In these stressful times, where do young Indians turn for comfort?

To find out, MTV India Insights Studio recently conducted a survey of people aged 15 to 25 across 50 cities in India, as well as multiple types of qualitative research, such as expert salons, digital diaries, friend triads, and interviews with parents and subject matter experts.

Here’s some of what we learned from this research:

Covid-19 lockdown drew them closer to their families. For 65% of young Indians, their family was their biggest source of motivation during lockdown; 62% say their family bonded meaningfully during that time. This pandemic-inspired closeness may be why a fast-growing share says that their family is their number one reason for their happiness – rising from 13% in 2016, to 42% in 2019, to 52% in 2021.

They want partners who are family-oriented. For young Indians, the most important attributes in a boyfriend or girlfriend are being supportive, having “no ego,” and being family-oriented. They want the same things in a life partner – except being family-oriented rises to the #2 position.

Spirituality is a source of relaxation and comfort. Two-thirds describe themselves as “stressed” and the pandemic clearly took a toll on them; 1 in 3 say they felt the need for mental health help during lockdown. Spirituality is one way they relieve stress. More than 6 in 10 young Indians (62%) believe that spirituality gives them better clarity in a confusing world. Two-thirds (67%) say the world around them has too many distractions and complications, and religious practices help them calm down. And 70% say that they feel relaxed or in in control of their life after they have prayed.