The first TEDx Youth at AKA Hyderabad | Aga Khan Academies

The first TEDx Youth at AKA Hyderabad

04 June 2018

120 guests that primarily included Academy students, faculty, senior management, heads of departments and alumni attended our first TEDxYouth@AKAHyderabad on Saturday 26th May, whose theme was ‘Think Again.’ Eight speakers, two performances and two TED videos were organised in two sessions, with a snacks break in between, and dinner afterwards.

TEDx at the Academy was kicked off by grade 8 student Armaan Manji, who delivered a deeply moving and succinct talk about overcoming lymphoma at the age of five, just after the death of his mother. Three recently graduated Diploma Programme students – Zahra Quadri, Moiz Rajwani and Sahir Devani – spoke on creativity, pluralism as an antidote to cultural ignorance, and mental health awareness respectively. Their talks were marked by an exceptional level of clarity and coherence. Their classmate, Saathwik Yadavalli, cast a spell over the venue with his touching renditions of local folk songs, aimed at empowering women in India.

External speakers included Archana Prashar, also a member of the Academy’s extended network as our previous PYP Coordinator, who talked about student agency in creating large scale social impact through education. Gauri Nori, currently pursuing a PhD in film studies, delivered a masterful presentation on parallel cinema and encouraged us to partake in experimental film as a means of deepening empathy and broadening our human experience.

Dr. Chandrashekar, a published author, enlightened the audience about a holistic and integrated approach to solving personal and professional problems; while feminist-philanthropist Pavana shared her stunning photo essays, a medium through which she tackles the concept of ‘unlearning privilege.’ Grade 3 form tutor Nivedita Paul and grade 11 student Preksha Reddy performed a beautiful classical dance piece, specially curated along the event’s main theme and titled ‘an author’s creation.’

The event received was highly appreciated by those in attendance. Chloe Hill, the Academy’s PYP Coordinator, said: “Well done for a fantastic event, extremely well-coordinated and presented. The chosen speakers were incredibly engaging and it’s great to see such valuable contributions from those in our extended school community. You have set the bar very high for the succeeding TEDx events. Well done for instituting this tradition in our Academy.”

Grade 11 students Sayema Mayesha Syeda, Nabil Patel and Tanish Panjwani, facilitated by Academy communications specialist Kamini Menon, were the chief organisers. Art faculty Vijayraghavan Srinivasan created the backdrop and stage art, and grade 11 student Aurodeep Ray drew portraits of all the speakers as gifts of gratitude.  A further 18 volunteers from grades 10 and 11 assisted in bringing the event alive through assistance with audience curation, design, social media, set-up, registration and ushering. The ceremony ended with a short address by Sayema, who told the potential organizers of next year’s TEDx:

“At the Academy you will often come across people who indicate to you what should be your priority, people who try to define your path. But it is you, it is your willingness, your commitment and your passion which can trace a path for which you will be remembered. As you walk out from this venue we want you to think again about what you want to do, who you want to be and where you want to be. No matter what comes your way - rejection, disapproval or failure, you are here to make history, you are here to make it or break it. So stop and think again!”

Click here to see the full gallery of TEDxYouth@Hyderabad. 

Written by Kamini Menon

Photos by Kais Vasaya (grade 8)