Bengaluru Needs You launches 3-week urban action internship

bengaluru needs you workshop
Bangalore, Jan 13: Bengaluru Needs You (BNY), a citizen movement led by IIM-B Professor and AICC spokesperson M V Rajeev Gowda conducted an urban action workshop on Sunday to mark the National Youth Day, which is observed on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda every year.

Besides Gowda (, eminent speakers like like Nitin Pai, Co-Founder of Takshashila Institution (; K Jairaj, Secretary B-PAC (; V Ravichander, Bangalore City Connect Foundation Janaagraha ( and architect Naresh Narsimhan ( addressed the gathering.

About BNY:

BNY is a platform for social initiatives on civic issues. The core belief of BNY is that citizens can work hand in hand with civic authorities to realise their vision for a vibrant and inclusive city. The BNY had conducted 'Civic Action' and 'Political Action' internships successfully in 2013.

On the occasion, BNY launched a three-week long programme called Urban Action Internship 2014. (UAI).

What is UAI?

Young students and young professionals have enrolled for this internship. They, in batches or groups will visit various localities in the city to understand neighbourhood to figure out complexities of urban life, living conditions and make notes.

They will return to the base (Rajeev Gowda Office) give demos about their findings. Be it traffic snarls, garbage issues, women safety, pollution, Lake conservation, commuting (bus, Metro, Namma Railu) and a host of issues which bothers all of us, in Bangalore.

A large number of engineering students and young professionals from the city were seen enrolling names for the internship.

The internship program consists of site-based 'urban design' and 'urban governance', that gives the youth an unique opportunity to work with the community, government agencies and civil society towards more inclusive urban development in Bengaluru. The internship is based on a three week module from 12-31 January, 2014 including a ‘Weekend Warriors' programme for those who are free only on weekends.

A large number of engineering students and young professionals from the city were seen enrolling names for the internship.

The urban action interns will be offered two electives: Urban Design and Urban Governance. The former focuses on urbanism from a multi-disciplinary perspective and undertake fieldwork at specific sites like Hebbal and K R Puram junctions.

The latter explores issues like sustainable development, women's safety and social justice while engaging with the policy making process. The internship will continue till 31st January.

What the speaker said:

Nitin Pai, the opening speaker, set the agenda through an interactive session on understanding the city and its many dimensions. He said, ‘The problem with Bangalore is not overpopulation as it's widely believed, but undergovernance'.

K Jairaj spoke in the length about governing the city. He highlighted the issue of lack of co-ordination between multiple civic agencies as well as discord between the political and administrative system. He concluded by saying, ‘There is a need for a new Act for Bangalore that clearly allots powers and functions to all civic bodies'.

V Ravichandar's session focussed on how to build the DNA in our governing bodies to achieve desired targets. He said, ‘We need to move from a fire-fighting mode and introduce the principles of planning and governance.' He believed decentralisation and citizen involvement was the only way to achieve that.

Naresh Narsimhan's talked about the importance of design in shaping our cities. He highlighted the need for preservation of the unique character of our neighbourhoods. He concluded, ‘Liveable neighbourhoods in a city best describe the concept of urbanism. There is a need for behavioural change amongst us who live in the consumption economy.'

Prof Rajeev Gowda ended the interactive workshop through a call for action to the youth. He said, "Bengaluru will become Bruhat Bengaluru only when citizens step forward, join hands and engage in constructive action. Each of us is a catalyst for change."

The audience of more than 120 youth were from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. They were enlightened and energised by the thought-provoking, interactive workshop. Manjunath Nandi, an intern, said: "The workshop has enabled me to understand the complexity of urban governance. I eagerly look forward to get on the ground and change my city for the better."

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