Published: 10th September 2018
TEDxHyderabad is coming to town with speakers like Tabu, General VK Singh and others
At the fourth edition of TEDxHyderabad, we will be hearing thought-provokers, artists and sportspersons speak about how rethinking changed their lives and the world around them
We have all heard of the concepts of unlearn and relearn. But what does it mean to rethink? This is what TEDxHyderabad is all about this time, informs Viiveck Verma, co-organiser of TEDXHyderabad and General Secretary of the non-for-profit that organises this event, Society for Advancement of Human Endeavour (SAHE). And it is those rethinkers — movers, shakers, enablers and doers — who will be speaking at this event which will be held on September 16 at JRC Conventions & Trade Fairs, Jubilee Hills. "Their 'ReThinking' gave way to a whole new perspective — whether it was the validation of the original idea, a more holistic look at it or a complete pivot from the original direction," explains Verma; think stalwarts like actor Tabu, General VK Singh, Chief Secretary of Telangana Dr SK Joshi and several others. They will be sharing their thoughts about how rethinking changed things for them and for the people around them. The aim this year is also to take community engagement to a higher level, informs Verma. The Kandikunta Lake Restoration has been a major milestone in the journey of involving communities. In the run-up to the event, we catch up with three speakers to learn about them and their experiences.
Dr Falguni Vasavada-Oza
I absolutely love the fact that people who speak on this platform, speak directly from their heart because either they are talking about an area they are passionate about or speaking from experience
Dr Falguni Vasavada-Oza, Professor, MICA
The first impression one gets of Dr Falguni Vasavada-Oza is of an out-and-out fashionista. Currently, a Marketing and Advertising professor at MICA, Ahmedabad, Dr Vasavada-Oza is often seen rocking dresses and shades of lipstick that very few would dare to experiment with. But, “wearing what you love is just the beginning of living life on your own terms,” says the professor who also advocates for body positivity and self-love. Having faced situations where people have commented on her weight directly, she now doesn’t take it sitting down and advises others to follow suit. “Ever since I became a body positive person, irrespective of the background of the person commenting, I react firmly. I do not take these as jokes anymore and I also react when people around me are body shamed,” she says vehemently. Speaking about another strong subject of hers, Marketing and Advertising, she says, “With the advent of digital and data, the field is going through a makeover. Advertising is shifting to content and towards conversations with a community of consumers. The future is bright, but all these changes have to be welcomed and understood as well,” she assures us, ending with a note about how much she loves the platform of TEDx, where she will be speaking on 'Shut the Shame'.
Dr Ramanjaneyulu GV
Our effort towards making public policy work for farmers by improving governance systems is showing encouraging results
Dr Ramanjaneyulu GV, Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Dr Ramanjaneyulu GV, Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad, is another speaker we are excited about. He is currently working hard to meet the goal of making sure that farmers go pesticide-free by 2027. Not only are he and his team organising farmers into farmer producer organisations and linking them to markets so that initiatives can sustain, they are also working to establish other support systems, run a helpline called Kisan Mitra (08500 98 3300) and develop IT tools like eKrishi to help farmers in problem diagnosis and more. ”Working with consumers to understand the ecological footprints of food before it comes onto their plate can also increase the take off in the market,” explains the agricultural scientist whose talk at TEDxHyderabad will be on 'Crusader for Cultivation'. “Today, we work with six state governments and farmers who are really enthused about going chemical-free after realising the adverse effects of chemicals,” he informs. He also feels that there are very few AgriTechs who are actually making a difference, while most of them are “just trying to make a quick buck. Our bigger goal would be to establish an incubation centre for farmer producer organisations, to handhold them so that they can establish themselves. Today, they are completely neglected by the start-up ecosystem,” he adds.
Meghana Reddy Gundlapally
I have started planning for next year's competitions, learning new routines and getting new leotards, working on improving my execution and my scores, and working on getting into the best form I can
Meghana Reddy Gundlapally, Rhythmic gymnast
Meghana Reddy Gundlapally is Hyderabad's own rhythmic gymnast and was also India's only rhythmic gymnast at the Commonwealth Games 2018. And when we go through her Facebook timeline, we can't help but feel proud of the way she fangirls over another daughter of India who has done the country proud, artistic gymnast Dipa Karmakar. "She showed the world that India too can be among the top players in artistic gymnastics. Seeing her do this made me realise that nothing is impossible if you put in the hard work. Now, I want to change the perspective of people and show them that India can do well in rhythmic gymnastics too," she says with determination. Speaking about the sport itself, she says, "This is the only sport where you can start at the age of four and when you start a sport at such a young age, it not only makes the body stronger, but it helps increase your motivation, confidence and concentration in day-to-day life." The 19-year-old chose to stay silent about how the Gymnastics Federation of India has been derecognised by the Indian Olympic Association for a while now and how this has affected Indian gymnasts. But when speaking about demotivation, she says that the only way to get through it is to, "work your way through it and come out stronger on the other side."