India has more than 600 million young people under the age of 25. That is 600 million youth studying, working and finding their purpose everyday to make this world a better place. Young minds have the potential to change the world if they are shaped the right way. These have always been the beliefs of great personalities. They saw them as assets who could make things right, who could shape the future of their country and perhaps find the solutions of issues that their ancestors had been struggling to find. Our former President A.P.J Abdul Kalam believed in the power of youth. He believed in the uniqueness of every child, he knew that the potential of youth lies beyond their academic performance. He once said that the best brains of the nation may be found on the last benches of the classroom. But the bitter truth is that not all of the youth in their life ever gets the opportunities, the right education,health facilities and the support to help them achieve their full potential.
But despite the challenges faced by them everyday, we can still find a number of youth alone in India, who have overtime surprised and inspired us with their achievements, some of them have been listed below.
- K. Manisha of age 22 who runs an NGO called ‘Jeevitham Foundation’ apart from being a lecturer at a nursing college in Tamil Nadu’s erode district. She over the past one and half year has tirelessly rescued and rehabilitated nearly 150 beggars, drug addicts, destitute and those affected with terrible diseases. She took action to provide ease to all those people who are seen and ignored so easily by the society.
- Neeraj Murmu who is a former child labourer of 22 who had worked in the dangerous mica mines till 2011. Seven years after he was rescued, he set up a local school named ‘Kailash Satyarthi’ for children in his village and In the last two years has educated over 200 impoverished children and rescued 20 child labourers from the hazardous occupation of mica mining.
- Bhargsetu sharma, 22 years old is the founder of Humans with Humanity, an animal rescue, and welfare community through which she has rescued more than 3800 animals. At the age of 20, she swam for 12 minutes underwater and performed CPR for 21 minutes, to save a young man who was drowning in the MahiSagar river. She won several awards at the state level for her bravery and is the recipient of the prestigious Raksha Mantri Padak 2019.
- Parikul Bharadwaj, this young girl of 13 who has won the National Bravery award for saving the lives of two pilgrims. Being the youngest social worker in the country, this teen has been working along with her doctor’s parents in the high altitude Kedarnath region, tending to pilgrims and tourists, and providing them with medical attention they need.
- Sriya Donepudi. This student from Oakridge School, Khajaguda, started an initiative, as part of a school project, to recycle used flowers after social functions. She collected the discarded flowers from events and with the help of women from economically weak backgrounds, they made soaps, paper-weights, potpourri, and other items from the floral waste.
These are just examples of 5 of the students who had been appraised in a website named thebetterindia.com for their work. Many such icons with their inspirational stories are still waiting to be discovered. But till then there are always such youth in India and in the world who are working hard to create a positive impact in the world. Just like the environmental activist, Greta Thunberg or pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai, there are some young minds influencing people everyday. There is not just one mind among millions who can do something remarkable. Every young mind can be shaped to achieve something great or if not that then, they can be shaped to be good human beings that this world so deeply needs. As A.P.J Abdul Kalam had said “My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed”. I hope that we recognize the potential power of youth as these young minds will control the future and we should make sure that they are given all that they need in the present to sustain their future.