Swami Vivekananda taught the true definition of life, society and importance of education not only to people of India but the world. As a tribute to the great spiritual leader and reformer, January 12 (his birthday) has been observed as National Youth Day in India since 1984.
Vivekananda conveyed his ideas directly to the people, especially to the youth. His message broke through the shackles of caste and creed, and was all about universal brotherhood. His ideas still hold relevance today.
With National Youth Day coming up, we talk to the youth — who is our tomorrow — to find out about their long-and short-term plans for a better tomorrow.
We may think that the new generation is obsessed with their mobile phones and hardly care about what’s happening around. On the contrary, they care more about social justice and want a more inclusive world and egalitarian systems.
“Youth living in urban cities have the best possible facilities to pursue their dreams,” says Amandeep Bagga, a Pune-based student and continues, “Whereas the lives of rural youngsters are packed with struggles and less opportunities. It’s not fair. Though the lack of infrastructure has not really bothered the ones with great enthusiasm to fulfill their dreams, but I would love India to be a nation that is fair to the entire youth population,” he says.
There are several issues that need to be tackled. “But just discussing them and distancing ourselves from the real problems won’t help,” says Samuel Pawar, a student hailing from Nagpur. He believes that today’s youth can break free from the shackles of a judgmental society. “If we come together, many of the troubles like caste discrimination that have been existent for ages will go away slowly if not immediately,” he says.
Education is one of the most important aspects when it comes to the development of a country. Abhinav Sakhuja, a Chhattisgarh-based student, says, “It is high time that education should not be just job-oriented.” He believes that it is a powerful tool in the hands of people which can be used for finding solutions to problems that the masses face.
Sakhuja firmly believes that change begins within each and every individual. “As youngsters, we need to think big to utilise our education and talent towards developing our nation.” However, development of the nation will only be possible if the thought process is always on the macro level and never on the micro level, he adds.
“Education is one aspect that can make the future of not only the student but the entire country,” says Isha Mulani, a city-based student. That said, a student should not be judged on the basis of what stream of study they choose. “Nobody should be judged because of the stream they opt for,” she says. She also suggests that if the Ministry of Education of our country could make things better when it comes to college infrastructure and design courses that could be affordable to all, the gap between quality of education in rural and urban areas could eventually diminish.
Every individual is born with a distinctive passion and a unique talent, and identifying it is the biggest challenge youngsters face. Identifying this passion is extremely important because once you get the best possible knowledge, you can contribute towards the building of the nation.
Khushi Kavthekar, a Pune-based student and football player, says, “A career is a single, one-time decision/ path that has milestones along the way.” She says that by concentrating on one’s career and excelling in it one can get recognition for self and country, and put it on the world map as well.”
“A career path can help you set professional goals and develop a strategy for achieving them,” says Anushta Mishra, a city-based college student who wants to study Law so that she can educate people about their rights.
Mishra believes that having long-term goals will help one stay focussed on their ultimate career objectives rather than just changing jobs.