Bridging the gap

Bridging the gap

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future,” said Franklin D Roosevelt. Wiser words are seldom spoken. Last week Thane Women’s Guild (TWG) organised JOSH, a forum for the youth of Thane where young participants got a rare opportunity to interact directly with public authority figures. TWG is a non-profit group comprising of socially conscious women from Thane.

The forum took place at Sahyog Mandir at Ghantali. The audience comprised of students of various colleges in Thane and Mumbai. Dr D Chavan (DCP Traffic) was the first to address the enthusiastic youngsters. Dr Chavan fielded questions on a range of issues such as traffic regulations, image of the police force, imposition of fines and the issue of bribes and corruption. His message to the youth was, “Be careful of your own safety so that you can take care of the safety of others.”

The next on the firing line was Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) Commissioner Sanjay Sethi, who provided the audience with an idea of how TMC functions, its unique challenges, and the awards it has won from state as well as central governments. When asked what according to him should be the role of the youth in 2020, he replied, “Knowledge without action does not mean anything. You, the youth, should orchestrate social change. There are many areas where you could get actively associated. For example, you could resolve to address health and education issues in slums so that there would be no under-nourished children. You know what your calling is – just follow it.” When another young man grumbled about how difficult it was to meet him, to share ideas with him, Sethi replied, “There is an office protocol that you must follow. Don’t give up easily. I am always available on Mondays and Tuesdays between 10 am to 2 pm.” An engineering student asked him if it was possible for him to do his internship with TMC rather than the usual corporate sector and was pleasantly surprised on hearing an affirmative response.

The last panelist, Justice A V Nirgude (Additional Sessions and District Judge) dealt with questions regarding the law. When a young lady in the audience asked him if transfer of judges causes delay in the resolution of a case, he replied with a gentle but firm “no”. Justice Nirgude too had some advice to give to the youngsters. Addressing the young women in the audience, he said, “Start thinking responsibly. Plan your future and your career. Do not be dependent on your parents. Live your life as responsible citizens.” He also urged the youth to seriously consider joining the legal profession.

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