Any nation can achieve a significant amount of greatness by giving a good quantum of importance to its youth. The youth is not only the hope of our future but the actual strength and backbone of a nation as well. The youth can create a difference only when they are empowered. An empowered youth is the one that learns to work on developing their skills to start earning at an early age.
WIN has taken forward the conversation on Youth Empowerment with a panel discussion series that was kickstarted recently. In collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, WIN aims to present to you some exceptional panel discussions with some of the most inspiring women in India, who are renowned female changemakers and trailblazers in their respective fields.
These discussions aim to give some fresh new outlooks and stances with respect to Youth empowerment. The sessions also shed light on matters, such as social media being a magnanimous medium that’s letting people have a voice and take charge of their lives, what the future hold for the digital wave of empowerment, especially among the youth and women entrepreneurs in India today, etc. Everybody agreed that the youth of the nation can surely #BeTheChange once they begin to recognize the power of their voice.
WIN had on-board, an impressive set of panelists, which included Shruti Seth – Indian actress, television host and video jockey; ; Meghna Ghai Puri – Educationalist, President of Whistling Woods Organization; Achint Kaur – reputed Indian television and Cinema actress; Shamoly Khera – renowned TV Presenter, motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur; Sargam Dhawan Bhayana – entrepreneur, founder of Tressmart India and Director of Paul Penders Botanicals; Satshya Tharien – blogger, journalist and Edutainment content creator; Prachi Tehlan – former captain of the Indian Netball Team, basketball player and actress; Roma Narsinghani – Reputed product consultant, jewellery designer and co-founder of Future Collective India; Gitanjali Babbar – founder and director of the non-profit, Kat-Katha and TEDx speaker; Tritha Sinha – Musician and founder of Stop Patriarchy and Create Equality (S.P.A.C.E.), featured on BBC, Arte; Mriganka Dadwal – activist/ former journalist and founder of Street Level Awareness Program (S.L.A.P.); and Stuti Jalan – founder of Women Inspiring Network, who was the mediator for the sessions.
Margaret MacLeod, Cultural and Educational Affairs Deputy, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, who gave her opening remarks to start the series, quoted: ‘The U.S. government sees youth not just as beneficiaries but as leaders and partners in finding solutions to our shared challenges. We value their engagement on economic development and social encouragement of their involvement. The generational impact of COVID-19 on economic development has made youth voices more important than ever.
Shruti Seth stated that “Social media is playing a larger-than-life role today, with digital literacy becoming more and more paramount. It is also up to us how we choose to use it all – as a weapon or as a tool. Of course, it’s empowering the youth, and especially inspiring women in India for sure, because the very fact that someone is simply sitting at home and watching the 6 of us share our views, not having to waste time and effort to physically attend the discussion, is in itself, sort of empowering. We are able to reach people faster.”
Prachi Tehlan, who nostalgically remembered her days as a sportswoman, stated that “It was an absolute honour to have represented India internationally in sports, back when I was young. Having your Nation’s flag on your chest, with the surname at the back of your jersey, and singing your national anthem in an international country, is something that I’ll always cherish and dearly miss.”
Meghna Ghai Puri believes that “Today, simply preaching is not enough, you really need to lead by example. I think that in the youth today, open-mindedness, kindness, compassion, respect for others, courage to stand up for the right, basically having a right attitude towards life. etc. are some of the paramount qualities and values that need to be present, especially given the times and situations that we have all been through lately. Plus, having women networking events like these further amplifies the purpose of empowerment.”
Roma Narsinghani believes that “The dynamism brought in by the wave of digital spaces and AI is absolutely remarkable. For the youth especially, it’s great, with more and more institutions offering related courses, helping them in simpler business set-ups and creating a great online presence with digital creativity. But, amidst all this, Digital Sustainability is also something one must not forget.”
Gitanjali Babbar shared that “Empowerment is all about celebrating choices. Anybody who has the agency to earnestly listen to one’s heart and soul, and doing what one really wishes to do, is truly empowered.”
Achint Kaur shared that “You must simply believe in yourself. Do not get into the trap of fear. Even if you fear something, I would say, just jump into it. Something might stop you, but perhaps there is something very different and amazing on the other side. So, just listen to your heart and believe in yourself.”
Sargam Dhawan Bhayana shared that “I’m glad that my grandfather always believed in me no matter what. His trait of moving along with the changing times and adapting to the dynamism of the given environment is simply something that I truly aim to live by. Moreover, I am immensely inspired by how women’s entrepreneurship and leadership is beautifully manifesting today and empowering more women to dream bigger.”
Dr Shamoly Khera stated that “Whenever I meet young people, I always advise them to follow their passion, but to follow it with a PLAN. One needs to figure out things and not take the plunge towards one’s passion blindly.”
Satshya Tharien believes that “Social media is a great platform, especially for youngsters, to connect you with like-minded people to talk about issues that truly matte. Also having a mentor, or even being a mentor to someone truly helps you broaden your horizons and enhance your personality, outlook and thought process.”
Mriganka Dadwal believes that “No matter how improbable your dream is, all you need is four ingredients – Will, passion, determination and skill. And if you have these, you are unstoppable – the sky is the limit.”
Tritha Sinha gracefully sang a snippet from her band’s song with a beautiful message that “Like a bird in the sky, I wanted to fly, just spread my wings, feel free and die, a world of no questions, no answer to fears, a life with our choice, that’s why we are here. Like the birds, I want to fly, and not die in the cage created by this society.”
Stuti Jalan, who is the founder of Women Inspiring Network, stated that “Youth empowerment is absolutely imperative. I believe that if the youth possess the requisite strength and dynamism, they’ll arise and act to generate a quantum transformation in society. It would be intriguing to discuss this further with such renowned panellists on board.”
These sessions, which are essentially valuable women networking events, are veritably bringing forth a plethora of intriguing thoughts and opinions on the table with renowned women who are making a difference and particularly inspiring women in India.