Behtar India Conclave

On 4th August, 17, the students of Ridge Valley School participated in a conclave of schools gathered for the “Behtar India” campaign, held in Modern School, Vasant Vihar. The students, during their summer break, had collected funds for the first pillar of the campaign – “Behtar Swasthya”, in which they had to contribute for dengue treatment of underprivileged children.

The Conclave started off by the Principal of Modern School, Ms. Meenakshi Sahni, consisted of various schools from all over the country who participated in this campaign. Ms. Meenakshi Sahni talked about the importance of such campaigns and wished them all the best.

Sushant Singh Rajput, the campaign ambassador greeted the students while telling them about the campaign, its goal and how they would achieve it. He shared about an experiment called the “Invisible Gorilla”, in which a few top students were showed a short clip from a basketball match and asked to count the number of passes. However, 90% of them didn’t notice a bright red gorilla that stood in the middle of the field for a few minutes. He then explained that this was because of the context they had been given, and if you look at things from a different context, you achieve more than just required.

Sushant Singh Rajput was joined by RJ Nitin or ‘Khurafati Nitin’ (as we know him) and we all took a pledge - that we will always contribute to India’s well being and try our best to make a ‘Behtar’ India. Devesh Sachdev, CEO Fusion Microfinance, who contributed to the campaign also spoke to the students. In addition to this, a video was screened featuring various stars who support the campaign, such as Anil Kapoor, Deepa Malik, Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, giving a shout out and showing support to their childhood schools, participating in the campaign.

This was followed by a nukkad natak (street play) by the students of Lotus Valley School, spreading awareness about dengue and its perils.

The conclave also had several panels with various personalities who inspired and entertained the children. The first panel consisted of various celebrities like Sushant Singh Rajput, who is a genius in Physics and Mathematics, and is now a famous actor and the brand ambassador for the campaign. Padmashree Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian Olympic gymnast. Malavath Poorna, the youngest girl to scale Mt. Everest at the young age of 13. Adhiraj Bhal, the CEO of Urban Clap. Suchita Salwan, the founder of ‘Little Black Book’ and Neha Kirpal the founder of the ’Indian Art Fair’.

These brilliant people talked about their own experiences and shared with the students lessons they had learned, such as “Never give up”, ”Take risks”, ”It’s OKAY to fail as long as you are trying something new”, ”Anything is possible”, ”Courage has no limit” and “Take pride in what you do”. It was truly a motivational experience for all the students.

Another panel with 3 previous Parliamentarians told the students what the government was doing for the environment and how we can bring about the change.

The last panel was about sustainable development. 15-16 year olds, who had invented things that would be of use while also environment-friendly, shared their inspirations and experiences. Some of their inventions were:

  • Markers that used ink made from the soot and suspended particulate matter (SPM) present in the air.
  • A campaign in which students and children spent a year with a politician and solved daily political problems given to them.
  • Sanitary pads made of natural materials (banana stems) instead of chemicals.
  • Wallets made of used / old car seat belts.
  • A website for people to find a person to carpool with, during the reign of the odd-even rule.
  • ‘Eyescribe’ - A type of spectacle for the visually impaired, which scans and converts the text into audio.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

These people present at the conclave proved that even the smallest of the contributions can help. The session ended with all the schools getting a chance to interact with each other and share ideas with each other and appreciate what all of us have done till now to make India ‘Behtar’ again.

Report written by students in attendance of event mentioned:

Mehek Naqvi, Parth Acharya and Simran S.C.