Actress and former beauty queen Manushi Chhillar, on the occasion of International Youth Day on Wednesday, said that youth should feel free to be themselves, but also warned against online toxicity.
"We, the youth of our country, are riding on the technology wave and while there are massive advantages, there are disadvantages too. We are dealing with severe online toxicity and hate that one shouldn't face growing up. Rather the youth should feel free to be themselves, discover their identities, make mistakes and learn from them," Manushi said.
She added: "I pray we are super strong to take on this much negativity that's thrown at all of us on a daily basis and are able to distinguish between what matters and what doesn't."
Manushi wants the youth to always know that these things don't really matter.
"Likes and shares and comments in the virtual world are definitely adding up to the pressure and I would want the youth to always know that these things don't really matter. It's not real despite being quantifiable. What matters is who we are, what our core values are, how we treat others and how responsible we are towards our family, friends, environment and country," she said.
Manushi is 23, and she feels living through the Covid pandemic has definitely set new priorities for the youth, including her.
"Youth and children are also growing up in an environment where they are living through a pandemic today and that's bound to impact the way we envision the future. I hope it doesn't unnerve the youth to explore and express. Youth should not be shy to innovate and to lead life fearlessly as we are the explorers of our future," she says.
Manushi welcomes the conversation that the youth are maturing faster in an age of technology.
"All the innovations and all the predicaments that we have seen in such a quick time, will definitely have an impact. I hope it only forms a part of the youth's evolution process and doesn't disillusion them from having experiences. Youth is meant to live without fear, live free and always feel that they can chase the sun," she said.
Manushi shared that on International Youth Day, she wishes that the youth of the country don't succumb to these external pressures and continues to dream.
She said: "These minds will shape up the future of this world and I'm most excited to see what they create for themselves and other generations."
Manushi is all set to make her Bollywood debut opposite superstar Akshay Kumar in the upcoming film "Prithviraj". Directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, "Prithviraj" is based on the life of King Prithviraj Chauhan. It stars Akshay as Prithviraj, while Manushi will play the role of the Sanyogita, the love of his life.