IT BEGINS WITH A DREAM... | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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IT BEGINS WITH A DREAM...

Revolution in the making They set their eyes on a goal, make it their life’s purpose, fight all odds and give meaning to life when they finally achieve it. In our fifth of six-part series, Top 30 Under 30, we present the final six of HT’s 30 achievers from the region. Facing challenges, inspiring change

chandigarh Updated: Aug 08, 2013 09:48 IST

Revolution in the making They set their eyes on a goal, make it their life’s purpose, fight all odds and give meaning to life when they finally achieve it. In our fifth of six-part series, Top 30 Under 30, we present the final six of HT’s 30 achievers from the region


simran kaur

26, actor, Amritsar



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Simran made her television debut with Love Ne Mila Di Jodi (2009) on Star One and was later seen in Colors’ show, Na Aana Is Des Laado as Diya. She is currently playing the lead role of Anamika, opposite Mudit Nayar, in the TV serial, Anamika on Sony TV.

Q. Who is your youth icon and why?

A. I get inspired by so many people so often that it’s difficult to pinpoint one icon.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?

A. For our nation to develop, the most essential building block is education, which should be made free for all. Once that is attained, there is no stopping us. I also believe there should be full transparency in the government’s workings to put an end to corruption. Corruption is a social evil that is eating the society whole.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?

A. The fact that we are eager to change and quick, sets us apart. The first step to change is realising the need to change — a point we have reached.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?

A. Every youngster should know the importance of education and should pass on the same to younger generations. Let an educated youth follow their hearts, change will follow suit.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?

A. Free education for all, especially in small towns and villages. Education is the only way we can end all social evils, practice equality, make India a safer country and control the population.

sahil anand

26, actor, Chandigarh





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Sahil Anand started his career with MTV Hero Honda Roadies Season 4 (2007), where he figured among the top six contestants. His next assignment was a guest appearance in MTV Splitsvilla (2008). The Chandigarh lad made his Bollywood debut as a parallel lead in Dharma Productions’ Student of the Year. He is currently working on two projects as the main lead —Bang Bang Bangkok and Love is Not Mathematics.

Q. Who is your youth icon and why?

A. Though a lot of people inspire me on a daily basis, my most inspirational youth icon remains MS Dhoni — he is the only Indian captain who won all three ICC trophies for India.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?

A. I’d like to see employment opportunities grow in the country — employment facilitates should grow not only on the micro level, but also on the macro level.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?

A. What defines us, the youth of India, is our fearlessness. The youth of today has an independent opinion, which does not rely on the conventions of the society. Most of all, we are not scared of following our dreams.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?

A. The youth’s energy needs to be channelised in the right direction. You cannot change the nation just by joining politics; taking small steps for the society’s benefit in whichever field you are goes a long way. A sensible youth is one that has the maturity of an experienced man, but the adamancy of a child.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?

A. India, being a fairly young nation, has come a long way in 66 years. At the speed and rate we’re going — tackling economic changes, inflation and deflation — it won’t come as a surprise if India ends up becoming the next super power. We have the resources, potential and manpower; with the current mindset of the youth, which is completely revolutionised, India is no longer just an orthodox country.

manjot singh

21, Delhi, Bollywood actor



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The young Sikh has acted in Bollywood movies Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Udaan, Student of The Year and Fukrey, and is working on his upcoming, Zero Line. Also a part of Punjabi movie Pure Punjabi, Manjot has also been a part of reality TV show Khatron Ke Khiladi (season 3). To his credit, he has TV advertisements of Castrol, Coke, Hindustan Petroleum and Chevrolet Beat. Manjot received the Film Fare Critics Best Actor award at the age of 16 for Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! which was directed by Dibakar Banerjee.

Q. Who is your youth icon and why?

A. Farhan Akhtar, because he’s an army of talent packed into one. He directs, acts, sings and writes — how often do you come across such a personality?

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?

A. A change for the better — better government policies, better planning and execution, better facilities, better education system, free medical aid and better safety measures — so that we are well-equipped to handle tragedies like the recent floods in Uttrakhand.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?

A. The young spirit of India lays in the feeling of belongingness; the oneness we share. Take the example of the Delhi gang rape and murder. All of Delhi’s youngsters were out on the streets, shouting slogans, braving water cannons, fighting for the justice of one woman. That’s what sets us apart.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?

A. The high-ups should include youngsters in planning infrastructures or should obtain their views on issues the country has been trying to address since ages. This will not only make the youth socially aware, but would also give our government the true picture of the nation.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?

A. If the youth of the nation comes together, we can do wonders! Though we have progressed, we have a long way to go. Our top priority should be providing basic amenities to the common man — healthy food, shelter, medical aid, clean environment and free education.

sardar singh

26, skipper, India hockey team, Haryana



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Playing halfback, Sardar has been the most consistent and experienced campaigner for Indian hockey. He was the highest paid player in the inaugural Hockey India League, at approximately R43 lakh. He has to his credit a gold at 2010 Kuala Lumpur Sultan Azlan Shah Cup and a silver in 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. He was adjudged the Best Player of the Tournament in the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, where India won the bronze, which he won again in the 2012 Summer Olympics qualifiers, where India won the gold.

Q Who is your youth icon and why?

A. Bhagat Singh. I think his deeds are beyond comparison. He still has the ability to inspire and mobilise the youth of the country.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?

A. Corruption-free India can be achieved; what we require is political will and support from the masses. We also need to address infrastructure problems in the country, and as a sportsman, I would like to see more impetus at the grass-root level. Good facilities at the grass-root level can help the country channelise youngsters’ energy.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?

A. In my view, today’s youth has a go-getter attitude, wherein young people can dream and achieve their goals. We have so many young entrepreneurs and sportsmen who can compete with the world’s best.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?

A. A sense of empowerment and purpose can do wonders. We need to lead the youth by example; days of mere lip service are over, actions speak louder than words. So, we need a leader who can give this vast majority of youth a purpose.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?

A. Eradicating corruption, poverty, building infrastructure and providing education facilities.

balraj syal

29, comedian, actor, screenplay & dialogue writer, Jalandhar



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Growing up without parents wasn’t easy for Balraj Syal. During college, he joined the theatre club to get some relief from college fee, which led to him auditioning for MH1’s Hasde Hasande Raho; he went on to become one of the finalists of the show and followed it up by Great Punjabi Comedy Show and Hasde Hasande Raho 2. Balraj then went on to do shows such as Ikk Tara Bole, Music Online, Desi Talk and Lots of Ladies. In 2009, he got a break with Star One’s Laughter Challenge 4. Presently, he is a part of Sony’s soon-to-be-aired Comedy Circus Ke Mahabali and the creative writer for Comedy Nights with Kapil for Colors TV. Syal has also been part of films such as Dharti, Kabaddi Once Again and Tu Mera 22, Main Tera 22. His upcoming Punjabi films include Heer and Hero and Jatt Boys - Putt Jattan De.

Q. Who is your youth icon and why?

A. Virat Kohli, because he has achieved so much in a short span of time due to his hard work and discipline.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?

A. Apart from social security, timely medical facilities and free education for all. A
better education system will lead to a society with an open mindset — a prerequisite for success.

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?

A. I believe that our youth is patriotic, but gullible. They are confused and de-motivated in times of widespread corruption and the government’s wayward working mechanism. Their aggressiveness has to be channelised in the right direction.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?

A. Today, youngsters blame the system for everything that’s wrong with the country. They need to change the way they think and start changing the society’s mindset to bring about a much-needed change in the nation.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?

A. Safety for women must be our top priority. 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.

amit saroha

29, discus thrower and para-Olympian, Haryana



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A car crash left him crippled from waist down at the age of 25, but Amit did not concede defeat. Though months of rehab and accepting a life on a wheelchair took time, he hanged in there. As his fledging career as a property dealer fell apart, this former state-level hockey player found inspiration to take up para sports. After dabbling with wheelchair rugby for sometime, Amit decided to take up throwball (also known as boccio) and discus throw. It was through discus that he qualified for the 2012 Paralympics.

Q. Who is your youth icon and why?

A. Jonathan Sigworth — he gave my life a new direction. Sigworth is an American wheelchair rugby player and it was while he was on a tour to India that I met him and was exposed to the world of para sports.

Q. What revolutionary change(s) would you like to see in the nation by 2020?

A. I’d like to see a corruption-free nation. While it is the need of the hour, we also have to see that bureaucracy works for the people, not against them. For a common man, it is impossible to get the work done in this country. Take the increasing number of slums for instance; why can’t the government provide affordable housing to all despite having funds?

Q. What in your view best defines the young spirit of India?

A. We live life to the fullest and work very hard to achieve our dreams.

Q. What would drive the youth to become the change-makers of today?

A. Bind them with a common cause. Youngsters have traditionally been associated with change. We need to bring them together — when they stand against social evils together, a lot can change.

Q. What should India’s priorities be over the next ten years?

A. Education, housing and childcare. Also, providing sports facilities at the grass-root level will not only help in confidence building, but will also expose the youth to the world.