In any society, whether it is inclusive or democratic, the role of youth in building social cohesion, bringing about economic prosperity and stabilizing a political government is crucial, as they are the ones who have dreams, passion and who evoke hopes to achieve something special out of common. Pakistan is included among those lucky nations who have a large population of young people. Currently, 64 percent of the nation is younger than 30, and 29 percent of Pakistanis are between 15 and 29, an age group which we define as the youth. It is really encouraging that a large majority of the young Pakistanis not only understand the requirements of the modern age but they also stand tall and win laurels for their country when it comes to competing with the youth around the world. National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Executive Director Dr Nasir Khan says that despite limited resources, the PTI government is aiming to provide the youth with maximum facilities to groom themselves and compete with their competitors through their creative, technical and vocational skills. As a priority of the PTI government, vocational institutions across the country were now being registered under the ‘Skill for All’ programme, conducting training courses in around 200 conventional and high-tech disciplines and trades, and ensuring 80 percent employability of the skilled youth, as per market requirements, Dr Nasir Khan explains. Under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, around 17,000 youths from across the country have been imparted training in high-tech trades like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and robotics, the executive director adds. Eight such Pakistani youths recently made a record by winning the prestigious Diana Award 2021 for their creative works and outstanding efforts in various sectors. These young Pakistani awardees, hailing from different parts of the country, stand tall among the inspirational people, after clinching the prestigious award. The winners of the Award include three girls – Ayesha Sheikh, Eiman Jawwad, and Yumna Majeed, and five boys including Zubair Junjunia, Izzat-Ullah, Muhammad Asim Masoom Zubair, Hassan Ashraf and Muhammad Hamza Waseem. Eiman Jawwad, 16, is the youngest Pakistani who grabbed the award. She was conferred the award for reaching out to Lahore’s largest burn centre, where she claims that she distributed special garments to everyone in need. So far, over 1,200 garments have been distributed among more than 700 patients. Ayesha Sheikh, 17, who hails from Sukkur [Sindh], received her award for promoting quality education, health and producing solutions for sustainability in communities. Ms Sheikh told APP that she had also represented Pakistan at various international forums in the near past. She worked as an active team member of the Royal Entrepreneurs, while organizing students and youth conferences, human rights and women empowerment campaigns. Yumna Majeed, 23, an inspirational youth from Lahore, received the award for her contribution to making space science and space education fashionable in Pakistan, while visiting more than 30 schools and conducting over 50 sessions. She inspired thousands of people to take an interest in space sciences and astronomy, including more than 5,000 children. Yumna told APP that she receives around a dozen invitations/ requests every month for public engagement including talks and outreach sessions from various schools, colleges, universities, NGOs and other organisations. She has also worked with astronauts from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). Muhammad Asim Masoom Zubair, 24, from Bahawalpur was bestowed the honour for working as a front-line healthcare professional during the outbreak of Covid-19 in the beginning. He produced more than 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizers to contain the spread of the pandemic. Talking to APP, Asim Masoom expressed his dissatisfaction with the quality education being provided to the students currently. He said that as a youth ambassador, he represented Pakistan at the United Nations besides visiting more than eight countries. Izzat-Ullah, a 23-year-old award recipient from Quetta, was honoured for supporting and providing consultancy to over 5,000 youths, as a career counselor. He devised a comprehensive plan and made fruitful campaigns amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Balochistan. Izzat told APP that he was the only Pakistani from Balochistan to receive the award, adding he belonged to a remote and backward area and it was very hard in his area to persuade village parents to send their children, especially girls, to school. He said he provided stipend and scholarships to 3,000 students, amid the pandemic and provided food rations to more than 1,000 families, along with running an awareness campaign. Zubair Junjunia from Karachi told APP that he received the award for setting up a blog for exams to share the resources he prepared for his own exams, completely free-of-cost, whilst reiterating the principle that quality education is a right, not a privilege. He said that his high-quality and concise revision educational notes were discovered by the students across the globe and as a result, ‘Znotes’ was born. Today, with hundreds of contributors, ‘Znotes’ has passed 21 million hits with around 3 million unique visitors, becoming a go-to resource for students and teachers, all around the world, he added. Zubair recently completed his Masters degree in Mathematics from the University College London. Muhammad Hamza Waseem got the award for his collaboration work on a student-run magazine ‘Spectra’ during 2017 and onward, publishing around 225 science articles. He mentored more than 200 students in science-journalism. He told APP that he had the honour of organizing a mega public science festival in Pakistan, titled: ‘Lahore Science Mela’, which was attended by more than 60,000 people. As a graduate student at Oxford since October 2019, he has engaged diverse audiences at high profile outreach events. Another young chap, 25-year-old Hassan Ashraf, from Faisalabad, received the award for his ‘Not-for-profit’ organisation ‘UMEED’. The organization has helped spread the network of around 20 branches, educating more than 1,500 children, globally. “During the pandemic, I raised funds and coordinated distribution of ration bags and cash among over 6,000 vulnerable families,” he tells APP. The Diana Award is given to around 50,000 selfless youths across the world, by acknowledging their humanitarian work, services and social action initiatives.