Meet the harbingers of change
As we wrap up Top 30 Under 30 today, here’s a look at Hindustan Times’ 30 achievers of the year who emerged victorious in their own right and have been stellar examples of inspiration for youngsters all over the nation. In our yearly initiative, HT Youth Forum, scheduled to take place in Chandigarh today, we felicitate these achievers, as our panel of celebrities — Union I&B minister Manish Tewari, MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, actor Ayushmann Khurrana, actor Richa Chadda and Miss India World 2013 Navneet Kaur Dhillon — inspire them to further their efforts and tread the path of unparalleled victory.
28, actor, Amritsar
Richa Chadda made her mark in Bollywood with the gritty role of Nagma in Gangs of Wasseypur (1 & 2). She made her debut with critically acclaimed film, Abhay Deol starrer Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! In 2013, Richa was seen essaying the role of 'female don' Bholi Punjaban in Fukrey.
Navneet Kaur Dhillon
20, Miss India World 2013, Patiala
A student of Television, Film Production and Media at Punjabi University, Patiala, Navneet went on to wear the Miss India World crown at the pageant this year. She will now be seen representing the country in the Miss World pageant, to be held in Indonesia on September 28.
25, actor, Chandigarh
A pass-out of DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, Gurpreet's career kicked off when satirist Jaspal Bhatti cast him in one of his short films. His Bollywood debut was with the movie Jodi Breakers. Gurpreet is doing TV advertisement for various brands including Airtel. Recently, he played the lead in MTV's first fiction comedy TV series, MTV Reality Stars, and debuted as a lyricist with Saadi Galli from Nautanki Saala.
Khushmeet Kaur Bains
23, social worker, Ludhiana
Khushmeet was 11 years old when she saw a few slum children begging on the streets of Ludhiana. Since then, she took it upon herself to devote time to educate such children. Today, she is motivating and educating more than 150 slum children. Khushmeet was awarded the Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme (NSS) award in 2011 and the Shaheed-e-Aazam Bhagat Singh State Youth Award in 2010.
The Lawrence School, Sanawar
students and mountaineers
Ajay Sohal, Fateh S Brar, Hakikat Singh, Shubham Kaushik, Prithvi Chahal, Guribadat Singh, Raghav Joneja. On May 21, 2013, these teenagers created two world records - they became the first team from a school to scale the Mount Everest and also the youngest ever to do so.
Harmanpreet Kaur Bhullar
24, cricketer, Moga
Currently the captain of Indian women cricket team, Harmanpreet became the first woman cricketer from the state to have achieved this feat. 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.
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. The son of a chartered accountant, Arnav recently took part in the Biology Olympiad camp held in Mumbai. He strives to see every state of the country impart high standards of education.
24, composer & record producer, Chandigarh
Born as Siddharth Sharma, Dub's song, Raaz, became a part of the BBC Introducing Initiative. The track 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 led to sound production for Bollywood movies Cocktail (2012) and David (2013). One of his most celebrated songs has been Tung Tung, featuring Nooran Sisters, for MTV Sound Trippin (season 1).
15, child artiste, Haryana
Aanchal bagged her first job as Aleya in the Bollywood movie, We are Family. She is best known for playing Raavi Ahuja in Sony's TV serial, Parvarrish. Aanchal won the Best Child Artiste award at the 11th Indian Telly Awards in 2012.
27, Ludhiana, CEO of OlaCabs
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.
24, wrestler (freestyle), Bhiwani
Geeta became the first Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics. She is also the first female wrestler from India who won a gold medal in the 55-kg freestyle category in women's wrestling at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. In 2009, she also won the gold at Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, Jalandhar.
22, wrestler (freestyle), Bhiwani
She is the other half of the dangerous duo of Haryana's poster girls - Geeta and Babita. Following in the footsteps of Geeta, Babita too took inspiration from father Mahavir Singh, a former wrestler. Her hard work paid off when she won the silver medal in Delhi Commonwealth Games (51-kg category) in 2010.
29, co-founder, H Degree, Chandigarh
Starting off from the basement of his house on a shoestring budget, Paul, with co-partner Harkirat, came up with brand consultancy and brand management agency, H Degree. In three years, H Degree stands proud of its association with renowned firms of Chandigarh such as Wrapville, Kava, Basil & Bean, Purple Rice and Jagat Singh & Sons. Paul is famous for his blog, Cockybox.com and also writes for GQ India.
vice-president of Gramin Yuva Vikas Mandal, Haryana
Associated with about a dozen NGOs in her home district, Suman has helped women in constituting about 45 self-help groups (SHGs). She was honoured with the National Youth Award 2011-12 by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee.
22, skipper, Indian women hockey team, Haryana
Ritu led India in many Junior and A assignments and won a silver in the Junior Asia Cup. She scored a hat-trick at Kazan in the Champions Challenge in 2009. She was appointed as the skipper of Indian team for the FIH World League Hockey (round 3) held in Netherlands in May 2013.
Sultana Nooran, 20, Jyoti Nooran, 19
Sufi singers, Jalandhar
Jyoti and Sultana gave their first hit single for MTV Sound Trippin (season 1) - Tung Tung. Post their success, they were a part of MTV@Coke Studio, where they performed their version of Allah Hoo. The sisters came out with their first album, Tatdi, this year and also sung a shabad in National Award winning film Nabar.
24, singer, Patiala
At the age of 18, he participated in MH1's reality show, Awaz Punjabi Di and won it. Two years later, he became the winner of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar and bagged Bollywood songs Walla Re Walla (Tees Maar Khan), Ishq Sufiana (Dirty Picture), Jhooth Boliya (Jolly LLB) and Aakhiya Nu Rehan De (Future Toh Bright Hai Ji). He also won the Fresh Singing Talent 2012 award at Zee Cine Awards 2012.
Kiran Kumar Sharma
23, NSS volunteer, Jammu & Kashmir
Kiran was honoured with the National Youth Award 2011-12 by the President of India for his illustrious work done in the promotion of youth services and education in the state since 2007. He was selected in the 20-member Indian Youth Delegation for an international youth exchange programme held in South Korea and was also nominated as the Country Youth Representative, Commonwealth Youth Caucus, Asia Centre in 2010 and 2012.
29, actor, Ferozepur
She started her career with Punjabi movie Yaaran Naal Baharan, followed by Punjabi movies Ek Jind Ek Jaan and Mehndi Wale Hath (2006). She landed Krant's role in Colors' Mohe Rang De in 2008 and became a household name with Zee TV's Aapki Antra in 2009. She made her Bollywood debut with Not a Love Story (2011) and followed it up by Punjabi movie Rahe Chardi Kala Punjab Di in 2012. Recently, she garnered appreciation for her role in Bollywood movie Sixteen.
29, producer and CEO, Sikhya Entertainment and AKFPL, Batala
One of the youngest CEOs in the entertainment industry, Guneet was featured among 12 women acclaimed producers internationally by Hollywood Reporter. She produced two films - Dasvidaniya and Say Salaam India - in her early 20s and formed Anurag Kashyap Films Private Limited (AKFPL) with Anurag Kashyap soon after. So far, Guneet has done films such as Micheal Winterbottom's Trishna, Gangs of Wasseypur, Aiyya, That Girl in Yellow Boots and Peddlers.
24, cricketer, Jammu & Kashmir
Rasool was the first cricketer to be picked for the Indian team from the valley. An all-rounder, he has played 17 first-class matches, scoring 1,003 runs and taking 46 wickets. Hailing from a family of cricketers, Rasool came into limelight when former India spinner Bishen Singh Bedi became the coach of J&K team. His first break came against visiting Australians in a warm-up game in Chennai. He picked seven wickets for 45 runs.
26, RTI activist, Naila village, Chamba
Manjur opted to fight against the corrupt by being an avid RTI activist. He received a national-level award by the centre government for his individual RTI efforts in March this year. In 2008, Manjur exposed a large-scale corruption being carried out by the panchayat functionaries in government-run Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna.
18, fullback, women national hockey team, Haryana
She is a regular member of the Indian team and was adjudged the best player of the world cup qualifiers tournament held in New Delhi. Jaspreet defies the old mindset of early marriage and sticks to her goal of making it big in the sports field.
25, professional golfer, Kapurthala
He is India's top ranked professional golfer and is placed at the second spot in the Asian ranking charts. Bhullar was country's numero uno amateur golfer in 2004 and 2006, and part of the Indian team that won the silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games. In January 2011, Bhullar won the inaugural Gujarat Kensville Challenge to become the first Indian player to win a tournament on the Challenge Tour. In March 2013, he finished runner-up at Avantha Masters, which propelled his world ranking to the best ever 85.
26, skipper, India hockey team, Haryana
He was the highest paid player in the inaugural Hockey India League at 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.
26, actor, Amritsar
She made her television debut with Love Ne Mila Di Jodi on Star One. Simran was last seen in Colors' TV Show Na Aana Is Des Laado as Diya. She is currently playing the lead role of Anamika in TV serial Anamika on Sony TV.
21, Delhi, Bollywood actor
The young Sikh has acted in Bollywood movies Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Udaan, Student of The Year and Fukrey. Also a part of Punjabi movie Pure Punjabi, Manjot has also been a part of reality TV show Khatron Ke Khiladi. To his credit, he also 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.
Though a car crash left him crippled from waist down at the age of 25, Amit did not concede defeat. The 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 called boccio) and discus throw. It was through discus that he qualified for the 2012 Paralympics.
29, comedian, actor, screenplay & dialogue writer, Jalandhar
Balaj Syal was one of the finalists for MH1's Hasde Hasande Raho, which was followed by Great Punjabi Comedy Show and Hasde Hasande Raho 2. 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. He has acted in films such as Dharti, Kabaddi, Once Again and Tu Mera 22, Main Tera 22.
26, actor, Chandigarh
Sahil started off with MTV Hero Honda Roadies season 4 (2007) and went on to do a guest appearance in MTV Splitsvilla (2008). He made his Bollywood debut as parallel lead, Jeet, in Dharma Productions' Student of the Year. He is currently working on two projects as main lead - Bang Bang Bangkok and Love is not Mathematics.