Meet our IBJ Youth Initiative in India!

In India, young visionaries are launching innovative projects to transform the lives of incarcerated youth.

Verma Nikunj

"Digital and Physical Book Designed to Inform Children About Their Rights," 2023

Krishna Sharma

Krishna Sharma

“Children in Prisons in India,” 2023

Kriti Khatri

"Use of technology to improve youth access to justice," 2020

Srihari Kothandapani

"Rights bot," 2020

Nitish Rai Parwani, India

Nitish Rai Parwani

“ Young Leaders for Legal Literacy,” 2020

Niranjana S, India

Niranjana S

"Reintegrating young individuals into society without stigma,” 2020

Verma Nikunj

India, 2023

Youth Justice Charter Article 4.

Children’s understanding of their rights can be hindered by complex language and the lack of engaging visual aids. Verma Nikunj, a passionate designer from India, is on a mission to make learning about rights an exciting experience for children in prison. Drawing from his love for art and graphic design, Verma has devised a project aligned with Article 4 of the Youth Charter to create a comic book, using vivid cartoons and relatable stories to elucidate various rights. Each tale will convey a moral that educates the children, making it an enjoyable and instructive read. Recognizing potential barriers such as language and disabilities, Verma plans to create versions of the book in native languages and offer audio recordings. With the support of educational and legal aid groups, he aims to bridge the gap between complex legal terms and children’s understanding, contributing to a more just society where young minds are informed and empowered.

Krishna Sharma ​

India, 2023

Youth Justice Charter Articles 4, 6 and 7.

In India, a failure in the juvenile justice system has led to children being detained in prisons, an issue that is often neglected. Krishna Sharma, a dedicated lawyer with a passion for child rights, is tirelessly working to change this grim reality. Through his project, “Children in Prisons in India,” Krishna plans to conduct an evidence-based study on child detention across various states, raise awareness, and advocate with government stakeholders. The expected results include awareness-raising, the development of a handbook for stakeholders like the police, advocating for accountability, and pursuing strategic litigation in the Supreme Court of India.

Kriti Khatri​

India, 2020

Kriti is studying a joint Bachelors in Business Administration and Law in Greater Noida, India. Kriti was alarmed by the lack of awareness and respect of prisoner’s rights in India and so proposes to use technology to better serve the prisoners needs. Kriti proposes the use of telemedicine to allow juvenile prisoners to consult with medical personal from distance through video conferencing to improve healthcare in prisons and reduce the costs of healthcare for individual prisoners. Alongside this she proposes the creation of a data base which will ensure correct, timely and accurate information sharing and will enable prisoners who have served their full sentence to be released, thus reducing overcrowding. Kriti’s ideas intertwine technology, specifically through tools such as video-conferencing as well as data bases, in order to improve youth access to justice.

Srihari Kothandapani​

India, 2020

Alarmed by the lack of awareness about child rights across India Srihari entered the competition in order to fill the gap in India’s educational system which does not educate children about the constitutional rights of the child. Srihari proposes to make a ‘Rights Bot’ that will help children, like himself, learn about their rights. The bot will be launched in tandem with rights awareness Youtube videos and pdf stories about child rights. Alongside this the bot will provide links and contact information of lawyers and of their rights for particular crimes that may have been committed. This will result in a community of rights aware children, who are able and willing to demand their rights, which is hoped will lead to a drop in youth incarceration and a reduction in violation of children’s rights. WhatsApp is the most commonly accessed application and there are 66million children in India who are active internet users so Srihari hopes that with $1500 his project will be able to reach 50,000 children.

Nitish Rai Parwani​

India, 2020

Nitish Rai Parwani is a law-clerk working with a Supreme Court Judge in India who joined the IBJ Youth for Youth Justice movement after realizing that legal aid was inaccessible to many who did not benefit from societal privileges. Nitish’s project works with students and community members through legal awareness programs. The project proposed by Nitish is a Young Leaders for Legal Literacy program which operates at a grassroots level engaging students from different linguistic, cultural and legal backgrounds to educate their communities about their basic rights under statutory laws in India. This project aims to reach 15,000 community members in one year and to empower them by educating them about their rights. Nitish intends on working with local government bodies, police departments and legal service authorities alongside schools and community members.

Niranjana S​

India, 2020

Niranjana is from Kerala and has submitted a project intended to reintegrate juveniles back into society, with the overall goal of reducing the number of reoffenders and reintegrating young individuals into society without stigma. Niranjana plans on hosting a series of conferences, advocacy campaigns and trainings which will involve counsellors, probationary officers, social workers, paralegal volunteers and community members. The overall goal of these is to increase re-integration of juveniles, provide a sense of belonging and thus reduce repeat offending.