American author John C Maxwell once said, “A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” With the Class-12 board exams underway, HT City spoke to young leaders in various boarding schools of Punjab about their plans, challenges and dreams before they embark on a new journey after school.
Dreams and wishes
To begin with, Patiala’s Yadavindra Public School’s head boy, Ataldev Chahal (18), said, “I want to be an Olympic-level hockey player who wins medals for India. I will give our national game the best I have. So far, there have hardly been any efforts to make hockey as popular as cricket.” Prabhleen Gurnay (18), the head girl of the same school, says she aims to provide justice to all, especially the underprivileged, who are unable to fight for their rights.
Teachers will be happy to read that the head boy of Nabha’s Punjab Public School, Shehbaz Brar (18), aspires to be one of their kind. He believes a teacher's role goes far beyond books. "We can mould tomorrow and change mindsets. That's powerful, isn't it?"
The school's head girl, Nikneet Kaur Sethi (18), wants to be able to bring about a constructive change in the country and change mindsets through journalism. “I believe the pen has the might to bring about the change that we want to see, in society,” she adds.
Amritpal Singh (17) and Harkirat Singh (17), who hold the positions of captain and adjutant at Sainik School, Kapurthala, say: “We have already been selected by the National Defence Academy and aspire to join the Indian Air Force. In the coming months, our training will also begin which will be the maiden step to chase our dream." Any wishes? "All we want is global peace,” they echo.
Beerinder Singh Malik, the school captain of Sri Dashmesh Academy, Anandpur Sahib, also aspires to join the defence services. “I want to become an army officer one day. I feel the army is not just a profession, but a way of life," he says. The academy's head girl, Muskan Chib (17), says, “I want to promote our country’s rich culture through my artistic skills. I want to become a fashion designer.”
When it comes to what they have learnt from the leadership positions they held during the final years of school life, they revealed that the experience made them responsible and disciplined. They learnt that to be a leader one needs to have a high emotional quotient, take initiatives and understand others, bringing together students with different attitudes and cultures.
As for life in the boarding school, they believe it has made them more independent and stronger to face the challenges awaiting them in the life after school.