Are you a young person looking to make Ghaziabad better? Join YNG!
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Are you a young person looking to make Ghaziabad better? Join YNG!

Clean up your city, spruce it up, paint flyover pillars, spread awareness about burning social issues and reach out to the needy.

Are you a young person looking to make Ghaziabad better? Join YNG! YNG members say cheese after Environment Day rally and street play

Youth Network Ghaziabad (YNG), a resident group, has taken the onus of changing the face of the city to a cleaner and greener one.

YNG, Mayank Chaudhry's brainchild, fills the vacuum of an organised non-political youth platform in the city. Chaudhry, a young business development professional and a businessman from Ghaziabad, founded YNG along with his friends and family. The intent was to encourage people to come out of their comfort zones and contribute to society.

But there are a couple of criteria for joining YNG. First, an interested person must be less than 35 years old, and second, the person must be willing to participate in the efforts of a group.


YNG members after a cleanliness drive in Kavi Nagar Block C


The year that was

Over the past year, the group has taken up several issues — be it cleaning up the city's bus stations, sprucing up public places with flower pots, maintaining the existing pots placed by government agencies, removing advertisement bills and painting flyover pillars, cleaning foundation and memorial stones installed at various locations, participating in anti-pollution and anti-polythene drives, holding campaigns to save water or distributing woollens and blankets among the needy.


A memorial stone in Kavi Nagar C Block after YNG removed all the bills


Chaudhry said one of the non-profit group's most successful initiatives was to remove advertisement bills from flyover pillars and painting them. "Initially, people pasted these ads even on newly painted pillars, but we removed them the very next day and re-painted them. Nowadays, such instances have gone down. We keep an eye out for such activities now," he said.



Thakur Dwara flyover (left) and Nehru Nagar roundabout after YNG removed the bills and gave them a new look


The entire communication to and from the group is carried out via social-network platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Apart from donations and sponsors, group members have also chosen to generate funds from newspapers and empty plastic bottles.

"Your waste newspaper can beautify our city!" reads a Facebook post of the group.

The group accepts donations in the form of newspapers and plastic bottles, which they can sell to generate funds for the group's initiatives.


Cleanliness awareness drive at RDC, Raj Nagar


Gathering steam

Chaudhry said YNG had planned to conduct community discussions and meetings in various public locations across the city to gather more people for their cause. The first of such meetings is to be held on January 22, at the Shiv Mandir of C Block in Kavi Nagar.

Unlike other groups and NGOs, YNG does not have any rank, position or hierarchy within the group and its ethics maintain that every member has to contribute on the ground.


Nehru Nagar flyover after YNG went to work on it!


A voice of its own

Members of the group said they tried to coordinate their operations with the RWAs of Ghaziabad, but that never really worked out. "One major reason is that in such bodies, there are multiple decision makers, which makes it difficult to arrive at a conclusion. The resident bodies also have an underlying political divide, which interferes with the activities of the group. It is best to stay away from such complications," said Chaudhry.

"We have also kept ourselves away from political associations and associations with other mainstream NGOs. We decided to stay away, because associating ourselves with other political or non-political organisations will cause YNG to dilute its unique voice. There are chances of us straying from our original purpose, and we don't want that," he added

The group does face difficulties, such as shortage of funds and threats from advertisers for removing bills, but compared to the goal in their mind, they are mere hurdles, they say.



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