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About the initiative

Coming in mid-2013, at a time when Indians are filled with negativity and pessimism especially about the country’s leadership, the 'I Lead India' initiative presented an alternative that went beyond armchair criticism. The campaign was a clarion call to the youth, asking young people below the age of 25 to join the movement for change. Its emphasis was: ‘Beyond demonstrations and appeals, it urged young people to stop pointing fingers and blaming others. Instead, it pushes them to stand up and be counted. It urged them that, for once in their lives, they should be the change they wanted to see around them. It asked them to stop pontificating and theorizing, stop making tongue-in-cheek remarks, stop taking digs at the government on social media.

It said that the time for talk and social media banter was over, and the time for change had come. And that the change needed to start with them. The programme went across 27 cities of India, identifying through a long and meticulous process a five-member Youth Brigade. Each of these brigades was given a task critical to their respective cities and a specific time frame to conduct this. TOI supported them with contacts and logistics in the implementation of their task.

Over 20,000 entries were received, and three rounds of shortlisting were involved in the finalization of the youth brigades. To know more about the youth brigade and the outcome of their tasks, click here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city_profiles.cms?city=Bengaluru&msid=22926861. Members of the best-performing youth brigades were given the opportunity of going through a leadership programme at the Indian School of Business.

I Lead India also had several other legs, in the form of the first Organ Donation Day, Compassion Day, RTI Day and the Youth Parliament.

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