NewsX was recently joined by 5 young leaders from the Global Youth organization to share their vision of the country, they talked of their expectations, hope and idea for the country. The youth of the country is the future of the country and hence, their opinions and ideas must be paid heed to. Therefore, NewsX invited these young leaders to put their ideas in front of the viewers.
The first panellist for the session was Prathit Singh, a first-year student of Political Science from Ramjas College, University of Delhi. An aspiring researcher, child right activist and a published poet, Prathit has been strongly advocating for young people to step up their efforts in voicing for social causes. Hailing from Calcutta India, he has represented India at global summits such as SAARC and ASEAN and is currently working for the office of the UN Secretary General’s representative on violence against children on the Covid-under 19 project as an advocate and data analyst. Talking about his journey and the advocacy work that he has been doing, he said “I identify myself as a Youth advocate in the field of children’s right. I have been drawn towards this field since my high-school years. I really believe in advocating for the cause of children who are being exploited and whose rights are being infringed around the globe. I realized that I want to do something and need to step beyond my classroom walls to pursue the same. That’s when I got to work with an organization called ‘International Justice Mission’ which was working in this field’’.
Speaking about the role of Global Youth in bolstering such advocacy endeavours, Prathit stated ‘’My journey with Global Youth began in college when I joined the chapter and I was particularly attracted to join this when I found about the kind of work Global Youth has been advocating for especially in my field of work. I think that the unawareness remained because young people were not being able to step for the cause, Global Youth provides a platform for young people to connect over issues of international concerns and to have a discourse around the same’’ When asked about his future goals, Prathit said that he would like to pursue diplomacy and wants to be changemaker who is able to influence the society and to bring out the potential of young people. ‘’I want to show what an ideal world it would be, where young people are included, and every child has a future’’ Prathit added.
Next was Uttara Jantwal, a 2nd-year undergraduate student in history from Lady Shriram College for women. She is a feminist at heart, an avid debater with a profound interest in diplomacy, public policy, geopolitical development, and human rights. She is passionate about environmental activism and hopes to contribute to the causes that need people to preach their narrative. She is from Nanital.
Speaking about the idea and joining of Global Youth, Uttara Jantwal said, “I joined Global Youth in the hope that I could engage in something meaningful, apart from academics. Global youth for me has been basically embarking on a journey of self-growth and also an opportunity to explore the vast sea of international relations with a better understanding. It provided me and continues to provide students with a platform where we engage in social, political, economic dialogue and it is the place where I realized that your opinions matter. It is a shared space where you learn while also finding comfort in the company of others that are your age. It also gave me the ability to both learn and develop at the same time and I am really grateful for it.”
When asked about her personal growth from the time she joined Global Youth, she said, “My very first event with global youth was quite encouraging and that pushed me to join more session, go for more forums and despite the fact that all the activities this time have been done online due to the pandemic, the events have been fantastic and enjoyable and I think all of us learning a lot.”
“Climate change and environmental degradation are the most pressing issue confronting us today and I think there is no exaggeration to suggest that the ugly jaws of climate change and environmental degradation are already upon us. They are ready to reward us. These global threats cannot be avoided by anyone but here`s the thing it is no longer acceptable for us young people to be passive victims and the world`s youth must take action,” She shared her opinion on a particular problem she wishes to resolve.
Later she also added, “We need to think in terms of generations rather than weeks years, or decades and our current action or inaction would have a huge effect on our lives in the future. What I see is youth is willing to take the lead to meaningfully engage in platforms related to the protection of the environment be it at the local, national, or global level. However, to harness our talents and innovations youth must be treated as equal partners and torchbearers, as a matter of fact, there should be no discussion of the future of the generation without us all sitting at the same table”.
When asked about where she sees herself in the next 5 years, she commented, “I am not one to say where I would be in the coming years. I am just hoping it is a place where I can make difference. I continue to keep my best foot forward and grab opportunities that come my way so you never know where it might lead me but probably working in the field of history would be a great place for me”.
Iqra Khan is a 2nd-year student pursuing Political Science Major from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She is the Content Head of the India Germany Youth Forum and has always been interested in this discipline when her research thesis has been published in ISBF, an Australian Journal. She had represented her city which made her realize the love for social work. She believes that change can be brought by little steps. “I joined Global Youth because it gives one the platform to deliberate on the pressing issues of today. It has been two years and I have been serving as the content head for a while now and have represented various student panels. I believe it as an organization has offered me exposure in shaping my views. It has played a huge role in contributing towards the future goals that I hold by instilling the belief in me that no voice is small and no views are very tangent. Perhaps demanding change is an essential right”.
When asked about the issues that concern her, she added that youth only comprise one-fifth of the country’s total population. She adds, “ The political scenario of the country is facing an acute shortage of enthusiasm, vigour and energy. The youth of our country is achieving milestones in every sphere of life and emerging as leaders. Then why is the percentage so low in political leadership and mobilization? The younger politicians understand what the youth of India need and what their aspirations are. Political parties should provide space for such leaders to grow. Today’s youth need opportunities to participate in politics”. She also shared her idea of how this problem of youth participation can be solved. She stated, “We need contributions from the elected and the electoral. Until the communication would not bridge together, differences would arise. There is a practical solution for the reservation of quota seats for young people. Only when accountability comes in, then change will be fueled. I have been interning with various policies and think tanks and I have written various research thesis. I have written from India-China cooperation to recent issues such as women vote in India” She emphasizes how Global Youth as a platform has made her confident and “ we as a youth, when we take responsibility, start taking action, we are involving ourselves in the larger process”.
Lavanya B is a 3rd-year student pursuing History Honors. When asked about the journey with Global Youth, she said, “ I joined Global Youth a year ago which has helped me develop my personal skills and my knowledge about International Relations has put me in touch with a lot of dignitaries” She also highlighted that the pressing issue today is that of identities and highlights the paradigm of identity politics. “It started with the Civil Rights in America and identity politics has undergone cancerous mutations, where we have adopted one common enemy. Lot of people believe that feminists believe that they are anti-men movements which is not the case. Feminists are advocating for equal footing with men across gender lines but many are misinterpreting it as the cornering of men. We have to work towards cooperation”. The practical solution lies in addressing the issue of misinformation and educating people, she believes. She espouses, “Women in India are not a homogeneous group. Global Youth brings people from diverse backgrounds and puts them on an equal footing, giving them a platform to pitch in their ideas and to come to a sustainable and workable solution”.
Anupam Miheer, a 2nd-year student pursuing BBA from Bhubaneswar. “I joined the Indian Sri Lanka Forum and saw how diverse the whole group is. For Women’s Day, we had planned collaboration with the New Zealand forum. My leadership skills grew and I learned how to manage events”. Anupam believes that economic instability is the biggest challenge that has been experienced by India. He adds, “ Youth can revitalize the whole economy. When the pandemic hit India, its youth spent 90% of the internet on entertainment whereas youth of other countries spent it on the development of soft skills and vocational training. The earning youth who are earning and paying taxes to fall under the age group of 25 to 35 are upskilled and have the required vocational training. Since we are a country that is majorly dependent on agriculture, produce and export, we need to have innovation in that field and utilize it to maximize use.” The solution to this problem lies in the paradigm shift of the Indian education system as well as that of job patterns, pointed out by Anupam. “The rural education centre lacks quality Online grocery has been significant and has increased during the lockdown. Covid 19 has created a shift in youth employability which is, in turn, going to help in revamping the economy”. He even shared the business idea that he had. “We are working on combining the medical world with the hospital industry. An app will tell you which hospital is best for treating the problem and whether there are beds available and if there are no beds available, an alternate hospital will be suggested”.