Bangalore: After many months of preparation and ironing out the creases, the first day of the South Asian Youth Conference found itself at the doorstep of the Auditorium at IIM-B, buzzing with the enthusiasm and energy generated by its set of geographically dispersed participants.
The welcome note by head organizer at Blue Ribbon Movement, Abhishek Thakore set the tone of the Conference straight, with its emphasis on the Real. The journey of the SAYC was mapped out from its germination at the World Youth Congress in August 2010 to May 2011.
This was followed by the three keynote speakers: Professor Pankaj Chandra, Dean IIM-B, David Woolcombe, President of Peace Child International and Professor Rooshikumar Pandya, expert and master trainer in all aspects of communication and behavioural sciences.
Professor Chandra, in his inaugural speech, responded to Abhishek’s grateful bafflement that IIM-B threw open its doors and resources for the Conference of their own accord, by saying that the implications of a Conference of this nature were too great to ignore. In a brief speech peppered with anecdotes, he hoped that “This Too Shall Pass” was applicable to the turmoil and disharmony experienced by the SAARC region.
In keeping with the idea of real possibilities and limitless dreams, students from the Sri Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind (SRMBA) performed three short, stimulating dance pieces including a breath-taking piece with lamps that reflected their skill and sense of spatial aesthetics.
Immediately after was the keynote address by Professor Pandya, covering aspects of Leadership that could be traced from Pattanjali to the Present. In his address Professor Pandya brought out the commonalities in a handful of success stories, while motivating the participants to constantly strive for success as its potential is within us all.
The strife towards success was set in context by David Woolcombe, who outlined the goals and tone of the Conference. Reading out from his play Peace Child, which is the foundation block of Peace Child International, Mr. Woolcombe brought to the attention of the participants, the density of meaning of the Conference and the scope of its results, especially the Action based Change Declaration (ABCD) which is the tangible end result of the Conference.
The events of the evening were rounded off by a special Satria dance performance by Krishnashri Kashyap from Assam. Communicating the ideas of Peace as reflected in mythology, Krishnashri gave a stunning performance that ended in loud applause.
Finally, the participants were divided into “Families” in keeping with the structure of the Conference and took off to meet, chat and break ice in anticipation of the activity-packed days ahead.
The Conference is from the 23rd to the 28th of May and will include plenaries, workshops, an Oxford Style Debate, Round Table, Panel Discussion and much more in its endeavour to get down and dirty with the possible ways of handling the tension in the region, through the medium of Peace.
It is organized by the Blue Ribbon Movement, supported by Peace Child International and hosted by IIM-B. This Conference is also the Regional Meet for UN’s Sustainability Conference: the Rio+20 Conference to be held next year.
Disclosure: Youth Ki AwaazÂ is an Online Media Partner of the South Asian Youth Conference