Engineer by Chance, Politician by Choice, Leader for Change

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An interview with the Youth Icon behind Drug-Free Punjab, Sukhwinder Singh Bindra
Sukhwinder Singh Bindra is a man with impressive facets to his personality. Hailed as the Youth Icon 2017 by Tribune, he is an accomplished engineer, a licensed pilot, a successful businessman, and a bold politician. He is the State Media Spokesperson for Punjab, known to keenly encourage young leaders from all over the state towards contributing to politics. Excerpts from the interview:

How did your early life and education prepare you for this role?

I belong to a regular middle-class family, but lucky enough to be educated well and have good exposure to different fields. I did engineering to fulfill my mother’s dream and got my first job in the USA through a website. It was a huge financial risk, but the company and my friends helped me get there. That is when I realized the power of optimism and reaching out to people. I worked in California, USA as a senior engineer for 7-8 years. But despite the wonderful perks of the job, I always felt a strong pull towards India. I began by investing in real estate in India, buying and leasing out complexes and buildings, to keep myself grounded in my roots. It allowed me to have a security blanket around me when I ditched the American dream for coming back to serve my homeland.

What was your foray into politics of Punjab?

I wanted to work for the youth of Punjab. The way drugs had trapped the brilliant young minds of our state and reduced them to nothing saddened me to the core. I decided I would come back to India, and work for the people. My friends and family called me an emotional fool; I left an American PR! All for my passion to make the youth reach its potential. When here, I met Captain Amarinder Singh and his vision to bring back the days of ‘Rangla Punjab’ inspired me beyond what I can say. 

“I fly because it allows me to escape the petty things. I’ve always held a strong fascination for machines- Harley bikes, aircrafts- I love the thrill.” Such is the stirring and bold spirit of Sukhwinder Singh Bindra.

How did you become the social media campaigner for Drug-Free Punjab?

It is all with the support of Capt Amarinder Singh, really. Rescuing youth from the clutches  Seeing my dedication, he told me to work on a Drug-Free Punjab campaign with a great focus on social media to connect with the young people who need shelter, support and guidance. It has worked wonders; today we have 1 lakh+ followers on social media, and we have been connected to many cases of drug-abused youth. Our inbox is flooded with messages from people who are grateful for the help from our team.

What quality among the youth of Punjab inspires you?

The remarkable potential! Youngsters today are talented and more importantly, dedicated to building a name for themselves. The relentless drive to live life on their own terms, while striving for excellence in every field. I often meet visionary youngsters who want to create a better society. I want to tell them that their opinions and ideas are welcome, and they can always approach leaders like me to share them.

Gift Courtesy: Sharman Jain Sweets

What are the future plans to push Drug- Free Punjab campaign?

Our social media campaign is helping to increase awareness about government schemes and plans for rescuing youth from drugs. Our team not only gives out regular information and guidelines but also works with student leaders in the state for groundwork. Now we have launched a ‘Buddy Software’ between schools, to recognize and treat problem behavior right from the school levels. We aim to eliminate the drug addiction issues before it can establish its roots. The children are our future, and they deserve better.

In conversation with Sukhwinder Singh Bindra, who symbolizes the phrase- ‘Leadership, in style’. Such young- spirited leaders are alert and approachable in their positions of power and realize there’s work to be done for a name to be earned. It is the personality that wins people’s hearts through work more than mere words.