Published: 11th August 2018
Everything you need to know about the Harvard MUN in Hyderabad on August 12
At the Harvard MUN being held in Hyderabad, students are discussing issues that trouble the world today
As you read this, some of the finest young minds are debating and deliberating on issues that are hindering the progress of the world at the eight edition of the Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) India programme. Hosted by the Hyderabad-based EdTech company, Worldview Education and the Harvard International Relations Council, the HMUN which started on August 12 and will go on till August 15, is happening at the HICC in Hyderabad. The concept is the same as any Model UN, students role-play as diplomats from various countries and discuss 21st-century problems, but this time, Worldview is doing something different. While they have had renowned guests like KT Rama Rao, Cabinet Minister of Telangana, and Rakesh Sharma, the only Indian citizen to have travelled in space, this time they are bringing unsung heroes on board.
Worldview makes sure that they encourage participants from semi-urban and remote areas of India as well. They have Indian students coming in from 50 towns
"We realised that dignitaries can be less approachable and because of their own time commitments, they speak and leave. We wanted to bridge the gap of interaction between the students and our external speakers," says Sampreeth Reddy, the Founder and MD of Worldview Education, while Aditya Soma, the Executive Director and CMO adds, "We also find that students feel intimidated by them sometimes." True to their word, this time they have marine activist Afroz Shah, who famously cleared Mumbai's Versova beach, Dr A S Kiran Kumar, former Chairman of ISRO and many others. "We also want children to understand that to create impact, you don't have to start an NGO. You can work in a private company and still harness the scope of impact," says Soma. This is why there are people like Ishteyaque Amjad, Vice-President – Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola on the speakers list as well. They also have a delegation from Afghanistan and Brazil participating for the first time and the Afghan ambassador will also be speaking at the event.
In this post-truth era, the HMUN can set an example as to how to look at one issue from multiple perspectives
Sampreeth Reddy, Founder and MD, Worldview Education
Another art Worldview Education has mastered is managing the downtime energy of students. "Four continuous days at the HMUN can get quite hectic, so at the end of the day, we organise concerts and other activities," says Soma. What endears the duo about the debaters is that they don't simply throw numbers in the air of, say, the number of deaths in Syria, they understand the value of human life behind these numbers. "Students are keenly interested in global issues and that is always heartwarming to see," says Reddy, while Soma adds that, "it is our responsibility to channelise the energy that students have for activism."
More than 1,500 students from over 200 schools in India and around the world participate in the HMUN. There will be as many as 16 to 17 agendas
"We want to look at this generation as the generation of problems solvers because they can't afford to ignore global issues. We want to immerse students in these issues and make them start thinking that global issues can be solved with local action," says Reddy in conclusion.
For more, click on hmunindia.org