“… Ask what you can do for the country!”

“Ask not what the country can do for you, but ask what you can do for the country.” These very inspiring words of John F. Kennedy, former President of the United States, keep ringing in my ears often that I have used it, time and again in my writings, beginning with one of my editorials in THE TEENAGER years ago, and again in my book You Can Make A Difference, now a bestseller with over 75,000 copies in print.

This is also the first thought that came to my mind when I thought of my editorial for August in which our 73rd Independence Day falls. As I move around visiting schools and students, young people often ask: “What a teenager like me can do for a country of such magnitude?” My answer to this question has always been: “You can do a lot, your small acts in the right direction matter like each drop in the ocean, or a small brick in a mansion matters to the entire edifice!”

I am glad that we also have young Indians who realise this responsibility and plan their lives accordingly. One such youngster is Manhar Bansal from Punjab, a topper in the ICSE exams, this year, we are featuring in this issue (pg 26) in the young achiever’s column. His answer to our question was loud and clear. When asked, “Do you have a vision for our country?” Manhar promptly replied.

“I have a vision (dream) for our country. I wish our system be more transparent, free of corruption and social evils, where the leaders look after the welfare of the citizens, and more importantly care for them…. they be accountable to the people, and have a clear vision for the country… I want to join the Civil Service, and as an IAS officer, be honest and caring, by way of realising this vision/dream.”

Have a vision (dream) for the country, like Manhar; follow that dream, and bring it to realization, playing your key role in making it happen. This is the best gift that you can give the country on this Independence Day.

Alfonso Elengikal
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Alfonso Elengikal

Alfonso Elengikal, SSP, has the unique distinction of being the longest-serving editor of THE TEENAGER TODAY, an office he held for over 17 years. He is the bestselling author of You Can Make A Difference, You Are Destined For The Skies, Let The Real You Stand Up! and Discover The Hero Within You published by Better Yourself Books.