Today in New Delhi, India
Mar 22, 2019-Friday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

HT Youth Forum: Celebrating youth, the epitome of hope, change

Shooting star Abhinav Bindra hits bull’s eye as he asks young achievers to aim high with self-belief.

punjab Updated: Oct 26, 2018 22:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
HT Youth Forum,Abhinav,Abhinav Bindra
Abhinav Bindra addressing the audience during the HT Youth Forum in Chandigarh on Friday. (Anil Dayal/HT)

Start with self-belief and bow out with self-respect.

That’s the piece of advice Abhinav Bindra, the first and only Indian shooting star to win an individual gold in the Olympics, had for the Top 30 Under 30 achievers of the region at the seventh edition of the HT Youth Forum here on Friday evening.

Bindra, who was the chief guest at HT’s flagship event that shines the spotlight on youth brilliance in diverse fields from sports to fine arts, said: “I congratulate today’s achievers and believe such events are important for the longer journey of life ahead. At the beginning of our career, we look for external glory and validation, but these are transient moments. Personal achievement holds a broader significance if there is a desire and belief to make it count for others.”

Looking dapper in a formal suit with a sky blue tie and sporting a salt-and-pepper neat haircut, the 36-year-old gentleman poked fun at himself and said: “I feel old today after being made chief guest at the Youth Forum.”

From left (standing): Wushu champ Narender Garewal, rower Sukhmeet Singh, shooter Manu Bhaker, INS Tarini crew Lt Payal Gupta, Kashmir Administrative Service officer Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak, martial arts coach Faisal Ali Dar, chief guest and Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, cricketer Siddharth Kaul, printmaking artist Rahul Dhiman, artist Ashima Raizada, hockey player Navneet Kaur, Panjab University student council president Kanupriya, designer Seerat Virdi, skier Jagdish Rawat, para shooter Manish Narwal, poet Harmanjeet Singh and athlete Manjit Singh Chahal (extreme right). Seated from left: Under-16 Indian football players Varsha, Manisha, Anju, Poonam, Kavita, Nisha; and para athlete Amit Balyan, shooters and twins Udayveer and Vijayveer; and rising football players Kiran and Ritu. ( Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

Recounting his journey through five Olympics, he said: “I enjoyed the Rio Olympics of 2016 the most despite missing out on a second medal after the gold at Beijing. Athens in 2004 was a wake-up call when I finished seventh despite the hard work.” A loose tile cost him the spot.

Sharing the stuff champs are made of, he said: “I could have quit but I chose to try to be perfect on an imperfect day. My performance was the only thing in my control. So, I practised with a low tile and low lights…it was extreme behaviour but it added to my versatility.” The result was India’s first individual Olympic gold.

His love for the sport and self-belief transformed the shy youngster into a confident world champion. “Results give limited feedback. You will realise eventually that it’s the act of giving so that others gain that is more important. Rarely does a person enjoy the shade of the tree one plants. The joy lies in that realisation.”

In his welcome address, HT executive editor Ramesh Vinayak said: “We at Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, turned 18 only this April. We focus on the young and believe in celebrating the youth that is the epitome of hope and change.”

The panellists, comprising cricketer Virender Sehwag, actors Kartik Aryan and Yami Gautam, and athlete Neeraj Chopra, discussed if India’s demographic dividend has really delivered.

The guests included winners of debates held on the topic in colleges across the region in the run-up to the finale.

The event blended the past, present and the future as the young achievers, who are tomorrow’s leaders, were honoured in the perfect backdrop of Mughal and Rajput architecture at The Oberoi Sukhvilas luxury resort in New Chandigarh.

First Published: Oct 26, 2018 22:09 IST