As the date of the fifth edition of Voices in Vasant Valley drew nearer, the corridors of Vasant Valley were echoing with matters relating to Voices. “Which speakers are coming?” “What do you think they’ll talk about?” The excitement was steadily building up.
On the morning of 6th September,2019 as the last-minute arrangements and adjustments were made, the entire school was enveloped in both anticipation and excitement. But as the speakers started arriving and the event kicked off to a start, the frenzied nervousness was replaced confidence.
The various speakers for this years’ event, Mr Anand Kumar, Mr Rocky Singh, Mr Harshvendra Soin, Mr Dhruv Shringi, Lt Gen D S Hooda, Ms Ameesha Chauhan, Ms Arundhati Katju and Ms Ritu Beri shared personal anecdotes, stories of struggle and gave advice to the young minds in the audience and everyone listened with rapt attention Every speaker engaged in a Question and Answer Session with the audience and this enriched the experience and interaction even more.
What our ‘Voices 2019’ had to say at this year’s session
1.Mr Anand Kumar, a renowned Indian mathematician and educationalist, discussed his flagship SUPER 30 program for IIT coaching of 30 underprivileged gifted minds that he personally selects and trains for the JEE examination. He talked about the struggles that he faced in life and the tenacity he overcame them with.
2.Mr Rocky Singh, Host of a food and travel show Highway On My Plate, encouraged the young audience to think independently without bias. He quoted a thought-provoking phrase by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t as-
sign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the
3.A prominent business personality and Chief Peoples Officer at Tech Mahindra, Mr Harshvendra Soin spoke about the power of dreams and emphasised on how success only
came to people who had the courage to dream. Mr. Soin told the audience that to achieve one’s dream, one had to believe in it, give it wings and unleash wild imagination.
“Don’t keep both feet on the ground. Always keep one leg in the air, experimenting.”
4.Mr. Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO of Yatra.com, epitomises the young fresh entrepreneurial face of India. He talked to the students about founding Yatra in a moment of ‘Dutch Courage’ and how he slowly turned it into the profitable enterprise it is today. Discussing his struggles with running a start-up, Mr. Shringi inspired the students through several anecdotes from his early days.
“Entrepreneurship is a state of mind”
5.Lt.Gen.DS Hooda, a retired army commander, explained how the army is trying to introduce women in front line posts after discussing and figuring out the logistics. He also answered some questions to do with the relation of the government and military, military expenditure, the surgical strikes and evacuations in posts like Siachen.
“Loyalty, honesty and courage are indispensable to the Military”
6.Ms Ameesha Chauhan, an indomitable mountaineer, started with a video of her ascent of Mount Everest and showed the students the various hardships she faced on the climb. Her constant zeal in the face of failure inspired the students as she climbed, in spite of having to cross multiple carcasses in bone-chilling weather She then told the audience of her most recent attempt to reach the summit, and how success made her believe that she conquer anything.
“The best views come after the hardest climb.”
7. Ms Arundhati Katju, decorated Supreme Court Lawyer, emerged victorious in the Section 377 case. Ms. Katju explained that the removal of Section 377 was in accordance with our Constitution’s foundation that is based on equality. She also spoke about the five petitioners who came forward, and how she admires their courage and willpower.
“The case of Section 377 reminds us how stories can change the law”
8.Ms Ritu Beri, a renowned fashion designer based in New Delhi, spoke to us about her journey as a fashion designer. She encouraged us to “discover our genius” and pursue our passion.
“You have to love to learn”