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Blazing a new trail

To a better tomorrow As we commence our yearly Top 30 Under 30 listing, here is the first of a six-part series, featuring six young go-getters from the region — Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir — who challenged conventions in their own fields and carved new trails for others to emulate.

chandigarh Updated: Aug 05, 2013 18:34 IST
HT Correspondent

To a better tomorrow As we commence our yearly Top 30 Under 30 listing, here is the first of a six-part series, featuring six young go-getters from the region — Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir — who challenged conventions in their own fields and carved new trails for others to emulate.

Siddharth Sharma
24, composer & record producer, Chandigarh

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During college, Siddharth (also known as Dub) was a Computer Applications student who dreamt of theatre. By the second year of college, he found himself producing music for theatre and local radio stations, following which he moved base to Mumbai to pursue a course in Sound Engineering. That’s when his first stint with BBC Network (UK) happened, in August 2010, with the song Raaz, under the BBC Introducing Initiative. The song released on Canadian Record Label, Monkey Dub Recording, and the track eventually got featured in the Best of BBC Asian Network Charts for 2010. Siddharth got his first Bollywood project, Gangs of Wasseypur, at the age of 21, which gave birth to opportunities in Bollywood movies such as Cocktail (2012) and David (2013). One of his most celebrated songs has been Tung Tung, featuring Nooran Sisters, for MTV Sound Trippin (season 1).

Q. Who is your youth icon & why?
A. Kiran Bedi, simply because she brought about a big change in the way people thought about Indian women.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?
A. I would like to see the day when everyone has equal rights, equal freedom and most importantly, I’d like to see equal implementation of laws for every citizen. Equality is more important than building quadrilaterals and flyovers or strengthening the Indian rupee.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?
A. The Indian youth today is much more informed and empowered than it has ever been. Social networking and globalisation has helped them work together to address global concerns. Though we lagged behind a decade ago, we’ve caught on very quickly.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?
A. The only approach that the youth of India can adopt is to listen to itself and take the first step; the biggest step. To channelise young energy, we must get out, touch life, find people like us and collaborate with them to bring about a bigger change.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?
A. Sorting out the education system should be India’s top priority. Being a nuclear power is not as big as being an intellectual power. Exploring the talent in villages and remote areas in India should be our priority. An educated youth would know the
difference between right and wrong and would pave the way to a better tomorrow.

Harmanpreet Bhullar
24, cricketer, Moga

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Currently the captain of Indian women cricket team, Harmanpreet became the first woman cricketer from the state to have achieved this feat. For someone who started receiving professional cricket coaching only in 2005, Harmanpreet has taken long strides in a small span of time. After debuting for India in 2009, she was named vice-captain for the first time last year for the tour to England. At this year’s Women’s World Cup (held in February), the Moga girl was the leading scorer for India in the tournament. As a reward for her fine performance, Harmanpreet was given the charge of the team for the India-Bangladesh series, held in April 2013. Under her leadership, India routed the visitors 6-0, while Harmanpreet herself was the leading run-getter of the
championship.

Q. Who is your youth icon & why?
A. Virat Kohli, for his approach towards the game and his never-say-die attitude. He has good leadership qualities, and everything else that it takes to become the captain of the Indian cricket team.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?
A. I would like to see a social change that would give every Indian woman freedom from all sorts of restrictions, so they can realise and pursue their dreams without inhibitions. Crimes against women should be curbed so that women have a greater sense of social and individual security. Moreover, participation of women in sports should be encouraged, with a strong backing from the family.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?
A. A majority of Indian youngsters are all-rounders; they are equally good in academics and sports. While they have
it in them to go out and take the world by storm, they don’t forget their culture and moral values — something that is very
rare to find in the youth of other countries.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?
A. A sense of self-awareness and knowledge about one’s duties and responsibilities would drive the Indian youth to become the change-makers of today.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?
A. Framing policies so that every girl — not only in urban and suburban areas, but also in rural areas — can get educated; motivating them to join sports and strict implementation of laws concerning women safety should be India’s top priorities be over the next ten years.

Arnav Aggarwal
17, AIIMS 2013 entrance exam topper, Chandigarh

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Chandigarh’s Arnav Aggarwal secured the all-India first rank in AIIMS examination 2013, besides securing the second rank in NEET exams, which are held for all medical institutes of the country. Son of a chartered accountant, Arnav recently took part in the Biology Olympiad camp in Mumbai.

Q. Who is your youth icon & why?
A. Abhinav Bindra, because he has excelled in his field of choice and done the country proud.

Q. What revolutionary change would you like to see in the nation by 2020?
A. I want India to become an educational hub. The country should have such a strong infrastructure that instead of venturing out of the country, youngsters should study in India and help improve the country.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?
A. The fact that we are an intelligent lot. However, I would like like to stress on the lack of good institutes in the country. Why is it that if one wants to become an engineer, he/she has to go to IIT, and the Mecca for doctors is AIIMS?

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?
A. All of us should take charge, contribute to the growth of the nation and set examples in our respective fields. We can bring about change only if we take control of the situation.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?
A. We need to focus on the basics — eradicating social evils, providing food for the poor, abolishing class division, educating every child — only then can the country progress. Our country’s politicians also need to take into consideration the benefit of the public, rather than feeding their vested interests.

Aanchal Munjal
15, child artiste, Haryana

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From a state infamous for gender inequality, Aanchal Munjal, who was born at Barwala in Haryana, broke those stereotypes early on. Her mother Anu Narang spotted her daughter’s talent in dramatics and quit teaching to take her to Mumbai in 2006; there has been no looking back ever since. Aanchal bagged her first job within three months as Aleya in Bollywood movie
We are Family. She has done a number of TV shows and is best known for playing Raavi Ahuja in Sony’s TV serial, Parvarrish. She won the Best Child Artiste award at the 11th Indian Telly awards in 2012.

Q. Who is your youth icon and why?
A. I look up to Deepika Padukone who has made a mark in Bollywood. I love her style of acting and the professionalism with which
she pursues each project.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?
A. I want India to figure in the list of developed countries of the world. Our current lot of old politicians should be replaced by young, enthusiastic and corruption-free leaders. There should be adequate security for women and a change in people’s mindset towards girls.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?
A. The talented youth of our country is confused at present. They are either too excited or too aggressive. Our youth must respect talent and work towards bringing about a positive change in the common man’s mindse, which will help our country progress.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?
A. The young brigade must work more responsibly to bring in the change they seek. Youngsters should invest their energy in the betterment of the society by thinking beyond their own comfort zone.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?
A. Our country must take concrete steps for the safety of women, which would occur with a change in our mindset towards women. A corruption-free nation with politicians who work for the betterment of the country should be the next priority. Discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and social status must also end.

Bhavish Aggarwal
27, CEO of Olacabs, Ludhiana

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Bhavish began with a vision to revolutionise ground transportation in India and believes that Olacabs, founded in 2011, has realised that to a large extent. The company, essentially an online marketplace for cabs and car rental services, is present in four major cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore) and employs over 400 people.

Q. Who is your youth icon and why?
A. Steve Jobs remains an icon across all age groups. The way he has influenced the young generation with extraordinary design and technology is second to none. Apple as a brand stands for excellence and simplicity.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?
A. I would like to see a better technology infrastructure in place. While this can be a great enabler for businesses and the way people live their lives, at a more fundamental level it can help solve real-world problems like traffic, pollution, safety etc. To me, positive change is anything that makes a specific experience hassle free so that we can focus on other things.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?
A. Today, entrepreneurship and inclusiveness (being a global citizen) defines the spirit of a young Indian. Our generation is not shy of technology, is information hungry and wants to stay on top of everything that is happening globally - this I think is amazing! The Indian youth has managed to become a knowledge economy in very little time - be it the heavy volume of intelligentsia we churn out from our educational institutions, the high number of English speaking Indians or just the internet/social-savvy youngsters we can boast of.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change makers of today?
A. Freedom to experiment and commit mistakes I think is the single most important driver for today's youth. Unlike the past, there is no rulebook in businesses; everything around us is changing by the minute. Only if such freedom is given to learn without the fear of being branded a failure forever, will change makers evolve.

Q. What should India's priorities be over the next ten years?
A. We should focus heavily on planning well for the future in terms of infrastructure (soft and hard), education (including talent management), strong public-private partnerships that will be the next wave to drive overall development and stress on citizen-driven initiatives. Businesses along with the public, if orchestrated by the government, can create significant change in the way we grow.