READING

TALKING TO THE FUTURE. ABOUT THE FUTURE.

TALKING TO THE FUTURE. ABOUT THE FUTURE.

How do you see the world in 2045? What’s wrong with the world today? How will you fix it? If you had three wishes…  We spoke to kids from all over India to get a glimpse into their minds. Some shared their dreams of owning a sports car, others couldn’t believe we still haven’t found a way for the world to be made entirely of chocolate. But then they got serious, revealing surprisingly heightened awareness — about themselves, and the world we live in. This, they all had in common. From poverty, education, & gender inequality, to pollution & the environment, they all talked about working together to solve the problems that plague humanity. Hey, maybe this is evolution?


 

VIKRAMADITYA JOSHI
26/02/1996
MUMBAI

“The self-absorbing ego, which provides the impetus for action, both political and social, should dissolve. For any changes to be seen in the future, there is only one solution to the increasingly deracinated ethos that characterises our ostensibly free society: education. The future, near or far, lies in the roots of education, which requires rigorous repurposing so as to lower the voices and raise the minds of the sentient beings.”

DIPANITA SINGHAL
19/10/2004
JAIPUR

“I think if we don’t do anything about pollution right now, then the world will be a big polluted place. Adults will only be working to reduce the amount of pollution in the atmosphere.”
“New technology will be discovered and people will forget about books. Very few are going to read books, and children will only be watching TV and the internet day in and day out.”

HIMNISH MANNAN
09/10/2004
MUMBAI

“When I grow up, I want to go live in America with my band. I want Indians to listen to my music, but I don’t think
I will have much of a chance to be a musician if I live over here because I want to be a western musician.”
“Adults don’t know what kind of thoughts we have, they think we are childish, but that is not true. We do understand quite a bit. I watch the news sometimes, when my father is watching it on the television. When it is a political matter, I don’t understand much. But, for instance, if it is a terror attack, I feel sad for those who sacrificed their lives for the country.”

KUHU SRIVASTAVA
22/08/1998
LUCKNOW

“Pollution upsets me. I mean, it’s harming nature and nature is something that gives us so much without asking for anything. Many of us actually are working for it. For instance, there is a beautiful bridge in the city where people come and place the leftover stuff from poojas and leave idols and statues on the railings. So, a bunch of us from my school went there and cleaned the entire bridge. We also went to this marketplace called Bhootnath and did a small cleanliness drive. It’s weird because there are dustbins there but people still don’t throw their stuff in them. So we went and started picking up trash and throwing it in the bin. Seeing that, people started following us.”
“There are terrorist attacks everywhere and nothing is being done about it, the situation is shameful. The USA, I think, is super powerful and could stop all of it if it wishes to, but still nothing is being done.”

MUNEEZA BANO
06/12/2002
DODA, JAMMU & KASHMIR

“I write stories in English which are all from my imagination. I have written a story about my friends. First they go for a picnic and then they get lost on their way. One of them decides to go ahead and reach where they had to reach and then ask people for directions.”
[Does this happen to you a lot? Do you get lost with your friends?]
“No. I just made it up! I love this village. People here always help each other whenever anyone needs help. They are always together.”
[Is there anything that makes you sad about the village?]
“During exams children cheat here.”
[Background fills with laughter]
“My friends are making fun of me.”
[Why, do you cheat during your exams?]
*radio silence*

AMJAD LATIEF LOHAR
26/08/2002
DODA, JAMMU & KASHMIR

“I am from Brahmana district in Jammu & Kashmir. My favourite person in the school is sir, the deputy director.”
[Is he standing there?]
“Yes! He is here.”
[So you are just saying this for extra points…]
“No! I really like him. Exams are my favourite thing in school. It is my favourite thing because I study. My favourite subject is science.”
[What’s so exciting about science?]
“Everything. Studying about our body, the universe. Big bang is the best thing I have ever studied about. When I grow up, I want to be a nervous… no… A neurosurgeon. I want to know everything about the nerves and what happens with them. I want to be a neurosurgeon because in our village, there are not many doctors and I want to do something for my village.”
[What do you think is the biggest problem in your village?]
“Problem?! Everything is fine! But some people don’t care about our environment, forest and water. They don’t think only… About where we get it from, and that we should save it and use it properly.
[Have you understood that we need to save it and use it properly?]
“Yes! And that is because we study. We have learnt to take care of things around us.”
[What will happen if we don’t save it?]
“It’s already happening. Every day there is news about people dying and fighting for it.”

IMTIYAZ ALI DEV
30/12/2001
DODA, JAMMU & KASHMIR

“I study very hard. Teachers are teaching me very nicely. I like to study everything. Pollution is the biggest problem. We have a little pollution here. If people join us, we can clear this.” [By doing what?]
“By removing all the plastics, by not building roads closer to our homes.”

SAYMA BANO
02/07/2005
DODA, JAMMU & KASHMIR

“I go to school with my friends and study there. When we have holidays, I play with my friends. We play football and cricket, and I am good at both.”
“I am very happy at this school. I am happy about my villagers. They are very helpful. I like everything about the village. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher because in my village there are not many schools. I want to open a school where my village people can learn. I want to educate them so that they are happy. They have to give me money if I teach them. But some people are poor here. So, even if they don’t give me money, I can still teach them.”

SHABNAM BANO
18/08/2005
DODA, JAMMU & KASHMIR

“People should be not greedy. We should not cut trees. And we should be helpful. Everybody should study and get education. It makes me sad when people are not educated. Because then they can’t go to other places and learn more things about outside villages. I want to go out and visit other countries.”
[Which country would you like to go to?]
“Australia. It is my favourite country because they play cricket really well. I could be a cricketer when I grow up. I am good at batting.”
[If you become a cricketer when you grow up, will you play for India or for Australia?] “Australia!”

ABBAS
08/04/2001
DODA, JAMMU & KASHMIR

“It makes me happy when people take care of each other and protect forests and the environment. They should protect trees and animals.”
[What’s your favourite animal?]
“Horse. We have four horses.”
[Do they have names?]
“Yes. They are called Raju, Moti, Hira and Balma.
[Bursts into laughter]
Raju is my favourite. But he is not a horse. He is a khachhar. He is very strong. And he is very famous in Instagram.”

RHEA SHARMA
17/05/2000
CHANDIGARH

“The major problem is regarding females and the increasing molestations and rapes that are happening and how no one is doing anything about it. For it to be solved, first of all I have to be more confident in whatever I am doing. And then because I am into film making, we do a lot of surveys and speak to girls in backward areas. We talk to them and focus on their issues. What that does is give these girls exposure, and because we urge others to come and watch these films, people from backward regions come and see them and this offers them a perspective of where they come from.”

DHWANI MANKAD
03/09/1995
KOLKATA

“It’s a chaotic world to be born into. And there’s quite a few years to live through before we get to the whole death part. So much to explore. So much to understand. Especially now, with the lightning pace of tech development. Left to our own devices (puntended), we’re likely to make a mess of things. So what I’d like to target, in my life span on this planet, is education. I don’t mean textbooks and novels and google pages but true, real unbiased knowledge. “making a difference… the bigger picture involves bills and reforms, but on a smaller, personal scale, I ensure that I don’t speak when I’m not well-informed, I work on spreading unbiased knowledge in my various roles as a consumer, a student, a teacher, a daughter, and all that I choose to be. I seek a 360-degree view of things in order to unlearn all that I have been taught.”

ADRIJA CHAKRABARTI
22/05/1995
KOLKATA

“People’s lack of awareness along with the stigma attached to mental illnesses and mental health institutions have made seeking help for such troubles much more difficult than it has to be. Myths, taboos, and misgivings about mental health have resulted in people either avoiding psychological intervention, while denying their health condition, or relying only on mood-altering medication from psychiatrists.”

DIANOOR DE
24/03/1999
DEHRADUN

“The future is uncertain. But at the pace at which the world is progressing — technology, mind-sets — everything will change for the better, and eventually lead to a more worthwhile lifestyle. I feel that the future will somehow be magical. The magic that went missing, the spark that was somewhere lost in time with information overload, will come back and anything and everything that we dream of will be at our footsteps.”
“I want to do something that will not only make me happy but also make sure that the pretty smiles on the aged and orphaned faces never fade. I think opening an old-age home and an orphanage would be the perfect job profile for me. If it turns tears into happiness, then why not?”
“A backward mind-set is the main issue this country deals with, that it needs to overcome.”

SIDDHANTH TULI
15/11/1999
CHANDIGARH

“I have to experience different worlds, and then I will choose where I want to be. I want to be in New Zealand or Norway because of the difference in cultures. I love India, but I want to get out and see the world.”
“Racism is one thing that I want to change about the world, and there needs to be financial equality. People cannot look down upon people, and treat people who are poor as nobodies.”

AJINKYA PRABHU
27/12/1997
GOA
“What really upsets me is this stupid habit of littering around. Here also, near my house in Goa, there is a huge landfill that no one can do anything about. When I visit Mumbai, I see people throwing wrappers outside their cars and everyone leaving their trash behind at picnics. Since India is the second most populated country in the world, if we continue like this, it’s not a good future at all… I think there is enough education but no motivation to do anything.”

KRISHNA RAO
31/03/2001
UDAIPUR
“I want to be an IPS officer once I grow up. I’m not sure what all I might have to do, but I watched a television serial called diya aur baati hum, in which the main lead is an IPS officer. She is in the police and she handles her duties at home and in office efficiently, even when she is transferred to another place.  I want to become like her.”
“The problem with this country is that it is plagued by poverty. The people who are rich keep getting richer, while those who are poor get poorer by the day, because they do not have equal rights in this society.”

ARYAMAN SINGH
27/11/1999
PUNE
 “I would love to do something about poverty. I mean, every human deserves to be equal and if poverty is eradicated, that’ll be it. As for a solution, this might sound absolutely clichéd, but awareness is very important. They have to understand that to get out of this trap, they need to educate their children. Frankly, I don’t hear of anyone who got educated and then lies below the poverty line.”

VIKRAM SAGAR & VIR SAGAR
17/11/2004
BANGALORE
“Umm… traffic. It’s terrible. And the garbage on the streets really upsets me.”
“When we grow up, we want to be professional football players. Our favourite team is Manchester City.”
“We’ve created an ideal city with our Lego set — it has a football stadium. There’s this building that has a pool table, a detective’s office. Then there’s this ice-cream truck, small office with computers and normal stuff, which could be anyone’s. Then there is a dinosaur museum. There’s a coffee shop. There are also loads of spaceships and different characters from Star Wars and marvel superheroes.”
“We make YouTube videos about football and the challenges there are, on our channel, fifagodzilla567. We post videos twice a week and we shoot all of it ourselves. Our wish is to get a million subscribers.”

RISHABH BAJPAI
04/01/1997
AHMEDABAD
“My vision for my country is that all poverty should be eradicated and every single person should receive basic education till the 10th standard. Education is the only solution in my mind that will solve most problems — it will sort unemployment. In my utopian world, my politicians are not chosen merely on the basis of caste, but on merit.”

ARYAN PURI
24/11/2004
NEW DELHI
“People are upset around me because of job stress and family problems. I also think they are unhappy because of the odd-even rule. People are cheating it, I took photos for proof.”
“This rule is a bad idea because the metros are flooded. In any case, most people are still abroad, because children had holidays till 15 January. Once schools start, it will all be the same, no difference.”

JASON SINGH KONCHOUJAM
17/08/1998
SHILLONG
“My vision of India’s future would be a country with no social stigmas and where everyone is treated equally, in all fields. A problem I would like to solve is the education system in our country, and the ways of teaching students. We should have a wider range of subjects, so that students can choose a field according to what they’re good at and focus on it.”


Motherland is a bi-monthly magazine with a focus on contemporary and emerging Indian cultures.

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