Shri Ram College of Commerce held its annual Youth Conference on 20-21 September 2016, with the theme of ‘Unbound’. The event brought together eminent personalities from various fields and allowed students to interact with them.
The first day of the extravaganza saw many dignitaries get candid about their life stories, fears, and struggles. The event started with a lamp lighting session by the Guest of Honour, Lieutenant- Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Olympic gold medalist and politician, who spoke about his failures and how he overcame them. The next speaker, bestselling author Anuja Chauhan, drew hugely from her work in the advertising industry for 14 years. Her tip to the students: “Never resent your prison. Appreciate it to learn from it.” This was followed by a talk by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who recounted his college days and revealed that all of his films were “borrowed from life.” Mr Kishore Biyani, Founder and COO of Future Groups, got candid about his journey as an entrepreneur and shared words of wisdom with budding entrepreneurs in the audience. An intimate question and answer round followed each talk session.
The afternoon session kick-started with an audience that was crazy to meet Manish Paul. The anchor-turned-actor entered the auditorium and was greeted with a huge round of applause. He was accompanied by his father who is an alumnus of SRCC. When asked about rejection, he replied “I don’t call struggle as struggle, I call it a learning period”. He also gave tips on how to approach a girl. This session was followed by a conversation between Abhinav Bindra and Nikhil Naz. Bindra, gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics, spoke about the importance of hard work. “There is nothing such as talent. Talent is overrated. It is all about hard work. Hard work is my only talent.” Next, Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan and Harry Sachdeva came to promote their upcoming film ’31st October’ – a movie based on the anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi. She asked students to never stop learning, and said “You should always be a student in your life.” This was followed by an interaction with Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, director of the film Nil Battey Sannata. She claimed that “success is very short lived”, and we should appreciate what we have now. The evening ended with a great musical performance by Prateek Kuhad who enthralled the audience with songs like ‘Ab Hoga Kya’ and ‘Into The Night’.
The second day had as impressive a line-up of speakers as its predecessor. It started off with Ramakanth Gaur, a prominent defense lawyer who spoke extensively about money laundering and political interference. The second speaker was acclaimed film director Prakash Jha. Having dropped out of Ramjas College to follow his passion, he spoke about being unbound in following one’s hobby and believing in it, as well as his plans for future movies. The notoriously hungry duo of Rocky and Mayur from Highway On My Plate then took over the show. From displaying images of their travels and food exploits, to binding the hands of an audience member to relay the message that “only you can unbind yourself,” the food journalists had the entire audience doubling over with laughter by the time they exited. The next session was by Rahul Ram from the band Indian Ocean. An alumni of St Stephen’s College, IIT Kanpur, and Cornell University, he is an acclaimed musician and social activist. Having strayed from the academic path himself, he spoke of the importance of being rebellious. Having been jailed for protesting during the Narmada Bachao Andolan, he said “If you do something that the government doesn’t like, you’ll go to jail someday. Don’t worry about it, it’s not a big deal.”
The final session saw three eminent speakers and two stand up comics. Kailash Kher kicked off the evening session with his inspiring words and encouraged the audience to respect art while discussing his firm belief in the healing power of music. Piyush Pandey followed with a truly novel session during which he presented sets of commercials, including those of Cadbury and Google and talked about the creative process behind them. Next was a talk with Dr Shashi Tharoor, a headline event. The eminent politician and thinker shared his personal experiences in Delhi University and spoke freely on controversial issues such as secularism and the current national leadership, while also entertaining questions from the audience. One of his stand-out statements was that “We all want political leaders we don’t have to make excuses for”. Finally, Sorabh Pant of East India Comedy and Papa CJ, a world renowned comedian, performed shows to end the conference on a humorous note. They interacted frankly with the student audience and provided the perfect end to the two-day event. Youth Conference 2016 was therefore a huge success, leaving the audience with a lifetime of memories.
Image Credits: Harshit Thukral for DU Beat