Khaitan Public School conducted its first TEDx event on the7th of December 2019 in the school auditorium. The tagline for the completely sold out event was ‘Ideate. Contemplate. Create.’ The impetus for the event comes from TED an organization that promotes ‘ideas worth sharing’.
The mega event, officially christened TEDxKhaitanPublicSchool, was conducted with the purpose sharing new ideas and innovations. The school played host to 13 illustrious speakers from varied areas of expertise to address an august gathering of a 100 students, parents, educators and administrators.
The Guests of Honour for the event was Padmashri Ms.Phoolbasan Bai Yadav, a social worker and the founder of the non-government organization ‘Maa Bamleshwari Janhit Kare Samiti’, Chattisgarh. She shared her journey from an impoverished household and child bride to receiving the Padmashri in her keynote address. Delhi Ratna recipient, composer and sitar player, Mr Shubhendra Rao was the second Guest of Honour, who emphasised the need for keeping oneself open to learning. The event started with a soulful rendition of Raga Maalkos. The diverse cast of speakers, took the stage one by one, sharing new ideas and unravelling them piece by piece over the course of their allotted eighteen minutes.
The first speaker, Rijul Arora, a technology enthusiast and a millennial, spread the message of having a meaningful and controlled relationship with technology. He advocated revelling in JOMO or the joy of missing out by trying out a 12 hour daily digital detox. Author Sherry, the founder and president of ‘MS Talks India’ and a renowned public speaking coach, expressed his views about the inescapable relevance of communication in personal and social spheres. He underlined the importance of verbal and non-verbal cues in the sharing of ideas in his talk filled with histrionics that had the audience in rapt attention. Tushar Kumar a multi-talented, entertainer par excellence and a charismatic mentalist, succeeded in weaving his magic and enthralling the audience with his bag of illusions. He spoke about how our world view, actions and reactions depend on our perception of what we see, feel and hear. He enunciated the need to unbox our mind and convert the impossible into the possible.
Mr. Raj Neravati, the founder & CEO of ‘Hug Innovations’, is credited with the creation of an application for the Reserve Bank of India and a smart safety watch for women. He gave voice to the need for Gen X to re-evaluate their value system and seek new methods of fruitful collaboration. Ms Advika Nair, an ITch Summit speaker and the youngest person to ever speak at a TEDx forum in India, spoke about humanity being a great idea. Her address, titled ‘Humanity- What a great idea!’ revolved around the potential to change the world inherent in every child that the adults must learn. Dr Komal Kamra is an accomplished educator, internationally acclaimed researcher and professor of Zoology. For her, being bound to a wheelchair for the past 26 years has never been a hurdle in realising the world and beyond. She conveyed that disabilities are opportunities to live life to the fullest. She also added that our relationships with the rest of the world and, most importantly, with ourselves are the keys to happiness.
Fouzia Dastango, the first woman story teller in the Dastangoi tradition and the recipient of the ‘Tagore Veteran Artist Award’, shared her journey from being a scooter mechanic’s daughter to becoming a Dastangoi exponent. She also shared how she created a niche for herself in a traditionally male dominated art form. Abhinav Malhotra, the founder of Rab Shukran –India’s Happiness Brigade, has had the unique privilege of working with both the Indian and British governments on issues related to inclusion and human rights. He spoke of how little things can make a big difference in this age of distrust in his talk titled ‘Being Human in the age of Machines’. Major Mohommed Ali Shah, ex-military personnel, passionate actor and alumnus of IIM Calcutta, vocalised his thoughts on manifesting ideas into reality. He cited examples from his life, underlining the fact that, one should never underestimate the power of self belief and determination.
A brilliant performance by the band ‘Meteorite’ marked the beginning of the post lunch session. The band members performed their original compositions, ‘Fariyaad’ and ‘Begaani’, to extraordinary strings and percussion. Nishant Upadhyay, the founder architect of ‘Dharatal’ and a heritage consultant to UNESCO shared an impactful idea for ecology. He touched upon how the idea of conserving forlorn 18th century royal gardens led to the building of local cultural identity and the revival of traditional farming techniques in the drought prone Bundelkhand area. ‘SangeetYogashree’ Ms Anusuya Ghosh Banerjee, who is also a bharatnatyam exponent, eminent teacher and choreographer from the Nrittakshetra Academy of performing arts, articulated her thoughts on dance as a medium of expression and the guru shishya tradition. Her graceful movements and ‘nritya mudras’ punctuated her speech beautifully. Devica Joshi, an alumnus of Khaitan Public School, a digital nomad, entrepreneur and founder of ‘Digitize My Brand’- a digital marketing and location independent startup, talked about the power of travel and how it could change everything we know.
The event ended with a dance drama on the resilience and valour displayed by Draupadi the fire woman from the epic Mahabharta. The vote of thanks was presented by Ms Gunjan Tripathi, the Organiser of theTEDx. The attendees left the venue feeling enriched and invigorated after a day well spent. Guests exclaimed that they felt intellectually and spiritually stimulated after the experience. TEDxKhaitanPublicSchool has proven to be a vibrant red feather in the school’s cap.