Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi hosted its first KNC Youth Conclave on 12th March 2019 in the college auditorium and witnessed some historic speeches by eminent speakers and academics. The Principal, Dr. Kalpana Bhakuni welcomed the speakers and opened the event.
The opening session of KNC Youth Conclave was ‘Education par Charcha,’ a Panel Discussion on ‘Challenges in Higher Education,’ which was graced by eminent academics, Professor Avijit Pathak from CSSS, JNU and Professor Poonam Batra from CIE, DU and moderated by Dr.Anjana Srivastava, KNC. Professor Avijit Pathak talked about the normalization of violence, surveillance, and techno-hallucination as the main pathologies and challenges of our times. He highlighted the role that education plays in making us active creators of history rather than being passive spectators. Professor Poonam Batra talked about theoretical as well as cultural bases education. She also emphasized on the liberty to think and allowing students to form a unique perspective as the only way for them to grow as an individual.
The second session of the event was ‘Koffee at KNC,’ an informal yet engaging interaction with two young achievers and famous KNC alumni,
Ms. Shilpi Marwaha, Founder, Sukhmanch Theatre Group and Ms. Medhavi Gandhi, Founder, TheHeritageLab.in and Happy Hands Foundation, hosted by Ms. Nidhi Bhandari, Convenor of BA Programme Committee. Both alumni talked about how KNC and its education helped them in reaching heights and choosing unconventional career paths. They emphasized the importance of extra curricular activities in Kamala Nehru College and talked in detail about how college theatre shaped both of them as individuals. They shared some bits about their college life and encouraged the audience not to be afraid of pursuing their passion.
The third session of the day, ‘Masti ki Paathshala: Theatre-in-Education’ focused on the idea of how theatre is a strong medium for education and the different ways it can be used with students and for students. The speaker for this event was Mr. Walter Peter, ex-member of Theatre-in-Education at NSD. He emphasized the idea of theatre being an inclusive medium that can use the participation of both children and adults to spread a larger message. He went on to mention how Theatre incorporates creativity in all the allied arts and provides students the freedom to perform, act and express themselves in a way like no other platform in school.
The closing session of this momentous day was ‘Guftagoo with Ravish.’ The college auditorium was packed in anticipation by eager students and faculty. Mr. Ravish Kumar, thinker, and journalist, delivered an impactful address on the current situation of the education system. He emphasized that the education system should be completely free of political biases, where young minds can access the opportunity to think and hold their own opinions irrespective of any fear. He stressed the importance of being an individual self with opinions and a formless mind which is always ready to learn and change anytime. His discussions also revolved around the press and power of media and the upcoming youth of this country, who demands peace at any cost, are the future of the country and who have the right to information.
Ravish’s inimical satiric style created many moments of laughter but also drove the young listeners towards critical thinking. The numerous questions from the students prolonged the session by an hour.
The audience celebrated the performance of ‘Dastak,’ a street play performance by Sukhmanch Theatre Group with a standing ovation. The play revolved around the social conditioning of women and men which lets ill-treatment towards women continue. Shilpi Marwaha, the director of the play and Founder of Sukhmanch Theatre group, played the narrator in a powerful and gut-wrenching dramatization. The stand-up comedy act by Rajat Chauhan on school life and childhood left the audience in splits. Rajat’s act spoke to so many in his audience of common experiences in school.
Kamala Nehru College’s first KNC Youth Conclave, organized by the BA Programme Committee and students, was a roaring success. The motive to get the Youth back into conversations in and about education was fulfilled beautifully.