The comic book delves into the experiences of the researchers while working on the survey for the UDAYA study, interspersed with chapters which are the individual stories they encountered. The chapters combine different visual styles, based on the mood of the story, weaving UDAYA data insights into the narrative. Read to go along with the researchers on their journey of personal learning while creating public data on the lives of adolescents.
Researcher Preeti shares Manju’s story in the fourth digital narrative from Stories of A Survey. Can the common adolescent experience of heartbreak intensify when you’re a girl who’s life is restricted by norms – no one to share the pain with, no phone to call your friend with and the hovering pressure of marriage? What are the many factors that contribute to the loneliness and depression many young girls experience as the UDAYA study found? The comic takes us through one such story of a young girl, isolated due to limited digital access, her romantic relationships and arranged marriage and her mental health as intertwined with these circumstances.
The third digital narrative from Stories of A Survey listens to researcher Bhaskar as he tells Chintu’s story. Where does a young boy in Bihar learn about nightfall and make a girlfriend? Surprisingly – a coaching center! The story of Chintu, who has some sex education, but many questions; the role of the internet, education, roads and bicycles in changing social attitudes. are explored in this humorous story. Even as gender roles slowly change, how deep is the change in attitude? Development helps, but is it enough when it comes to gender and caste?
The second digital narrative from Stories of A Survey is about Mohan, as told by researcher – Ravi. What makes a 11-year old who loves studying drop out before his adulthood has even begun? Mohan’s story of dropping out of school because of his circumstances and working in an unorganised sector speaks about the life of many adolescents who had to discontinue their schooling because of economic reasons. The comic, along with the findings of UDAYA, captures the encounter of young people with depression, loneliness, and anxiety during their adolescence period as well as their economic realities, while touching on the vulnerability of researchers as they encounter these difficult realities.
The first digital narrative from Stories of A Survey tells Chandu’s story, as told by researcher Pramod. Why were the adolescents surveyed in UDAYA sometimes so curious and excited to meet the researchers? Could it have something to do with lack of information in their life especially about the great hush hush topic of sex? Chandu’s story is about young people’s curious questions and their inability to find places where they can get answers. A lot of young people are married at a young age without their consent and any family life education. According to the UDAYA study, only 9.7% of boys in UP in wave 1 had received any family life education which later increased to only 16% in Wave 2. Thus, the comic navigates the journey of Chandu, who gets the chance to learn about contraceptives and sexual reproductive health through one of the Udaya researchers.