Giving wings to aspirations
Young India wants to stop thinking about job titles and focus instead on the role they play in the bigger picture Youngsters wants to know how they can contribute to their community and country in the best way possible But career guidance ends when counselling, coaching classes, and admissions are done
Young India wants to stop thinking about job titles and focus instead on the role they play in the bigger picture. Youngsters wants to know how they can contribute to their community and country in the best way possible. But career guidance ends when counselling, coaching classes, and admissions are done.
Two young girls Meghana Choukkar, a journalist, and Vibha Harish, an industrial engineer- are on a mission to create that support system through online platform ‘Northbound’. The two 23-year-old girls are travelling across the country for 30 days to meet people from diverse professions, get answers to the questions on careers, and be inspired by them. Everything they learn is documented in 3 to 5-minute videos, which they share on social media.
What is ‘Northbound’ and what is its main objective?
Vibha Harish: ‘Northbound’ is an online platform with the objective to change the conversation around careers. You only hear about career guidance until you get admission into college. But choosing which degree you want to pursue is not the end of your doubts about careers. From our personal experiences, we felt that there wasn’t enough support for young students for their career decisions. Moreover, we felt that youngsters need to hear stories that can inspire them and give them the courage to make their own decisions.
How did you two meet and how did Northbound begin?
Vibha Harish: I finished my engineering from RV College of Engineering in 2017. I worked in the Aerospace sector for six months before I realised that I wanted to be working in a creative field. Having followed inspirational TED talks, podcasts, and books, mostly by Americans, I felt that young Indians like me needed more examples we could relate to and gather confidence from. I decided to work for this cause from then on.
During an event I met Meghana Choukkar, a journalist, who I thought would be a great addition to my project. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Centre of Media and Communication, Pune, in 2016.
During our conversations, we discussed how we both felt about the lack of support for young students on making their career decisions. ‘Northbound’ is a project where we showcase inspiring stories of Indians from across the country.
Meghana Choukkar: From my own experiences growing up in a village in Kasaragod and from my interactions with students as a journalist, I felt that after the euphoria over entrance results, careers cease to be a topic of discussion.
Can you share your experiences?
Vibha Harish: We are going across the country, meeting people from different professions, and making videos about what we learn. In 30 days, we are going to make 10 videos. Four of our videos are already up on our YouTube channel. We started our trip on 15 September, 2018, from Pondicherry. From there, we went to Hyderabad. Next, we went to Kutch, Gujarat via Ahmedabad. After that, we went to Mumbai and right now we are in New Delhi. Our next stop is Kolkata.
Meghana Choukkar: In every place, we are talking to professionals from different fields and addressing questions about careers that many of us have. The questions are not specific to the profession, but they are more general doubts that most of us have. In some cases, the videos are intended to counter existing notions.
What is your take on young India’s role in the development of the country?
Meghana Choukkar: India is a young country with a large proportion of the population being the youth. We think that youngsters are responsible for the direction our country grows in.
Vibha Harish: Young India is creative and ambitious. We believe that if everybody works to their full potential and finds a way to contribute to society using their skills, it can take our country a long way.