'Top Thirty Under Thirty'
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'Top Thirty Under Thirty'

HT presents the young inspirational icons, who hail from diverse backgrounds, states and fields. This dynamic bunch is ready to take India to great heights on a global scale. We salute theses bright sparks.

chandigarh Updated: Aug 22, 2012 13:32 IST
Hindustan Times

HT presents the young inspirational icons, who hail from diverse backgrounds, states and fields. This dynamic bunch is ready to take India to great heights on a global scale. We salute theses bright sparks.

Baddy's best

Saina Nehwal, 22, badminton player, Hisar

Nehwal made the nation proud by taking home the bronze medal at London Olympics 2012, making her the first ever Indian to win a medal in badminton at the Olympics. She is currently ranked number four in the world by the Badminton World Federation. Nehwal was also the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesia Open with a victory over higher-ranked Chinese Wang Lin in Jakarta on June 21, 2009. Nehwal won her second career Super Series title by winning the Singapore Open title on June 20, 2010. She also completed a hat-trick in the same year by winning the Indonesian Open on June 27, 2010.

Goal-getter: Hard work, determination, good health and my sincerity to my coach, Gopichand sir, have all been my driving forces to achieve my goals.

Youth icon: My senior, Aparna Popat.

How can youth of the nation fuel positive change?

The youth is the future of India. Be it in space, or sports, the youth will lead India with hard work, for which awareness is required. And, thanks to the exposure youngsters are getting now, there is enough awareness.

Is it a good time to be young in India?

Yes, definitely, because of the vast pool of opportunities, advanced technology and awareness about various avenues.

Singh is king

Mandeep Singh, 20, cricketer, Jalandhar

The right-handed batsman for Kings XI Punjab in IPL Season 5 impressed both fans and critics with his masterful batting display. He got the Rising Star Award this year in IPL. With 432 runs in 16 matches this season, he was the highest run-getter for Kings XI Punjab and 10th highest scorer of IPL 2012. He was also a vice-captain for 2010 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand. He has been playing IPL since the third season, having started with Kolkata Knight Riders. He was named the vice-captain of India Under-19 cricket team for 2010. Recently, he was also selected for the India A team tour to New Zealand in September.

Goal-getter: Preparation and determination is a must for any kind of work. I am a man who works hard with confidence. If you hone your skills and practice with complete confidence in yourself, you will definitely achieve your goals.

Youth icon: I look up to Virat Kohli; he too tasted success at a young age. I have played with him and have observed the way he prepares for each match - with passion.

How can youth of the nation fuel positive change?

These days, youngsters like me are reaching great heights. I myself am aspiring to be a part of the Indian cricket team and will soon turn this dream into reality. The youth of India has full potential and is getting noticed. Youngsters are already imparting positive changes in the country.

Is it a good time to be young in India?

Yes, it is the time to recognise the wisdom of youngsters, as they are much more intelligent now, compared to the young generations of the past. Cricket itself is a good example for the same - youngsters like me are playing for IPL at an international level and proving themselves.

Jawan 'jatt'

Harish Verma, 29, actor, Kurali

Born in the small town of Punjab, Kurali, Verma found his way to theatre and finally films by being focussed on his goal. Now based in Mumbai, Verma is a popular face, after having enacted the role of Avtaar in hit TV series, Na Aana Is Des Laado (2009-2012), aired on Colors. More recently, he was seen in popular Punjabi film, Yaar Anmulle (2011), enacting the character of Jatt Tinka, for which he also won the Critics Best Actor Award at PTC Punjabi Film Awards 2012.

Goal-getter: Whatever I wanted in life, I struggled for it. I was successful in achieving my goals because of my focussed and determined approach. From making a foray in theatre in 1999, under the guidance of veteran Punjabi theatre artiste Gursharan Singh, to doing TV and films, it was a fruitful journey. My beginnings were all about hard work, as I did almost 70 street plays and 2,500 repeat performances in almost all the villages of Punjab.

Youth icon: Bhagat Singh is my icon, about whom I have heard stories ever since I joined theatre. I feel that I connect with his ideologies, philosophies and way of thinking. He inspires me in a huge way.

How can youth of the nation fuel positive change?

Change always comes with a constant effort. But nowadays, the youth seems to get tired very soon, being distracted by Facebook, video games and TV. These elements don't allow them to focus on positive things in life. A positive change can only take place if youngsters join hands in working together on issues that concern them.

Is it a good time to be young in India?

Life is really fast these days. There are many multinational companies that have come to India, thereby increasing job opportunities. Because of this, a lot of youngsters prefer to stay in their own country instead of migrating to foreign land. So, yes, it's a good time to be young in India.

Whatever sector you are working in, what matters most is your integrity in that field. Youngsters should carry out any form of work with complete honesty and sincerity, which is a basic need in any sector today. Through sincere work, youngsters can do wonders in their own ways. Be a responsible citizen for your country.

Eye candy

Yami Gautam, 23, TV and film actor, Chandigarh

Pretty girl Yami Gautam has come a long way since becoming the face of Fair and Lovely. She made her TV debut with the serial, Chand Ke Paar Chalo (2008), but it was her next serial, Yeh Pyaar Na Hoga Kam, in 2010, that fetched her popularity. It was, however, her role as the Bengali girl, Ashima Roy, in the critically acclaimed 2012 Hindi film, Vicky Donor, that earned the Mumbai-based actor national recognition. Gautam has also essayed the lead role in the Kannada film, Ullasa Utsaha. She then participated in reality TV show, Meethi Choori No 1, on NDTV Imagine.

Goal-getter: I believe in destiny and believe that I have been lucky so far. I also value the support given to me by my parents. For me, personally, I think it is the clarity of thoughts and a focused approach towards goals that made all the difference and helped me achieve success at a young age.

Youth icon: Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, because he has been the chess champ for as long as I know. The list of his achievements is increasing with each passing day, but he remains focussed, determined and true to his game. Also, whenever I hear about Viswanathan Anand, it is only because of his game and nothing else.

How can youth of the nation fuel positive change?

I am of the opinion that youth power decides the future of a country. Indian youth is very clear about its goals, and knows where to reach and how. If youngsters come together, formulate opinions and get them implemented through non-violent means, we can bring about a refreshing and positive change in India.

Is it a good time to be young in India?

This is just the right time to be young in India because the country has everything that the youth needs to make it big in life - be it infrastructure or resources. Also, the world is now a global village with everything being only a click away. So, achieving dreams is easier. We should make India proud of our achievements at an individual and collective level.

First Published: Aug 22, 2012 13:26 IST