The places where moments reside

Day 1: JoshTalks New Delhi. #LEAP2016

 This October, it was time for me to head to the main josh talks event, the same big event of which I had a preview in June this year in Lucknow It was a flying visit for me in the literal sense too. I reached the venue as per the timing on the ticket to say that the preparations was still going on and it would be sometime before the event kicked off. On time, I collected my ticket from the registration counter and headed inside. It was a two-day event and a total of 23 speakers were to be there, something which I had never witnessed before. 

The first speaker, which later turned into a host was Deepak Ramola. He heads Project Fuel – a place where life lessons were collected and passed on further to various other people. He has travelled a number of countries talking to various people, interacting with refugees, living in refugee camps for days and weeks on end and learning what those people have experienced in real life. Same is with various people in India.

Many times we have heard about stories of how people make it from rags to riches. Vicky Roy is one such person who did exactly that. Due to poverty, he ran away from home coming to New Delhi and became a rag picker in a company of children at the railway station. Send to a shelter home. He learnt only on his own. With not much interest in academics, he turned to photography as an area of interest in which he related them left the liking. With support from Salam Baalak trust, he underwent many training stints, workshops , where he learned photography. As he rose from the streets to where he was today he decided to shoot street kids through his photos. He has had many exhibitions now.

The next performer, set the beat to the program through music - beat boxing to be exact. Vineeth Vincent. I have never ever heard beat boxing before, so it was a new experience for me. It’s basically using common sounds to make up a rhythm and drum up a beat. He loves cycles and his PPT had really cool hand drawn pics like the ones made using crayons. He also was a hostel in Bangalore, which is named “Mediating monkeys” for people who would like to unwind quite, serene environment. His talk was about his journey as to how he took a beat boxing as a career while doing various things in college. I really wish if pics could speak, you would have really listened to the awesome foot tapping music he created onstage.

Arunachalam Muruganantham can be called the man who is heading the sanitary revolution for women in India. A man from the South, his talk was about how he took upon himself to create affordable sanitary pads for women so that economic will sanitary care could be available to every woman in India. His initial experiments were hilarious as he talked that he himself experimented using a cloth to feel that how uncomfortable it is for women. Later on during his research days on the product and machine he had a team of girl volunteers for the same but there was a huge hue and cry from his wife, which almost headed to a divorce but when he told her that what he was creating she herself volunteered and told him that whatever he intends to create an experiment she would be more than willing to do it, another girl and it would be trouble for the marriage. It was his very success of creating the product he was finally looking out for that, he was called abroad many times to be facilitated by various big personalities , some of whom had net worth of billion dollar. Here was a man from India who had no network still bought commanded respect among those personalities.

Sonam Wangchuck- the real Funsuck Waagdoo from the movie 3 idiots. It was on his character that that character in the movie was based on. Coming from the northern state of Kashmir, he has a school named Secmol where students are chosen on the basis of being failures in academics. All they are taught is practical knowledge which can be used in real life. What I called as a budding group of young scientists all willing to research and develop things on their own. His team made Ice Stupas- tall structures which frees the ice in the form of a mountain inventors and slowly, slowly melted as water in summers ensuring what are all the year round. His school uses solar energy. Apart from the practical knowledge in the school all those failures are taught academics in the way they can understand. So over the past few years, the failure rate of students in class Xth has decreased significantly, all thanks to the way Secmol functions. His Ice stupas are so popular that the Switzerland government has ordered them to be exported there.

Ryan Martyer- There is nothing much I can say about him because I rarely watch dance shows of India. People say that he was a finalist of “ So you think you can dance” and I’ll take those words. What he presented was a three-minute breath taking slow dance performance.

Zeishan Quadri- It’s been years and time since I last watched “ Gangs of Wasseypur” and the whole place erupted which shouts of Definite, Definite the moment he walked onstage. His was the most humorous take on his life as to how his father, like all others wanted him to do MBA but as destiny would have it, he tried different jobs in a call centre before he thought of doing something different and came to Mumbai and struggled like everyone else regarding accommodation, living etc. He had a script in mind, and he knew that only under Anurag Kashyap was the person who could make it into a movie. So he began making rounds of his office, hoping to catch him once and present him with the script. He’ll was a new be in the movie industry who knew nothing about movies, as luck would have it at one social gathering under Anurag Kashyap up got hold of him and after learning from him and from the others about moviemaking, he presented him with the script of GOW. As this script was too long, the movie was two parts with the real Wasseypur being reflected in the script and the movie. Part 3 is being written along with a few others, and hopefully it would be out in 2017.

Robin Chaurasiya- The girl who works with the daughters of the sex workers of Kamathipura. They work under the name “Red light Express”. They bring girls out under this group with the various passions. So the art they could tell people all about being strong in a world full of stigma, go places, see the world, not be ashamed of where they come at actually stand on their feet and be proud that what ever they have achieved through this group something which every girl should be proud of. It’s all about making your weakness your strength.

Babita Kumari- this name needs no introduction now. The wrestlers who warn India medals at the Olympics told us of the story of how his father trained her and her sisters in wrestling so that they bring medals for the country in the sport. Their inspiration was Karnam Maheshwari , when she won medals in the 2000 Olympics. Her father said that "If that one daughter can bring medals for the country, I have four so why cant they??" Initially Babita was scared of training , but as time passed on and she got accustomed it got into a routine where she actually looked forward to practising. The rest is history.

Kuldeep Dantewada- He creates eco-solutions for schools etc and encourages students to come up with out-of-the-box simple solutions to common problems. It puts those students into the heart of the problem and makes them understand them at a very personal level, then the student himself finds ways to create a simple solution. For example- creating a toilet of a 20 litre jerry can which can be used in schools and also saving water. A software by another which can be used in elections where the vote is automatically registered with the main server the moment anyone presses a particular symbol button. This eradicates the problem of both capturing in infested areas where this is very common.

Sofia Ashraf- She is a rapper people say. She stood up against HUL and its practice of dumping mercury into the soil via one of its factories. It was a name and shame campaign, which prompted the company to do damage control after she composed a song named as “ Kodaikannal Rocks” , which went viral in less than a week after being released.

Harsh Songra- He himself suffered from motor disability and it took nine years for his parents to get a diagnosed. Today, he notes, 14, programming languages, and his Facebook page is verified by the Facebook COO herself. He has created an app named as “My childhood app” which serves as a guide for parents of children who have some disability or the other. It enables them to track the normal development phases a child must have, what symptoms should the lookout for in the normal growing of a child, in case they find that their child is not normal “special” as I would say they can also meet and get to know parents of such similar children so that they may not feel the stigma of why on earth does only their child has a particular problem or is there anybody else also facing the same issue. That whole was his journey.

All 12 people. I heard on day one, were fighters at in their own right. Each one had a story to tell, either of struggle, offers reaching a point where they were today. That is Josh talks…. Day 1.
Click here for Day 2 : Day 2 JoshTalks 
Day 1: JoshTalks New Delhi. #LEAP2016 Day 1: JoshTalks New Delhi. #LEAP2016 Reviewed by Shwetabh on 5:26:00 PM Rating: 5

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