THESTATESMAN: Inspiration Housefull at TEDxDTU

From matters of the heart to adventures in the racing circuit to experiences of a Reggie artist—TEDx DTU event witnessed interesting tales and innovative ideas being shared as 12 distinguished speakers came under one roof to lecture on the theme “Deconstructing perceptions; reconstructing identities” in New Delhi on Monday.

The event kicked off with a soulful performance by Delhi Technological University (DTU) music society—Madhurima. Speaking at the event, Alisha Abdullah, the first ever woman to make it to the podium in the Polo Cup highlighted how she "bunked classes to attend gym" and self-motivated herself every time people said that "she can't be a racer as she is a girl".

"Our life is like football match, there's one goal, but there are so many people, trying to distract you, don't lose focus," Abdullah said.

Currently, she is in the process of building India's first all women bike racing group with 80 individuals from her academy Alisha Abdullah Racing Academy for Women.

Next, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute chairman, Dr. Ashok Seth who is known as "Sachin Tendulkar of cardiology" described his journey as "success of default strategies" revealing that he became a heart specialist by accident and returned to India from England against his own wishes.

Dr. Seth emphasised on the importance of prayers while noting that researches suggest "prayers benefit patients".

"We are seduced by the advancement of science... But, spirituality tells us how to live in this world, prayers have shown to benefit patients... Now, a combination of science and spirituality can heal social illnesses also," Seth said.

While "Delhi Sultanate" Taru Dalmia threw light on the connection between Reggie music and revolution, Franchise India's Editor-in-chief Ritu Marya underlined the need for Indian products to focus on branding and marketing.

"Kake da dhaba in Connaught Place serves the best butter chicken since almost the last 150 years... As entrepreneurs they need to be confident and expand and don't limit themselves... Franchising is all about not limiting great ideas to a small space," Marya said, adding that "after the Narendra Modi government came to power the scene has improved to a great extent."

Speaking on his collaboration with local artists, Dalmia mentioned Punjab-based Ban Singh, a dalit whose daughter was raped by men belonging to the upper caste and the oppressed tribals of Niyamgiri hills. He highlighted how music is used as a powerful tool by communities to spread messages.

Adding sparkle to the event, Mrs. India Worldwide 2014 runners up Dr.Shivangi Maletia shared her inspiring story and attempted to change people's perception towards pageantry and called it an "evolutionary process".

After becoming a successful dentist and giving birth to her child, Maletia went through repeated bouts of panick attacks and was under severe depression for three months. Her life changed gradually as she started discovering her inner self and recognised her hidden desire to be a pageant winner.

Maletia embarked upon the journey to win a beauty pageant "with a 95 kgs body" and "a child" when the contest was just six months ahead. She went on to win many more titles and proudly shared her mantra to a successful and positive life.

Besides that social worker and educator Aaron Friedland pointed out that high rate of illiteracy is persistent in India, while quoting figures like 287 million illiterate adults reside in the country and added that Indians have potential to do better. He also discussed initiatives undertaken by his organisation The Walking School Bus to educate children in various countries across the world. Friedland cited distance to schools and lack of nutritious as barriers to education.

Inspiring audiences with stories of his dynamic journey, car designer Dilip Chhabria narrated how he successfully plays around with pistons now and started off working with a pencil many years ago. MD Sanjay Modi, Paytm's VP Lomesh Dutta, Bollywood actress Richa Chaddha among others also greeted the occasion.

The one-day event, curated by Angad Grover, was held after four years gap.