TEDx talk: Nalapad advises youth on drugs, being a good person

TEDx talk: Nalapad advises youth on drugs, being a good person

In an ironic twist of fate, just 11 days before being accused of assaulting a man at Farzi Cafe in Bengaluru, N A Haris' son Mohammed Haris Nalapad was at a TEDx event speaking enthusiastically on the "power of youth" in politics.

The former general secretary of the Bengaluru Youth Congress is now prisoner no. 1756 at Parappana Agrahara Jail. Nalapad talked about two major challenges that he faced while entering politics -- "selling of electoral votes for money" and "youngsters going in the wrong direction". 

Calling drug addiction a black mark on Indian society, he said that he felt the need to act. He credited his family saying, "I come from a family of administrators, my grandfather and father both were politicians. I saw them dealing with different issues every day." 

Saying that he always wanted to contribute to the betterment of society, Nalapad started an anti-drug campaign with a group that he called Team Nalapad. Initially, he was warned not to get involved with the anti-drug drive as it was a controversial topic. But he went ahead, saying, "I live once, I die once, I will not die every day and follow my heart." 

Nalapad said that youngsters from the age of 14 start consuming drugs, which is alarming. To curb that, he began conducting anti-drug drives in schools and colleges. "I started interacting with a lot of youths, explaining to them what is right and what is wrong," he said.

Fun for this generation starts with partying, then escalates to smoking a cigarette and then goes to consuming weed and much worse, he said. "The youth must be aware, and on your guard," said Nalapad. He said the drug menace is a topic that is not discussed openly by families and stressed the need to address the issue.

Nalapad said that he could relate to the partying youth, "I party too," he said. "I have my whole circle but I know what is right, where to draw the line and what I am supposed to do." 

Nalapad also suggested Googling drugs to get a clear picture of how destructive they are. He said he hoped that the youth of today realise their true potential. He offered a piece of advice to the young audience: "I have not achieved great things yet but I will, that is my confidence or overconfidence, whatever you want to call it, I will achieve them because I dream of big things." 

Nalapad exhorted the youth to build a great nation by saying, "By 2020, India is going to be the youngest country, to which direction, the decision is in your hand whether you build a great India or you build a nation of 1.2 billion useless people."

Nalapad concluded his talk with a quote from his father: "A person who lives for himself is an okay person, a person who lives for himself, family and extended family is a better person,  but a person who lives for the society at large and the country is a great person."

 Nalapad is accused of brutally beating a cafe customer, who is now in serious condition. Nalapad is in judicial custody for two weeks. He has been stripped of his post and suspended from the Youth Congress for six years.

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