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Turning 18 with HT: ‘Use tax money for public welfare’

Straight talk: Sagar Verma also wants the focus of India’s education system to shift from rote learning to application of concepts; he says higher education should be affordable but teachers should be paid well as they are nation builders.

punjab Updated: Feb 19, 2018 14:47 IST
Yojana Yadav
Yojana Yadav
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Turning 18,India's youth,public welfare
STANDING TALL: Sagar Verma, a medical stream student of Class 12 at Gurukul Global School, Manimajra, Chandigarh, loves playing cricket and basketball besides working out in the gym. He looks forward to being a fit cardiologist. (Sant Arora/HT)

Name: Sagar Verma

Born: December 25, 2000

Badge of honour: President, Gurukul Global School, Manimajra, Chandigarh

What turning 18 means to me

As I step into adulthood, it means more responsibility. It’s a time to work harder and set an example. I look forward to getting a driving licence and voting.

What I want to be and why

I want to be a cardiac surgeon with a big heart. I want to serve the needy and make my parents proud.

My idea of India

India is a developing country with diverse cultures and religions. We have addressed food security to a large extent but women’s safety remains a concern.

What makes me happy

Scoring well in physics gives me unparalleled happiness. I like doing my parents and teachers proud.

What makes me angry

Judgemental people who jump to conclusions without understanding an issue. When I’m upset, I want to be left alone. I look up to former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni for his cool temperament.

Fear and fantasy

The only fear I have since Class 11 is not clearing the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to a medical college.

My fantasy is to be a dancer like actor Tiger Shroff. I’ve performed freestyle, hip-hop, contemporary, western and lyrical dances. Dance helps me express myself. I like working out in the gym too. I want to be a fit doctor.

Am I happy where I am?

Yes, I’m happy to be an all-rounder. My juniors look up to me and I enjoy the confidence of my teachers and the principal.

What money means to me

Money is a means to be happy. To be able to serve the needy and help others, I’ll first need enough to sustain myself. Contentment does not come from money else the richest would have been the happiest. Happiness comes from helping and caring for others.

What makes me proud of India

The Indian cricket team and its achievements make me proud. India has a bright future and is gaining confidence in the world. Our family bonds and cultural diversity are strengths.

What I can’t live without

I can’t live without my parents, particularly my mother. She understands me perfectly. I’ll miss my teachers too, particularly physics teacher Himanshu sir, who helped me gain confidence in the subject; Hindi teacher Hema ma’am, dance teacher Chandrakala ma’am and our principal Urvashi Kakkar.

What social media means to me

Social media is a great way to stay connected but we should be mindful while using it. There is a risk of getting addicted and losing self-esteem by comparing ourselves to others.

The change I’d like to see in my city

The tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali should be safer for women, particularly at night. There is scope for improvement in traffic policing to check speeding.

What religion means to me

All religions are different paths to one God. Being a science student, I think it is psychology and we need a support system. If religion helps us achieve our goals, it is good.

My role model and why

My elder brother, Rajan Verma, a second year commerce student at SD College, Chandigarh, is my biggest role model. He motivated me to get serious about academics. I learnt to respect elders from him. I look up to my father, Rajkumar Verma, who runs a sari shop in Manimajra, for his hard work and humility.

Change I want to see in India

Money collected as tax should be used judiciously for public welfare. It should not become a source of income for corrupt politicians. Our education system should discourage rote learning and focus on application of concepts. Higher education should be affordable but teachers should be paid well as they are the nation builders. There should be more government medical colleges to meet the shortage of doctors.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 13:18 IST