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Sapno Ka Haq (the right to dream) is a radical idea where dreams and agency are central and inalienable rights. Based on the lives of adolescents from rural and semi-urban Bundelkhand, this project consisted of 6 podcasts and 8 e-zines exploring their aspirations, dreams and realities. The project showcases the structural inequalities and multiple oppressions that exist and govern the lives of young people, especially young girls.

Sapno Ka Haq began with deconstructing UDAYA data for adolescents. Workshops were conducted with young people, where insights from the UDAYA data was presented in the form of a game, “Kaun Banega Data Champion”, which sparked a lot of interest amongst the adolescents. Another session, conducted on the occasion of Independence Day, engaged with young girls who were part of the “Kishori dals” ( adolescent girls groups). The data insights centered around agency and freedom: such as education, access to reproductive choices, group membership, technology and social media, etc. The adolescents who came to these meetings and sessions often wondered how their stories could possibly be linked to the data. Others asked how they would benefit by sharing their stories. Facilitators adapted sessions and settings to ensure that the adolescents had an engaging, yet safe space to share their stories. For example, in one region, one of the reporters realised she was much older than the group of adolescents she was to meet with. Realising that the age difference could cause hesitation in sharing, she engaged a younger colleague to go in her stead. In other cases, if the adolescents were not comfortable to speak at home, or around friends or other members of the community, the facilitators would agree to meet with them either at an office, or a more private space where they could speak, and share freely.

As stories and insights started coming in from the field, they were corroborated against insights from the UDAYA study, creating scripts on topics like adolescent articulation, freedom of choice, or using sports to reverse existing gender stereotypes. Once the podcasts and zines were ready, they were shared with the adolescents who had been consulted, either via WhatsApp or in-person screenings. “The youth loved that we took their stories, and converted them into something so engaging. It was a thrilling experience for them, to have their dreams and ambitions shared with a wider audience.” says Meera, of Chitrakoot Collective. Young girls, especially, were fascinated to learn about the larger data which explained the context of their own lives and freedoms.

Sapno ka Haq has been shared across social media channels like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. WhatsApp has been a convenient medium to share the podcasts and zines with local networks like journalists’ groups and media houses, local government, feminist activists, groups working with young people like ASHA and Anganwadi workers. A partnership has also been established with Radio Bundelkhand, which broadcasts in MP and UP with over 2 lakh listeners. The podcasts and zines have also been shared with grassroots organisations, as well as international agencies and philanthropic foundations to be disseminated to their partner organisations like Actionaid, Azim Premji philanthropies, Save the Children and Oxfam, among others.

Sapno Ka Haq has received heartening reviews from everywhere. Grassroots organisations and local journalists’ networks were awed by the insight each of the products provided into the lives and dreams of adolescents. Many also found the UDAYA study useful, and look forward to using the sheer magnitude of research it makes available via the newsletters and website. Finally, what moved most people was the realisation that for young people in rural and semi-rural India, especially marginalised girls, their dreams were collective. When envisioning their dreams and ambitions, each of the adolescents were seeing themselves as part of the social change they wanted to bring about in the wider world.

How to use

Sapno Ka Haq was created for young people, primarily Hindi speaking, from Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns in India, where resources are hard to access. These resources were created for Hindi speaking teens from lower socio-economic classes in Tier 1 metros as well. The secondary target audience for the project are parents, guardians and teachers of young people who play a significant role in their lives in creating an atmosphere where adolescents can dream and exercise their agency.

Similarly, grassroots organisations and field workers working with adolescents can use podcasts and zines from this project in multiple ways - use the stories to inspire young people, use the data insights to further their advocacy, or use the content of the products to initiate intergenerational conversations in the community.


  • Agency, community, and citizenship

  • Education, employability, and economic inclusion

  • Entry into marriage and motherhood


Episode 1: Anju aur Nagma

Young people have a lot of dreams. Yet, not every dream comes true. Nevertheless, the feeling of dreams turning to reality is a surreal one. Anju and Nagma have dreams too.

Both are residents of the same town in Bundelkhand, but their stories are very different. Anju, who belongs to a Dalit family, wants to become a doctor but her family’s financial situation does not allow her to pursue her dream. Nagma, who had to quit school after her father died, wants to become an actress. This episode, which follows the dreams and aspirations of Anju and Nagma, mirrors existing and rising inequality in the society.

Episode 2: Do Dost: Deepak Aur Himanshu

Deepak and Himanshu are two friends who live in UP’s Bundelkhand. Both had similar financial status as children but their situation drastically changed with time. Deepak is 21 years old and earns INR 10,000 per month. He is also in the final year of his BSc course. Meanwhile, Himanshu (20) is pursuing a BA degree from a private college. He had to abandon school and work as a mechanic to support his family after his father had to stop work due to illness.

Today Deepak wants to be a teacher and Himanshu aspires to have a good office job. While Deepak is hopeful about his future, Himanshu’s dreams are shrouded with uncertainty. In this episode we examine how unforeseen circumstances can drastically change the trajectories of two friends who otherwise led a similar life.

Episode 3: Monika Banegi Designer

The glitz and glamour of the fashion industry often makes one think that only people living in big cities dream of being a part of it. But, Monica thinks differently. Not only does she dream of becoming a fashion designer, but is also actively working to fulfill her aspiration. In addition to this, she shares the financial burden of running a household with her father, and helps her mother with the daily household chores.

Monica is completing her studies and is simultaneously pursuing her passion of tailoring clothes through a home-run enterprise. She has two sisters who are older than her and live in Delhi. Together they are breaking the shackles of patriarchy, that girls often find themselves bound by, by running their house. Monica not only dreams big but has the courage and the vigour to achieve them.

Episode 4: Shakila Ki Udaan

Meet Shakila, a bright young woman from the most backward Nat community in Bihar, who has big dreams for herself. She dreams of working for the betterment of the Nat community. Her right to dream is important because only 5% girls from the Nat community are able to complete their education. The landless nomadic community earns a living through street performance art and has high rates of child marriage.

Shakeela beat the odds and undertook an inspiring journey from Araria, Bihar, to Durham University in England. Shakeela was married as a child and escaped her abusive marriage. She then went on to build a fulfilling life for herself. To know more about her inspiring journey, listen to this episode of Sapnon ka Haq.

Episode 4: Suman Baudh

Everyone has a mission in their life. Usually these are associated with one’s personal ambitions. But Suman Baudh has a mission-- to change gender norms, attitudes and inequality in her community. She does this in a unique way-- through”Mission Sangeet” a unique genre of songs that aim to bring social change. This episode talks of her Mission and how she has been able to change the norms in her village.

Episode 4: Do Khiladi

Sport plays an important role in changing gender norms. Two young girls are using sport as a tool not just to achieve their professional ambitions but also to create a path for other girls to follow suit. This episode talks of how Meera, a cricketer, and Rajnandini, a runner, are using sport as a tool for social change.

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BehanBox (Voices of Sisters, in Hindi) aims to mainstream gender journalism with in-depth, evidence-based research and reportage by bringing the voices of local women and gender diverse persons, especially from historically marginalised communities to the centre of public discourse. They shine a spotlight on existing and widening gender gaps with a critical look at laws, policies and data with a gender lens from local to the national level.

Episode 4: Do Khiladi

Episode 4: Do Khiladi

Episode 4: Do Khiladi

Sport plays an important role in changing gender norms. Two young girls are using sport as a tool not just to achieve their professional ambitions but also to create a path for other girls to follow suit. This episode talks of how Meera, a cricketer, and Rajnandini, a runner, are using sport as a tool for social change.