With half of India’s billion plus population under 25 years of age, there is little doubt that it is the country’s youth that holds the key to the country’s success. Assertive, aspirational and raring to go, young people are not afraid to call out bullshit, question the status quo and demand their rights. But they are also disillusioned with the India of today – divided on the lines of religion and caste, and bogged down by economic inequality. They want freedom – from discrimination, from gender violence, from inequality, from corruption – from narrow definitions of unimaginative leaders who put them into suffocating, rigid boxes.
On the occasion of National Youth Day, we reached out to some young voices from the country, and asked them about the India they want to live in. Let these answers prove as a wake-up call for politicians to rise from their slumber and listen to voices of million young Indians hungering for real change.
If you agree with Manish and want to see change happen, help push his voice ahead!
I want an India where farmers get the right price for produce. Stop farmer suicides. #GoalPeBol
If you too want to reduce this inequality and make India fully accessible, push Vinayana’s voice ahead!
I want India to be fully accessible for the disabled as well as the elderly. #GoalPeBol #SDGs
If you too want to bridge this gap between the welfare for the rich and the poor in India, take Mohammad’s voice ahead!
I want the Indian government to work for the welfare of the poor, not just the rich! #GoalPeBol
If you too want an answer for Wasim’s questions, help take his demands forward!
When will the government take responsibility for the educated yet unemployed? #GoalPeBol
If you agree that gender-based violence is a rampant issue in India that needs to end, support Sonam and push her voice ahead!
I want an end to gender-based violence in India! High time we fulfil the #SDGs. #GoalBeBol
If you too believe in the power of young people, push Sahil’s voice ahead!
The govt. must ensure that more young people take part in the development of India! #GoalPeBol
If you too believe that the fight for equality starts from home, push Sabika’s voice ahead!
I want families to understand equality, to not blame survivors of atrocities. #GoalPeBol
If you feel the same as Shayari does, help push her voice ahead!
I want a more efficient govt., committed to solving basic problems of citizens. #GoalPeBol
If you agree that minorities must be equally represented in our bills and laws, push Aayat’s voice ahead!
The govt. must represent & include views of the trans community while passing any bill! #GoalPeBol
If you agree with Durgesh, help push his voice forward!
There should be better opportunities to build skills and capability. #GoalPeBol
These responses are highly indicative of the kind of governance we’re all living under. In terms of deliverables that our youth expect, it is obvious that our current government has a long way to go. Ours was one of the countries to undertake an oath to fulfill a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the UN in the next 15 years, to ensure peace, prosperity and growth of the nation.
While all 17 goals are relevant, Reducing Inequalities (Goal 10) and Ensuring Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Goal 16) need to be given particular focus to help further the aspirations of our country’s youth. While Goal 10 aims to reduce inequalities amongst countries, as well as within countries to ensure that development and prosperity reach all uniformly, Goal 16 aspires to ensure that sustainable development is distributed amongst all in a just manner, for which government institutions are held accountable to its people. Delivering on these two goals would solve a lot of our millennials’ concerns and help them build a brighter future for all.
Armed with this information, it is high time we collectively raise our voices and demand that quick, economical and efficient steps be taken by our leaders to address them, so that by year 2030, our leaders and resources are able to effectively meet the aspirations and requirements of our youth.