When I was discussing TED talks during a coffee break with my friends, little did we know that we were only hours away from witnessing one for ourselves.
The theme for this year’s TEDxGurugram was “LEVEL UP”. With 8 speakers and 200 attendees, the event was a perfect opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds.
The event started off with an activity where the audience came together to play a unique game with boom whackers and made music in unison. The challenge was to level-up with each attempt that set the pace with the theme. Since we had our own misconceptions about Talk events, it was refreshing to start the day and prepare ourselves for what was to come. What followed was a journey of various speakers and their incredible ideas and contribution to society.
Dinal Jain, born with a down-syndrome – went on to become a Gold Medalist in Special Olympics despite her disability. She shared, how much her consistent practice in swimming and yoga helped her to focus and concentrate on her passions. And this is not the end goal for her, when asked by the moderator regarding her dreams, she shyly replied that she wanted to open her own café, get married and have a family too. And, to the audience she said, I would like you all to help me find my boyfriend – there was a burst of laughter in the room
Avik Sarkar, Assistant Professor, ISB, shared his journey while working on several projects with the government. He introduced his idea to create a “Partnership based Accountability Platform”, that will be a centralized platform for the citizens to report and take advantage of the facilities that are available and at the same time defining accountabilities and building transparency around it by utilizing the data at disposal.
The project N-Pulse Prognostics was born out ofKajal Shrivastava’s dream to make Ayurveda and health practices more accessible and trustworthy to the world. NadiPulse is focused on building ergonomically precise, data-driven devices, which brings together modern technology and wisdom from the Vedas to create a revolutionary device.
Atishi’s talk on “Delhi’s Education Revolution”was a very inspiring success story on the transformation of Delhi Government Schools. With over 60% of the school-going children, dependent on government schools, she shared the government’s vision to provide not just a dignified environment but also preparing them to take on the future challenges, through the introduction of happiness project in the curriculum. The School Management Systems comprised of parents are set-up who support them in their undertakings.
When Rajiv Bajaj, Chairman, and MD, Bajaj Capital came on stage, our obvious assumption was him talking probably about his enterprise. To our surprise, he brought to light a very beautiful and interesting Japanese concept “Ikigai”. “Iki” stands for “Life” and “gai” for “flow”. Despite all success in his professional journey, he set on a quest for finding his purpose in life and that’s how he discovered his love for Japanese culture and Ikigai. Since then, he has been researching on the subject and also conducting “Ikigai” workshops.
Jonas Suchanek, born and brought up in Auroville, he is an “arborist” a concept that is new to India. Under the banner TreeCare India, his team has been doing exceptional work for creating a sustainable environment. In addition, has been working toward promoting and creating awareness around arboriculture in India through Education, Legislation, and Passion.
Last but the most powerful talk that also received a standing ovation from the audience was the story of Zainab Patel. As she grew up, she faced a lot of abuse while fighting for her identity. She was one of the petitioners of National Legal Services of Authority vs. Union of India, that led to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of India, which declared transgender people to be a ‘third gender’, affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender.
As the theme goes, each moment about the event was a “Level Up”. The event closed with amazing performances by Shruti Jalhar and Djembefola United band.
And this is not the end, this is just a beginning – the talks and experiences shared by everyone including the speakers and the performers not just gives us reasons to be grateful for what we have and but also to make the best out of life through simple and impactful ideas. After all, its gratitude and what we give back to the society that gives real happiness.