Turning 18 with HT: ‘There should be no reservation for jobs’

Tomorrow’s leader: A civil services aspirant, Aishvarya counts her ability to spot and bring out the best in others as her strength but thinks India lacks promising young leaders today despite having a lot of talent.

punjab Updated: Jan 15, 2018 14:20 IST
Yojana Yadav
Yojana Yadav
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
India's youth,leaders of tomorrow,promising young leaders
Aishvarya Thakur, a student of humanities, at DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh.(Karun Sharma/HT)

A civil services aspirant, she counts her ability to spot and bring out the best in others as her strength but thinks India lacks promising young leaders today.

Name: Aishvarya Thakur

Born: October 6, 2000

Badge of honour: Head girl, DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh

Aishvarya Thakur, a student of humanities, at DAV Model School, Sector 15, Chandigarh, has been in hostel since she was eight. She doesn’t have a cell phone, loves to read and likes thinking vampires exist. A civil services aspirant, Aishvarya counts her ability to spot and bring out the best in others as her strength but thinks India lacks promising young leaders today despite having a lot of talent.

What turning 18 means to me

Turning 18 means stepping into adulthood and leaving childhood behind. I’ll be legally accountable for my actions. But if you think about it, age is just a number. You can bring about a change even when younger. Pakistani activist for girls’ education, Malala Yousufzai, was 17 when she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

What I want to be and why

I want to be a civil servant. I see myself as a leader who can spot and bring out the best in others. I’ve opted for humanities and hope to score well in the Class 12 board exams after which I’ll opt for political science or sociology in a Chandigarh college.

My idea of India

India is a land of diversity. There is a lot of talent here but it’s sad that it is often not harnessed. If we can tap our talent well, India can become a global superpower. Our chalta hai (laidback) attitude is a hurdle, too.

What makes me happy

Making others happy makes me happy. Creating happiness is in our hands. I love travelling and remembering trips with friends. I’ve lived in the hostel since I was eight so I don’t have a phone but I have lots of friends. Any environment with positive vibes makes me happy.

What makes me angry

Ignorance and ungratefulness angers me. Every second day, we have a social group demanding a quota. There should be no reservation in jobs. But I support quota for the single girl child in educational institutions to correct the skewed sex ratio. There should not be more than 20% reservation for the economically weaker sections in education.

Fear and fantasy

I fear losing people I love. As for fantasies, well I’d like to live like Queen Elizabeth II for a day. I have grown up on Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance Twilight series so I also want to live in their world. I like thinking that vampires exist.

Am I happy where I am?

Yes, I’m happy and grateful for all that I have. If I ever feel low, I look at those less fortunate and realise how blessed I am.

What money means to me

Money is the driving force of today’s world. We shouldn’t underestimate it. It can get you anything. But it is also the root cause of sorrow. Corruption is a fallout of giving too much importance to money. It can be used as a bait to trap us.

What makes me proud of India

India’s cultural diversity and achievements across fields from Bollywood, literature, innovation to sports make me proud. I’m a fan of Amish and am awaiting his third book in the Ram Chandra series called Raavan: Orphan of Aryavarta.

What I can’t live without

It may sound ironical as I’ve been in hostel for a decade but the truth is I can’t live without my parents. My father, Man Singh Thakur, is an LIC wealth manager and my mother, Sudesh Kumari, is a retired health supervisor. They live at our native Bhanjararu village, 80 km from Chamba, in Himachal Pradesh. The last time I visited home was in June last year. My father ensured I got the best of education and sent me to a boarding school in Dalhousie after which I came to Chandigarh in Class 11. I talk to my parents thrice a week. My father was here during the Dussehra holidays and took me sightseeing to Shimla and nearby places. I’m independent but my parents are my strength.

What social media means to me

Social media helps us stay connected and it should be used in a balanced way. It has opened us to a world of likes and comments. Of late, it has acquired undue importance. Cyber crimes and bullying are the dark side of social media. It is disturbing to see children addicted to phones than playing outdoors. I’m lucky I don’t have a cell phone and don’t feel the need to take a selfie wherever I go. You don’t have to post it to prove it.

Change I want to see in Chandigarh

If only Chandigarh could be a little less noisy. Traffic police personnel need to check goondaism on the streets and check Bullet motorcycles from being driven around without silencer. Loudspeakers at the neighbourhood vegetable market are a nuisance too.

What religion means to me

Religion has become a means of instilling fear in people. Blind faith has replaced devotion and gratitude. People are losing compassion and empathy and following rituals blindly. India’s wealth is in its temples, if only it was put to productive use.

My role model and why

I don’t believe in role models. I can’t live my life based on somebody else’s. I take inspiration from people. My biggest inspiration is my mother, who balances home and work and doesn’t give up. My seniors taught me to believe in myself. I observed a senior who excelled in declamations and learnt that she talked to the audience rather than rattling out the speech. She knew when to pause, when to modulate her voice and caught everyone’s attention. From another senior, I learnt that failure is a temporary setback. His resilience is inspiring.

Change I want to see in India

We are a young nation so more youth should get representation in the administration, industry and education. Though Vikramaditya Singh has made it to the Himachal Pradesh assembly, his party lost otherwise I was keen to see him as the Himachal chief minister. Canada’s Justin Trudeau and France’s Emmanuel Macron have shown young leaders are competent but Congress president Rahul Gandhi could have done better. He only criticises the government but for how long? I feel Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is much older than Rahul, has represented the youth much better. Hardik Patel is young but he has put the Patidar community on the path of agitation. He is not a true leader. It’s sad that there are no promising young leaders in India. The youth of India should speak up and take charge.

First Published: Jan 15, 2018 14:11 IST