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The top 5 challenges facing India's youth

December 04, 2017 11:43 IST

Motivational speaker and former Indian Coast Guard officer Kulpreet Yadav explains why India’s youngsters don’t have it easy.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/


India’s youth is full of energy and talent. Sadly, though, many of them don’t have the right motivation or direction.

Today's youth want freedom and independence.

They need guidance to reach their unrealised goals. At the same time, they want to learn from their own experiments.

Their path is not easy. Here are the top five challenges faced by the Indian youth today.


1. The independence to date

Why can't the older generation understand that dating is a part of the growing up process today?

Dating promotes gender sensitivity, allowing young men and women to understand the uniqueness, strengths and vulnerabilities of the opposite gender.

The emotional balance thus found lays the foundation for stronger relationships, not just with their future life partner but also at the work place.  

2. Employment guarantee

An entrepreneur friend once told me, "Kulpreet, I can pay any amount of salary to the right candidate. But where are the right candidates?”

I understood his dilemma.

Schools and colleges in India are simply not able to educate and train our youth to take on modern professional challenges.

Experiments, out-of-the-box thinking and non-conformity with established norms are looked down upon.

This attitude has to change.

The standards of our teachers and professors also need to change. They should not just teach students but also inspire them to become achievers.

3. FOMO (or the Fear Of Missing Out)

The young are plagued with insecurities. And it’s not just about their jobs.

Their way of life is challenged at every level.

Thanks to easily accessible social media, they feel others are having more fun or are getting opportunities that they are unlucky to miss out on.

This is increasing the cases of depression among the youth.

4. Obesity

A sedentary life due to restriction on outdoor activities by parents on the one hand, and too much pressure on academics by teachers on the other, are making the youth binge eat.

Obesity as a challenge is no longer restricted to the Western world. It has arrived with a vengeance on Indian shores.

There is a flip side to it too.

In some cases, the pressure to become size-zero is so strong that some people stop eating altogether.

Why can’t we just allow the youth more outdoor freedom and love them for what they are and not how they look?

5. Materialism

Equating everything with money and material goods tends to play havoc with the psychology of the youth.

Stories of young entrepreneurs who made it rich just because of the right idea makes for good reading but can be hard to implement in real life.

Nine out of 10 people just want to be happy. They want the right partner, they want to have fun, travel and become good citizens.

We, as adults, should not burden them with the unfinished agendas of our lives.

Kulpreet Yadav, a commandant with the Indian Coast Guard, retired three years ago after two decades of service. He now spends his time writing books and as a motivational speaker in schools and colleges. His latest book is the spy novel, Murder In Paharganj.  

Kulpreet Yadav