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This change-maker from Rajasthan is inspiring youths to become future problem solvers

Political, economic and technological leadership of our country talk about India being a youth nation at various forums with a hope that youth-driven India of the future would be a world power. Our Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on the occasion of 70th Independence day mentioned that for the lakhs of problem that India is facing at present, the country has crores of problem solvers. He rightly said, “Like Swaraj (Freedom), Suraj (Good Governance) also requires people’s participation and collective responsibility.” But youths of the country either indulge themselves in selfish goals without taking into the interests of the country into account or run away from the responsibility of bringing desired change(s) by saying “iss desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta (Nothing could be changed in this nation). Surely, a country which would be having its 64% population of an average age below 30 years of age by 2020 needs a change in the mentality of its most important section i.e. its youth population. Further it is also crucial that the future generation is properly guided about conventional and unconventional career opportunities otherwise rise in unemployment and any subsequent unrest in the country would become unavoidable.

A young lad named Mohanish Suresh Borana took this task of youth empowerment and engagement upon himself as his national duty and started a seminar series called “We Shall”. He believes, “it is high time we stop talking about the problems and instead should start working on getting out solutions. The first problem solver you can find out in this country is the one whom you see in the mirror. If we want to see a better India, we have to work for betterment ourselves”. Mohanish is currently pursuing his PhD from the University of Edinburgh UK and has represented India twice at international forums as a fellow of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India (GOI). The gold medallist from Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, a grant-aid institution of the Department of Atomic Energy, GOI, had also held INSPIRE Scholarship of DST, GOI and Khorana Fellowship of the Department of Biotechnology, GOI. With GOI funding his education so far, he thinks he owes a lot to the nation and wants to give back to the nation in all possible capacity which includes inspiring future generation through such seminar level interactions and working in some Indian University post his doctoral research, obviously. Back in the UK, he is actively working for the betterment of Indian diaspora in the UK and is serving as the Regional Head of Scotland for National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK.

This change-maker from Rajasthan is inspiring youths to become future problem solvers

Mohanish started the “We Shall” seminar series in order to “inspire youth for a better tomorrow” with an aim of making a network of grass-root level problem solvers by indulging students in discussion on national and social issues. He is interacting with youths to make them socially aware and increase youth participation in local level problem solving. He makes sure that seminars also have elements of personality development and career guidance so that human capital that he is addressing gets empowered totally and comprehensively in the future. The seminars are followed by workshops where Mohanish works with students to figure out viable solutions of national, social, academic or regional problems. The students are made to present these solutions and their own peers question them on the feasibility and utility of the proposed solutions. Mohanish justify this activity saying, “It is a direct way of striking at the mentality of the students so that, in future, whenever they would be highlighting any problem they would also think of viable solutions, along with what hurdles that could come up. The complaining nature would pave way to a much desired solution-finding attitude.

This change-maker from Rajasthan is inspiring youths to become future problem solvers

According to Mohanish, the logic behind the name “We Shall” is two-fold. In this era of negativity being spread by media about persistent problems in India, a feeling of “We Shall Overcome” is much needed in order to unify the zeal and vigour of the countrymen to stand and solve these problems. Secondly, he believes motto of our life should be “society before self”. Therefore, it becomes our duty that ‘We Shall Return Back” to our motherland in whatever capacity we can, in tune to his “Give Back To The Nation” mission. He augment his point by giving a simple example. According to him, in each and every school, students when asked about standard of education in India term it as poor to very poor. They also voice their opinion on need to revamp it by increasing the quality and quantity of teachers in the country. But only a handful are ready to become teachers in future to bring that desired change in Indian educational system. For majority of them a bright career for self like engineering, business, management etc with a good financial income is much more important than the need of the nation. Mohanish says, “The feeling of responsibility that we should give back to nation should be inculcated in the students right from the school days. Kids agree upon poor state of education, they want a change but they do not want to be the change. It is a problem that we are denying from quite a some time. We need to teach them ‘to BE and MAKE’ the change that they want to see. It also points out an acute problem that requires immediate intervention from Indian government. We need to learn from Finland on how teachers should be treated, their wages need to be hiked, more focus should be put on their training and less usage of teachers for administrative work should happen. This would once again make teaching a respectable and desired profession in India.”

This change-maker from Rajasthan is inspiring youths to become future problem solvers

Mohanish, aged 25, is a native of Chittorgarh, a district city in Rajasthan, famous for its vast history as erstwhile capital city of Mewar Kingdom and its unparalleled heritage. He has grown up listening stories about Maharana Pratap, Panna Dhai, Bhamashah, Meera Bai, Queen Padmini etc. The feelings of patriotism, national service, selflessness, commitment, self determination and courage to do something different are thereby imbibed in him since childhood. He thought it what could be a better way of serving the nation than forming a network of inspired youths in the city and making them to participate in solving regional to national issues. He, hence, started his efforts to engage youth in the national building process from his home town Chittorgarh only, on the occasion of Guru Purnima 2016, in association with an NGO ‘Youth for Change’. He devised all of his seminars on the same theme of ‘youth empowerment and engagement’ but with a different subject each time. His approach of defining various terminology with his “four pillar theory” resulted in shorter ice-breaking sessions and more involved discussions with the students. The discussion and students presentation on beautification of historical fort of Chittorgarh has led to highlighting of various keys issues that Youth for Change is going to compile and submit them to the District Collector as part of student feedbacks. He had been on the Good Governance Yatra and Policy Boot Camp of the Vision India Foundation; experiences of which he shared with the next generation. The examples of good governance which he shared pumped them up. Many students had told Mohanish that they are returning back with a positive image of India which according to him is one of ‘his biggest contributions’ so far!

This change-maker from Rajasthan is inspiring youths to become future problem solvers

With him covering a close to dozens schools in a fortnight, the seminar series got a very warm response from students, parents, school administration and local media. Mohanish shares, “such was the hype about “We Shall” that one day I got a call at 6 am in the morning from Principal, Government Higher Secondary School, Nagari village saying if he is coming to pick me up at 8 am for a seminar in his school. He said his students are reading about We Shall in the newspaper and want me to deliver a seminar at their school. Nagari is a village nearby Chittorgarh city and is adopted by MP C.P. Joshi under MP Model Village scheme.” He did delivered a seminar in the school and was overwhelmed by the response of the rural students. Incidentally, that day was death anniversary of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam which increased the value of that phone call, that seminar and student interaction for Mohanish who idolises Kalam. Few student willingly took up the responsibility to take up the matter of book shortage in the library with Village Sarpanch and if necessary with MP Joshi as well on behalf of their school colleagues after the seminar; fueling more hope in Mohanish that change could be bring upon if we work consistently and optimistically in the right direction.

This change-maker from Rajasthan is inspiring youths to become future problem solvers

When asked to share few memorable moments with Ideal Indian team he as an optimistic person discussed few instances where he could see women empowerment, minorities integration and socio-economic upliftment in the country in the reality. In Lal Bahadur Shastri School, Chittorgarh he discussed the issue of girl dropouts from schools at the onset of menstruation. Many, mostly female students, were surprised with it and asked him can they carry out some awareness drive about menstruation in order to remove the associated social stigma. Many suggested distribution of free sanitary pads which our Indian bureaucracy,busy in distributing bicycles, have not figure out yet. In Pune, he addressed an audience comprising of underprivileged slum children at Vidyadeep Shikshan Sanshta and was amazed when students of secondary standards were asking doubts about computer programming languages, vocational training, foreign languages, jewellery design, UPSC etc. Other thing he noticed during his seminar at Royal College of Science, Arts and Commerce, Mumbai, which is an institution run by a minority ethnic society, was that students were very focused, career conscious and open to new ideas.

This change-maker from Rajasthan is inspiring youths to become future problem solvers

We Shall” has already spread its wings in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Looking at the phenomenal response that it got, Mohanish is planning to cover the entire India through network of ‘believers of change’. Those who wish to get involved in Mohanish’s initiative and are interested in giving back to the nation by sharing their experience with the youngsters of their locality under the “We Shall” campaign can contact him at mohanishborana.com.