Disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons working or having worked in development is purely intentional. Just kidding.

Everybody likes youth and young people. They are shiny, energetic and look great in promotional material. But the burden of having to solve every single problem facing the world sometimes becomes too much and we are left disappointed with our GenX.

Inspired by a similar post in the New Yorker, here is a selection of the 20 most disappointing people in their 20s, in the development sector in India.

Millenials India_Credit LiveMint 20 most disappointing
Photo courtesy: Livemint

Rahul Joshi, 22
Signed up to be a volunteer teacher but spent all his time uploading pictures of his students on Instagram with hashtags like #educationrocks and #mybundlesofjoy.

Sameera Krishnamurthy, 25
Works at a donor agency headquartered in Delhi. Spent two weeks pressurising her grantees to include an expensive evaluation in their project. She then refused to fund it because it was a ‘non-programme’ expense.

Aravind Karnani, 24
Visited a homeless shelter once just so he could add #humanitarian to his tinder profile.

Rohan Patkar, 25
Joined a nonprofit founded by his parents to professionalise the organisation and revolutionise everything. In his first month Rohan promoted himself to ‘Chief Innovation Ninja’, put up some posters, changed the layout of the cafeteria and then gave a TEDx talk about his achievements. It was not a great talk.

Anjali Patkar, 23
Rohan’s sister. She still works at the nonprofit and attends every team meeting. Nobody is sure what she does or which department she is a part of.

Kumar Pashupathy, 23
Kumar practices laughing in front of a mirror every morning so that he can laugh convincingly at the ‘jokes’ that his executive director makes.

Claire Stewart, 23
Raised fifty thousand dollars from her parents to found a nonprofit to fight against the negative portrayal of snakes in Hindi movies.

Radha Venkatraman, 23
Complained about surviving on a social sector salary as her driver drove her home to her Cuffe Parade penthouse.

Kriti Kruti, 25
Raised a hundred thousand dollars for a pilot program that only worked with four people. Two of them dropped out mid way. He still thinks the pilot was a success.

Azam Merchant, 29
Spend six months working at a multinational before moving to the social sector. He now introduces himself as a ‘private sector guy’.

Stephanie White, 20
Intern. Got the word ‘kranti’ tattooed on her forearm in devanagiri script as an act of rebellion against her parents. It was misspelled.

Shireen Jehangir, 26,
Wrote about attending the Coldplay concert under the ‘social service experience’ in her MBA applications.

Supriya Singh, 26
Spends all morning talking about how she has stayed back late to work every day this month. Still hasn’t turned in the one page report she was asked for two weeks ago.

Karan Nathani, 27
Outnumbered by women on his team. Mansplains about the dangers of mansplaining at every weekly meeting.

Piyush Ambani, 29
Started a family foundation so that his wife would have something to do with her time. The foundation focuses on women’s empowerment.

Shomit Sen, 28
Had a nervous breakdown at a site visit in Patna and checked-in to the closest Taj.

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Akhil Paliath

Akhil Paliath

Akhil worked as a part of the team that managed Dasra’s work on adolescent issues. He supported strategy, systems development, project management and donor management for multimillion dollar initiatives such as the Dasra Girl Alliance and the newly launched Dasra Adolescent Collaborative. Before joining Dasra, he worked as a research intern at Gateway House, an international policy think tank based in Mumbai and spent three years (part time) managing various finance functions for Aurum Media, a specialized media relations company.Akhil has a Masters in International Affairs from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna as well as bachelor degrees in financial markets and international relations from the University of Mumbai and London respectively.

1 Comment

  1. I liked the manner in which Akhil Paliath created a kind of typology of youth engaged in development sector. We have experienced upteen times the youth coming to us – I would like to contribute or give back to the society. We get convinced. We detail the task. The next question they ask is – What would be the remuneration?
    Come one, we are working in a rented, non AC basement of a building, what can be the expectations?
    At times I feel, our time is over. They talk about Investment and Scale-up, huge funds…. Where would a small NGO fit in there?

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