Youngsters share mann ki baat prior to Independence Day | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Youngsters share mann ki baat prior to Independence Day

It is not very surprising that the idea of a day dedicated to the experiences and voices of young people is more or less unfamiliar to the youth itself. So, on the occasion of International Youth Day, designated by the United Nations, HT decided to draw the attention of tricity’s youth towards a larger debate at the backdrop of the India’s 69th Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort.

chandigarh Updated: Aug 13, 2015 10:58 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu (HT Photo)
Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu (HT Photo)

It is not very surprising that the idea of a day dedicated to the experiences and voices of young people is more or less unfamiliar to the youth itself. So, on the occasion of International Youth Day, designated by the United Nations, HT decided to draw the attention of tricity’s youth towards a larger debate at the backdrop of the India’s 69th Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort.

Three days from now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make the country’s first crowd-sourced Independence Day address, and people from across the country have specific ideas about what they want to hear from him.

From announcing a scholarship scheme for young scientists in the name of former President APJ Abdul Kalam to shifting the national capital to one of the north-eastern states for a designated period in a year – everyone has something of their own to voice.

These suggestions have flooded the government’s digital governance portal, MyGov.in, as soon as Modi first announced it on July 26 (during Mann ki Baat) that he was directly seeking ideas and suggestions from citizens as to what they want to hear on Independence Day.


Tricity's take

Richa Verma, 16, an SAS Nagar resident, would not like the PM to announce a new programme or scheme. “Rather, give us a detailed report card on the overabundance of schemes that have been announced since May 2014,” she says.

Samreen Chhabram, 18, a student of political science at MCM DAV College, Chandigarh, looks at it in a different light. “Each time a leader has addressed the nation, the content has always been idealistic, future-oriented. What we’d like to hear is the Prime Minister’s vision for the country and what we can do to get there in the PRESENT,” says Samreen.

On the other hand, Hoshiarpur-born Vikhyat Mahajan, a mechanical engineer, has other concerns. “I would like Modi to speak about how the government plans to create an environment conducive for entrepreneurs to establish more start-ups. We have the Made in India scheme to bring in FDI but what steps will be taken to foster innovation that will lead to greater employment opportunities,” says the 24-year-old.

A student of Chandigarh’s Panjab University pursuing sociology honours, who didn’t wish to be named, wants the PM to talk about laws to ensure proper safety and security for women in the country.

“Also, green economy needs to be given a thrust to overcome the fuel and oil crisis. With increase in farmer suicides in the region and cost of oil, the PM must find fresh avenues for bio-fuel,” she adds.


Over 10, 500 entries so far

Gaurav Dwivedi, CEO, MyGov.in, says suggestions have been pouring in at the rate of 650 to 700 per day. The total number of entries, including multiple messages per entry, was inching towards 11, 000 on the last count.

The idea to crowdsource material for the Independence Day speech came from the PM’s visit to Australia, when he asked for suggestions on what he should say at the community reception held by Indians in Australia in his honour.

Dwivedi further says, “A few batches of suggestions (say 100 in each) have been dispatched to the PMO exclusively for Modi’s perusal. But, of course only on August 15 will we know which suggestions have been picked up.”

He explains that the team at MyGov.in picked up suggestions that had a ‘novelty factor in them, after which they made a summary before sending it to the PMO’.

While the idea of organising a contest to receive inputs from NRIs across the world to enrich India’s wealth and making learning to play the flute compulsory for students didn’t make it to the shortlist, other suggestions regarding the recent terror attack in Gurdaspur, internal security challenges, women’s safety and Kalam remained dominant on the web portal.

“The last round will be dispatched by August 12 or latest by the morning of August 13 to the PMO,” adds Dwivedi.


Youthspeak

We asked a few youngsters what they wanted to change about India, their city, family and themselves, and we came up with the following responses:

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Rishab Arora, 20, B.Com (2nd year), Amritsar

India: The conservative society. The world has changed but we are still struggling to balance it out with the contemporary world. I feel sorry.

City: I live in Amritsar. The biggest problem is that there is hardly any scope for industries. It is all about food.

Family: Please, don’t ask me this question. I don’t want my mother to beat me up later.

Self: People judge you on the basis of your looks. I want to work on how I look.

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Alisha Kaur, 23, MBA student, Jalandhar

India: There are less number of opportunities for educated youth like us. I wish employment rates were higher.

City: Jalandhar is a nice place. I am not eager to change anything. It is developing slowly.

Family: They have given me everything. Nothing at all. They are cool enough to understand me.

Self: I want to be more positive and constructive in my work in order to utilise my potential in the best possible manner.

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Amoldeep Singh, 22, network engineer in Noida, Amritsar

India: If youngsters want, they can bring a revolution to reform the country. A great example is the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Aam Aadmi Party was able to reach that position because of the youth’s support. But according to me, Indians must change as people. The orthodox mindset needs to be reformed, and we must contribute in a fruitful way to society.

City: I would like people to follow rules in a proper manner because due to improper construction, Amritsar has become a big fish market. There should be cleanliness in the city.

Family: At home, I wish to do my part to maintain cleanliness.

Self: As a youngster, I think I would like to start considering myself as a responsible citizen of the nation instead of just finding faults in our system and its people and be the change to make India a better nation.

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Hameeta Kaur Malhotra, 23, post-graduate from PU, Khanna

India: The thought process of every citizen matters to make a desirable change. Change from within should our motto.

City: More cleanliness and greenery. Plant more trees

Family: I would like to take my own decisions when it comes to my marriage and job.

Self: I will accept all the changes that lead to transforming myself to become a better individual. On a concrete note, I would like to change my eating habits.

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Mehak Sardhana, 23, MSc in Chemistry, National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar.

India: People don’t fear the law anymore. So I believe, people’s mindset needs to change to see the world around them.

City: ‘Sirf saade karan naal thodi kuch badal jayega (Everyone does this, how does it matter)’ is a phrase that needs to be banned. Change occurs with the initiative of a bunch of people only.

Family: My family is my strength and I love them a lot. But I would like them to be a bit more understanding at times.

Self: I want to learn the art of letting things go and let bygones be bygones. Because in life, we are all carrying the same load, yet what sets us apart from others is how we choose to carry them. And I need to learn to accept my imperfections.

(With inputs from Divya Sharma and Prabhneet Kaur)