When the countries around the world are aging, India is turning younger. With 65% of our population under the age of 35, India boasts of a vibrant young population. In order to harness the youth power, Vibrant Gujarat 2013 had organised Youth Convention. The convention also coincided with Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary. Most speakers present at the convention stressed on youth empowerment and their education. Well-known personalities like Chetan Bhagat and Smriti Irani were also present at this convention.
Chief minister Narendra Modi is also an ardent follower of Swami Vivekananda and had the following advice for today’s youth, “Dream not of position but acts. For dreams of attaining a position e.g. doctor, minister, actor etc. may lead to desperation and frustration in case of failure but dreaming to achieve an act will keep you constantly motivated. Endeavour yourself into acts of motivation and you will never fall apart. Serve the nation and people with your acts,” said Mr. Modi.
Among the other speakers at the convention was Suhas Gopinath, CEO of Globals Inc., who started his company in Silicon Valley when he was just 14, “If youth is determined, they can get water out of the stone. When I approached American multinationals with an offer to make their websites, they laughed at the idea. But my young age was never a deterrent to achieve my dreams,” he said sharing his experience. Among the many things that Suhas did when he started out was to grow a moustache — so that he is taken seriously by clients. Although his parents wanted Suhas to follow the conventional route, he dropped out of engineering in the second year and went ahead with his dream. Today, Globals Inc builds software for various social welfare schemes run by the Indian government, Aanganwadi Yojana being one such scheme.
A speaker at the youth convention, Shrey Goyal, running in mid twenties, is a business manager at Desta Global, a company that sells income-generating cost-saving products and services in rural India. Desta works with 125 village managers in 500 villages in Maharashtra, reaching out to 15,000 farmers. Among the various services and products they provide to farmers are drip irrigation kit, soil testing kit and solar lamps, all that help reduce costs and increase efficiency of these farmers. Talking about his company’s vision, Shrey says, “Swami Vivekanand dreamed of youth servicing the poor and destitute. To empower them is nothing less than a divine act and our vision and mission is the same.”
The convention also witnessed a large number of MOUs between various universities and sports academies. The most notable being the one between Swarnim Gujarat University and Sports Academy, Australia. MOUs were signed in the field of sports, youth service and culture. The convention also saw the presence of a good number of foreign students, hailing from the countries of Africa, USA and Japan. Ramanlal Vora, Minister for Education, Government of Gujarat stressed on skill development for youth at the convention. “Skill development induces a sense of confidence. The youth of today wants practical training and not rot learning. We must harness the youth power. Youth is the future of country and if India wants to see itself at an enviable position, we must strengthen the youth,” said Mr. Vora.