Where new ideas can blossom RITHVIK RAJA | 28 | Carnatic musician, Chennai
“There are many questions being raised about freedom of speech today, and there’s an amazing sense of awareness and energy among the youth. New ideas and innovative narratives need encouragement to see real change. Artistic expressions and creative impulses of youth have to be nurtured and allowed to blossom to see real change.”
Where disabled can run companies RAHUL GAJJAL | 19 | Visually impaired economics student
“St Xavier’s College, Mumbai There’s diversity in India but no sync between the able and the disabled, and that’s what I hope to see. I hope games like Blind Football Championship are promoted so we can be in the top 10 one day. My India would get rid of taxes on devices used by the disabled, have companies run by people like us, introduce more initiatives in smaller towns so people recognise the specially-abled as equals in society.”
Where single moms are not shunned LALREMRUATI PAUT | 19 Single mom & hotel floor supervisor, Shillong
My life changed when I decided to give birth to my child four months ago despite the father backing out. My parents were worried about society looking down on them. I wish people weren’t weighed down by society’s expectations, which makes it painful for women like me to cope. I hope for an India where single mothers have more support, face less discrimination, and can reclaim their pride. I also wish offices would be open-minded about a single mother’s abilities by offering flexible work conditions.
Where there is no divide between India & Bharat SUPRIYA PAUL | 23 | Co-founder, Josh Talks
“An India that I really hope for is an India where every young person has a sense of purpose and a sense of drive. What I really hope for from our country is that more people get up and do something new, more people start doing something at an early age, and there is no gap or divide between the India we see and the Bharat there is.” Where more girls can play sports, even with a hijab AFIFA SHAIKH | 19 | Boxer & BSc student, Maharashtra College, Mumbai
“I hope more girls are encouraged to choose a career in sports. I’m fortunate to have supportive parents, and I participate in boxing bouts wearing hijab. But hijab is not a hurdle, it is a part of my culture. I hope all parents will treat their daughters on a par with sons and dream of an India where women get enough opportunities to be empowered educationally and financially.”
Where no woman is sold for sex like me SHIBA BANU NASIM | 22 | Commercial sex worker, Kamathipura, Mumbai
We must create more livelihood options for the poor so no one ends up living a life of stigma like me. I was sold when I was nine but was rescued by cops before being shifted to a children’s home, from where I escaped, landed on the streets and ended up in brothels. Having lived on the streets, I know the importance of a roof over your head and wish for hostels where helpless women can seek refuge. There must be alternative work options and micro loans so women can get away from unpleasant professions.
Where youngsters can follow their heart VEDIKA BHANDARI | 22 | TV Actor, Mumbai
I wish for a country where youngsters have the liberty to make informed choices. I was studying chartered accountancy when I decided to switch to acting. In my tuition class of 250 students, barely five wanted to become CAs. So many were dying to do other things.