Milind’s life, from Mumbai to Boston to New Delhi

“Giving more Indians access to that kind of life is really the ultimate goal of government”

Since he entered the Lok Sabha in 2004 at the age of 27, Milind Deora has been among the youngest and most outspoken Parliamentarians in New Delhi. Now 37, Milind remains a core part of the rising brigade of young politicians across the country attempting to inaugurate a new era in India’s political, social and economic systems, one guided by principle and responsibility. Over the course of a decade in Parliament, Deora has held committee positions in the Ministries of Defence, Civil Aviation, Estimates, Urban Development and Information Technology. In October 2012, Deora was made Minister of State for Shipping, as well, giving him a comprehensive view of Government’s diversity of tasks.

A Bombay Youth translates to a long-term interest in Mumbai’s Youth

An alumnus of The Cathedral & John Connon School and Sydenham College in Mumbai, Deora also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Boston University in the United States. Prior to 2004, Deora’s work focused largely on addressing the needs of underprivileged youth in South Mumbai, an interest that led to his founding at NGO called Sparsh that assisted fund-starved schools, provided free computer education in over 100 schools, as well as distribution of uniforms and textbooks to needy students.

It was that interest in India’s young people that led Deora to government and that has informed his active engagement with the youth. Through his active presence in social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, his youth discussion forums and policy debates, and initiatives like the Youth Parliament programme, Deora has worked tirelessly to bridge the gap that has for so long separated India’s next generation from its current political bodies. The internship programme in Deora’s office also allows young people to connect directly with policy makers on the local and national level.

Projects like the Job Fair, which has connected hundreds of young people with potential employers, and soccer talent hunt among underprivileged kids, focus on helping the city’s young people realize their potential in a political and social climate that often fails to encourage them to pursue their own unique talents and interests. Milind’s own hobbies and interests – particularly in music and sport – have sustained him over the years, and sees the pursuit of the things one loves as essential to building a fulfilling life.

And giving more Indians access to that kind of life is really the ultimate goal of government. Systemic change – building a government that people can trust and believe in – requires the active participation of India’s next generation. That means engaging with youth and demonstrating the power of honesty and clarity in government now.