With only a few days left for the arrival of US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, youngsters of the region are euphoric. Obama as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade is bound to be the cynosure of all eyes. When HT City interacted with youngsters from pockets of the state, they revealed their wishlist for Obama.
Let’s start with the holy city Amritsar, where students of Khalsa College want the famous couple to visit their city.
One of Khalsa college’s representative Jatinder Batt (21) explains, “During Obama’s 2010 visit, their itinerary included a visit to Amritsar and they were also supposed to visit our college and interact with us. But their visit to the holy city got cancelled due to a last-minute change in plan. However, it will be amazing if they visit our city this time. We would like to host an interactive session with the President and he must visit the Golden Temple, its community kitchen followed by Pingalwara - where humanity is redefined. He could witness the Retreat ceremony at Wagah border and should not forget to try the local food which has attained worldwide fame.”
Armandeep Singh Aulakh (19), a student of Punjabi University in Patiala, underlines what he and several of his classmates want. “We feel Obama should give a green signal to various educational and cultural exchange programmes between US and India as it will give young minds from both nations an opportunity to go beyond books and will silently prepare them better for a global world. It should not be forgotten that travel and exposure to different cultures broaden the mind and also open doors for several international opportunities,” Aulakh says.
Karanvir Singh (22), a student from Ludhiana’s Punjab Agricultural University, shares Aulakh’s sentiment and says that the university often laud erudite research reports of US universities, so why not give a chance to students of Indian and American universities to win scholarships through exchange programmes in the US. He feels that research scholars of both countries will benefit a lot from such ventures. “We must keep in mind that each country is known for something unique. So, why not look for exchanging benefits from each other with an aim of mutually benefiting each other. India, for instance, can be the best platform for ayurvedic research, while the US for various other fields like medical,” says Singh.Help combat cancer
A lot of youngsters feel that there is an urgent need to address health issues for which they want Obama to follow up with World Health Organisation (WHO) and urge them to play a more strenuous role. “Malwa in Punjab has been declared a cancer belt and the number of cancer cases are only growing. According to a recent survey by our association, almost every home of this region has lost one member to cancer. Other findings which came out are that the disease is also spreading through infected drinking water in this belt. So, many of us feel that WHO could adopt this area and address this grave health scene here,” suggests the Maheshwari , 30, who holds the position of chairman at Naujawan Welfare Society in Bathinda.Fortify sports infrastructure
Commonwealth silver medallist in shooting, Malaika Goel , 17. feels the US can help India and other developing countries to develop their sports infrastructure. “Whenever players from India and other developing countries go to developed nations, they note that sports facilities are far more developed than in their home countries. For my shooting practice before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I used to travel to a village on the outskirts of Ludhiana as the city had no state-owned shooting range. Moreover, we also need international coaches for better exposure and training,” Goel says.Global peace
Keeping the recent Peshawar and Paris attacks in mind, Preet Amol Singh (23), a freelance writer from Patiala feels that Obama being the most powerful world leader must try to uproot terrorism by involving all world leaders in a meaningful and constructive role. “In an environment of heightened strife and destability all over, there is a need for peace. If peace returns to every part of the world, we can make our planet a great place to live in,” says Singh.
Interestingly, Jaskaran Singh Sibia (27), a lawyer from Sangrur, feels that if governments work with dedication, they can address most issues on their own. “It is good to seek international support but at the same time, the government of our country and even the citizens should put their best foot forward and work towards the betterment of the country.
For instance, the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to bear fruit so far. Many citizens have not taken his initiative seriously even though it is benefits our own country,” he adds.Get mesmerised
Miss India World 2013 Navneet Kaur Dhillon says, “It is a great opportunity for India to see the US President and his wife at the Republic Day Parade and through this parade India can successfully showcase its talent in every field. The couple will surely be left captivated.”