practical classes, and confidence building processes.

  2. Promote holistic growth and development of children at Anganwadi centers in rural India, by involving youth as care providers and peer counselors.

  3. To provide support for degree programs and vocational skill development to vulnerable youths and enable placements in jobs to support their livelihood.

The Positive Running Program

Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for children and youth. Incorporating routine exercise in children’s daily lives can boost immunity to certain diseases, keep bones healthy and strong, and help them achieve their full potential.

Snehagram is a vocational and rehabilitation center for children living with HIV. Its mission is to enable self-sufficiency in children and help them lead healthy and productive lives. In keeping with their mission, the organization provides a platform to incorporate a physical fitness program for children.

The Positive Running Program is instituted in memory of Rishi Shet, a teenager who loved running, and had a deep connection with Snehagram. The program is supported by the Rishi Children’s Fund run by Johns Hopkins University. The program aims to empower children and youth at Snehagram by using athletics as a catalyst to harness their abilities to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle. This program can become a model for physical wellness in other children, and continue to spread health and well-being to create lasting change within whole communities.


  1. Incorporate a running program as a routine physical fitness endeavor among children living in Snehagram, by implementing regular training, providing basic training equipment, and facilitating sporting event participation.

  2. Provide children living in Snehagram with appropriate nutritional support that will enable robust participation in the running program.

  3. Evaluate the running program’s impact on the well-being and quality of life of children and youth, with a goal of scaling up this model in other communities.

A preliminary visit to Snehagram was made on July 3-4, 2021 by Dr. Henry Prakash, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation from Christian Medical College, Vellore.

Regular running practice with Dr. Henry Prakash and team

Information session on running practices, injury prevention, and nutrition

Artful Thinking

The Artful Thinking program is conceptualized in memory of Rishi, who captured nature’s perspectives through the lens of tribal art.

The arts have great potential to enrich our lives by teaching us not only to appreciate beauty, but also to help us embrace new perspectives, foster empathy, challenge the status quo and think critically, deeply and laterally.

Harnessing this immense potential, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), Bengaluru, will facilitate a learning journey of creative exploration for the young people living at Snehagram, a vocational and rehabilitation centre for children living with HIV. With two workshops a month, this programme will not only provide exposure to artists and artworks in the MAP collection, but also provide a safe space for these adolescents to reflect, question and express their ideas about the world and themselves.

Warli art by Rishi Shet

Rishi Children’s Fund

Enabling orphan and vulnerable children to lead healthy enriched lives