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Why 15? Because they're the millennium's children

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Why 15? Because they're the millennium's children
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On the threshold of the 15th year of the new century, there they stand with hopes and fears and dreams -- the new millennium's children, who were born in 2000.

One would think no generation has ever had it so easy. They are more likely to be in the middle and upper middle classes, which is burgeoning as never before in India. Even if they were born not with silver spoons in their mouths, they now have smart phones in their hands. The Internet on cheap, smart devices has put a world of knowledge at their fingertips. Surely, all these advantages will make them excel in whatever innovative field they choose.

One would also think no generation has had it so hard, for this one carries on its shoulders the hopes of an aspirational India. Forget making them engineers and doctors-- even the most hidebound parents would like their teenage children to be great scientists, or technologists or actors or sportsmen or even businessmen.

In this special issue, dna brings to you the profiles of a few outlying 15-year-olds. (There's also the profile of a brave Pakistani teenager, just to explore if teenagers everywhere might be similar.) We peer into their lives, with curiosity as to what drives them, and without any pretensions of explaining them. Quietly we listen to their aspirations, their fears, and, most important of all, chronicle their stories with feeling.

Here you'll read about a teen who climbed Everest, another who is a microbiologist, yet another who has found the cure for a disease. You'll read about a child actress who tugs at heartstrings but who wants to make a difference as an IAS officer when she grows up.

You'll also hear from a teenaged writer, who turns a spotlight on the troubles of being a 15-year-old- being misunderstood by the world, also misunderstanding the world, trying to fit in on the one hand, and feeling rebellious, on the other. Teenage is no longer like a yo-yo, but more like Call of Duty. Which, if you don't know, is a video game. Going into a new year, it's high time to be more curious about the Y Indians. They are the carriers of a nation's hopes.

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