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Turning 18 with HT: ‘Why remember soldiers only as martyrs?’

Changemaker: She believes India’s biggest strength is human resource with a predominantly young population. Hear what Titiksha Sharma feels about turning 18:

punjab Updated: May 21, 2018 16:28 IST
Yojana Yadav
Yojana Yadav
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Turning 18,remember soldiers,India's youth
SPIRITED FIGHTER: Titiksha Sharma striking a confident pose in Panchkula. She urges youngsters not to settle for what they don’t deserve. Fight back and don’t get bogged down by setbacks is her advice.(Sant Arora/HT)

Titiksha Sharma is headed to the US to study mechanical engineering but her heart is set on taking the civil services exam because she wants to change the system.

Name: Titiksha Sharma

Born on: February 26, 2000

Badge of honour: Head girl, RIMT World School, Manimajra, Chandigarh

What turning 18 means to me

It’s a special feeling that comes with being empowered. It’s not only about the biological changes, we realise our thoughts and opinions matter now.

What I want to be and why

I’m headed to The University of Kansas for the four-year mechanical engineering honours course in August. I may start with a corporate job but my heart is set on taking the civil services exam in India. I want to rectify the flaws by being a part of the system. Cracking the civil services is a gamble so I want a good backup.

My idea of India

I love my country and its diversity. Being the daughter of an army officer, I got the opportunity to travel the length and breath of India. India’s biggest strength is human resource with a predominantly young population. Youngsters can lead the change whether its revamping the education system or changing social mindset.

What makes me happy

When I see humanity transcending all divisions and when I see girls empowered and independent. I love travelling, listening to music, reading and discussing social issues.

What makes me angry

Social injustice, anti-nationalism and stereotypes anger me. Why are girls always expected to give in to societal pressures? Why do boys have to bear the burden of earning for the family? Why does our nation remember soldiers only once they are martyred?

My fear and fantasy

Lizards creep me out.

I love adventure sports. I’ve done scuba diving and look forward to sky diving. I get bored of the routine easily. It’s a fantasy to ride an open jeep from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.

Am I happy where I am?

Yes, I’m in a happy place now as I’m headed for college.

What money means to me

I want to be rich enough to be able to give back to society. I want to help acid attack survivors and rape victims so that they are financially independent.

What makes me proud of India

Every time a criminal in the garb of a spiritual leader is sent behind bars, my faith in the Indian judiciary is strengthened. Whenever something right happens, it restores confidence in our system.

What I can’t live without

Travelling and my parents. My father, Lt Col Manoj Pal Sharma, and my mother, Xshama Sharma, have brought me up with so much love and affection yet they’ve taught me to be independent and take setbacks in my stride.

What social media means to me

It is a means of communication and a medium to create awareness. I blog on social issues.

Changes I want to see in Chandigarh

It’s a beautiful city that needs maintenance and a vision for the next 50 years.

Changes I want to see in India

The defence services should get their due. No discrimination on the basis of gender. An education system that encourages innovation.

What religion means to me

Humanity is my religion. Have a good heart and do what makes you happy.

My role model and why

Kiran Bedi, the first woman Indian Police Service officer who is now the Lt Governor of Puducherry. I find her bold and beautiful. She has the guts to change the world.

First Published: May 21, 2018 10:49 IST