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My dream for India is...

By Divya Nair and S Saraswathi
Last updated on: August 14, 2015 14:17 IST
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Free education for all? Safety for women? What is your wishlist for India?

As we set to celebrate our country's 69th year of Independence, we spoke to a bunch of extra ordinary Indians who are changemakers and have a concrete vision for vision to build a better India.

From affordable education to all to improving the environment for the physically challenged, presenting the wishlist for a brighter India.

My dream for India is...

Ravi Subramanian, author, entrepreneur

Ravi SubramanianThis Independence Day, I have a very simple wish to make.

I want every child in the country to buy and read two books -- one from a book store and one online.

This activity will serve two purposes -- 1) It will help the child develop a reading habit which is very important for the overall development of the kid.

2) It will help maintain a balance between the online and offline medium and at the same time encourage the survival of existing book stores in the country.

Anand Kumar, founder, Super 30

Anand KumarAccording to me, India would experience a real sense of freedom only when we get economic freedom.

Today, lakhs of kids are unable to go to school or pursue higher education, even if they want to, because they belong to poor families and cannot afford tuition fees.

Some of them are forced to drop out and find employment to support their families.

My dream for India is to create an environment where every child, irrespective of his/her economic status -- rich or poor -- will have access to quality education.

I want every child in our country to be able pursue higher education without having to worry about money or resources.

Preeti Srinivasan, co-founder of Soulfree, a charitable trust empowering those with permanent disabilities

Preeti SrinivasanI am hoping that this year of the Nation's independence will also mean the independence of its people with disabilities.

In India, everything has a value, even a piece of plastic thrown on the road will be picked up. But what of human life and dignity?

For a large part, people with disabilities are completely ignored or rejected, living as dependants, unable to be really active and lead meaningful lives.  

Wheelchair accessibility, government support and medical insurance are issues that need to be addressed today.

I really hope the country takes this new wave of change, from apathy and indifference, towards something that is more proactive, so we can make the world a little less difficult for people with physical challenges.

Uddhab Bharali, innovator, entrepreneur

Uddhab BharaliMillions of people in our country are suffering from some form of disability.

A wheelchair cannot solve all their problems.

I urge the IITians and the best brains of the country to come together and demand the government to start a research centre that will develop gadgets that are user-friendly and affordable also to the economically backward.

We need to empower them and make them independent too.

I would also like the youth to say no to corruption and find innovative ways to solve problems than run away to another country and give excuses.

Sunitha Krishnan, co-founder, Prajwala, an anti-trafficking NGO

Sunitha KrishnanI want an India which is safe for women and children.

If you are waiting for somebody from another planet to come and change things for you here, then you will only be waiting.

If you believe in change and want to see it happening, YOU will have to become that change.

Remember this is not about likes, Facebook posts or tweets.

This is about reacting and responding wherever you are and whichever positions you hold and mostly also about living the change you want to see in this country.

Anirudh Belle, founder and editor-in-chief, You Speak India, a youth-run, non-profit forum that seeks to promote policy awareness and political engagement among India's young

Anirudh BelleAs we stretch to touch seven decades of independence, my dream for India is two-fold: first, for the state and second, for the citizen. The latter is more intimate to me. 

I wish for an India that rises to the call for growth and development, taking the protection of the environment and socio-economic justice as partners in this process, not as adversaries.

Speaking deeper, to the individual, I dream of an India where the deficit between the sublime nobility of character on the one hand, and its complete degradation on the other, is bridged.

I pledge to work for an India whose lustre leaps from an inner unfolding towards a greater humanity.

Ira Singhal, UPSC topper

Ira Singhal, UPSC topperI wish for an India where every Indian is free to breathe in clean air, every child is free to grow up healthy and happy, every girl is free to pursue her dreams, every household is free to eat proper meals and every hand is free to work.

Laxmi, Acid attack survivor

Laxmi, acid attack survivorI wish for an India where every girl is free to make her life's choices -- be it education, marriage or career.

Every child in India is either dependent on society or family and has to consider their views before making any important decision. All parents want their children to become engineers and doctors. They want to marry their daughters early so don't allow them to pursue higher studies.

This attitude should change and everyone should be free to do what they want in life. To me that is a sign of freedom and independence.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Credit: Ajay Verma/Reuters

Dear readers, what is your wishlist for India? How can we together build a better tomorrow for our country? Share your ideas in the messageboard below!

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Divya Nair and S Saraswathi