Hyderabad, 12th February 2022: Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hyderabad, organized the fifth edition of its most revered event, TEDx, on February 12th, 2022, with much vigor and enthusiasm. The event featured an array of successful and esteemed personalities from across the country with the theme 'VELARIUM,' which refers to the extended part of a stadium's roof that protects the spectators from harsh weather. Akin to the velarium that stood over the Colosseum, bringing together people for years under its roof, TEDx has always brought ideas, thoughts, and experiences into a melting pot. The inspiration behind the theme is to celebrate the canopy of ideas that can make this world a better place. The speakers enlightened the audience on a diverse range of challenging themes that focus on the questions driving the very human existence.
Sharad Kumar, the first speaker of the event, a para high jumper, former world number one, and an Arjuna Awardee, mentioned the hardships he faced in his quest to prove his mettle. Diagnosed with polio at an early age, he elaborated his constant battle with society's discriminative mindset towards physically challenged people. He expressed distress over the disheveled condition of the federation in 2008 when he reached the paralympic sports federation, Bangalore, due to the unavailability of proper equipment & sponsors. He quoted, "Look at us now in 2022. The whole country is proud of us. The PM gives us time and priority. That is the determination of not being out." He recalled the two-year ban imposed due to false accusations of doping at the London Games 2012, wherein he responded by working through the situation and winning at the 2014 Asian paralympic games. He elaborated on the struggles with an injury before Tokyo Games, wherein he drew inspiration from Bhagavad Gita. He further mentioned that the hard work paid off when he won a bronze medal. A beacon of hope to all those who feel lost and discouraged, Sharad enlightened the students with persistence, perseverance, and consistency.
The next speaker, CEO & Co-founder of Twin Win, and a celebrated motivational speaker, Vaibhav Pande, spoke about "Perception as a tool to be a winner," wherein the session revolved around how people have different perspectives about the same thing. He emphasized the importance of networking and trusting people around us. Mr. Pande quoted Dr. Jonas and stated that the molecule structure of a human body changes every seven years and related it to the changes in human personalities over the same time. He recalled instances wherein a competitor's advice helped him win a debate competition while skeptical about trusting his competitor. He emphasized that opportunities knock on our doors only once and reinstated that the happiest man is not the richest one. He believes that the world deserves to be where people can trust each other.
The next speaker, Sahithi Mannar, Founder - Sama Jeevan Foundation, enlightened the audience on "Surviving Child Sexual Abuse." She highlighted multiple incidents from her childhood where she faced sexual abuse & molestation. She elaborated on the treacherous eleven years it took to recover from trauma to reinstate & re-establish the tremendous courage to speak about it. She recalled the regular therapy sessions that constituted the recovery and healing and spotlighted the society's need to have such unsettling conversations. Mannar concluded by advising not to downplay anyone who wishes to be vocal about any form of abuse.
A teacher by profession, Rajeev Poddar has been confined to a room for 42 years, never received a formal education, and still is a source of inspiration to many. Rajeev is a two-time Padma Shree nominee and founder of a non-profit organization, Knowledge Capsules. He began by stating, "Everything is possible in the world." Paralyzed and unable to move, Rajeev had best utilized his time reading newspapers, collecting information, and curating content. His academic journey began when he started tutoring his neighbor's kid. Since then, he immersed himself in constant learning and upskilling. Rajeev emphasized the importance of going on despite complex challenges by quoting, "There is light at the end of the tunnel." He mentioned his NGO, Knowledge Capsules, wherein he and his team help students become acquainted with current affairs. He exemplified that the pandemic has made online education acceptable & adaptable and enunciated that one can never forego the importance of constant learning. As he quoted, "Smooth seas never make a good sailor," he concluded by stating that one should always perform every task with utmost dedication and integrity.
The next session of the event commenced with Ninad Daithanakar, a young classical musician and recipient of Ajay Bakshi Smruti Puruskar, who serenaded the audience with the melody of an equally unique instrument, the Santoor. Ninad highlighted Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and his contribution to the popularity of Santoor, wherein the students were spellbound by the musical renditions of popular songs and ragas. An engineer by profession, Ninad reiterated the famous dialogue from 3 idiots. "Run after excellence, and success will automatically follow you."
Anubhav Sapra began with the quote by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, "Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go." Anubhav, the founder of Delhi Food Walks, spoke of culinary diversity and its significance by highlighting the gradual change of eating habits in Indian society. He mentioned that in his quest to explore cuisines and share food stories, he also launched a YouTube channel in 2011 which has amassed over a million subscribers. Through research on street food vendors, he highlighted his findings that there are up to three million food vendors in India, wherein no proper organization is presently responsible for their upliftment. He also mentioned their challenges, including public trust deficit and related hygiene issues. He truly believes that street food accustoms us to a region and is indeed the pulse of a nation.
Sahil Pruthi, of recent Shark Tank fame, is an engineer, an entrepreneur, and the founder of Keto India and Livofy. Sahil gave the students a step-by-step guide to finding their passion wherein he talked about his love for 'All things stage' and how it helped him be a better entrepreneur today. He quoted, "You are not confused; you are evolving." He inspired the students by mentioning that dabbling careers, road blockers, nothing can stop one if they are determined to learn. He elaborated about his participation in business plan competitions as he loved to present ideas. He inspired the new generation who always wanted to do more by quoting, "You can't always care about what people think of you, do things in life despite caring what people think of you." He concluded by saying, "Finding your passion, in most cases, is not a thing. It is the combination of your skills that shall create magic". His speech tremendously fuelled the student's zeal and enthusiasm to keep the learning curve going.
Sherlin Seth, Actress, Femina Miss India Tamil Nadu 2017, was the last speaker of the event. She enlightened the audience on the topic 'An Engineer Can Become Anything and Everything.' She mentioned that she always wanted to be an engineer like her father, however growing up, she dreamt of becoming an astronaut. She believed in education to be a safer career option, whereas the journey to becoming an actress started at her college fashion club, where she left her job to give the acting career a shot, but the film got shelved. Seth emphasized the fact that her journey was never a planned path. She compared the two professions of engineering and acting in terms of innovation and perspectives and concluded that there is no shortcut to success.
The event came to a close with the vote of thanks by the members of the Organizing Committee. The audience had an enthralling experience listening to the life stories of the esteemed speakers. TEDx thus gave the students a thought-provoking session and concluded on a positive note.