National India Youth Day
Today young people across India will be celebrating National Youth Day, which takes place on the birthday of the social reformer and philosopher Swami Vivkenanda. Here one of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners of 2016, Kartik Sawhney, answers some questions about the significance of the day.
Why is National Youth Day important in India?
With the largest youth population in the world, the future of India is largely dependent on its young people. National Youth Day recognises and celebrates this invaluable asset, while also reinforcing the need to empower the youth of the country by providing it with the necessary education and resources to make a difference.
Why do you think Swami Vivekananda’s teachings remain relevant to young people?
Swami Vivekananda’s teachings were very universal in nature (allowing them to be adapted to different scenarios), and focused on several aspects that are current global challenges, such education, the empowerment of women and poverty. His advice on these issues was very practical and concrete, thereby holding importance and relevance even today.
Why do you think that it is important for young people to get involved in their communities?
Young people are optimistic and full of energy, and look at everything with a fresh perspective. This allows them to pursue initiatives that might otherwise be thought of as daunting or impossible. Not only do we have the best understanding of the problems that we face, but we are also in the best position to work out solutions using our creativity and drive.
What do you see for the future of India?
I am very hopeful about the future of India, and envision it to be a perfect amalgamation of technological innovation and traditional values, such as compassion, generosity, respect and pride in our heritage.