Every year, the Goi Peace International comes up with an essay writing competition. While surfing through their website to find out more about the topic chosen for this year, I cam across the label — Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition 2016. Another competition! Wow!
Being the ecstatic me, I was quick enough to locate their webpage to find another topic of my interest — an online free training course on entrepreneurship. The competition as well as the course were being managed by Shiftung Entrepreneurship in association with many others organizations, one among them being the World Peace Youth. As one door leads to the other, I began my virtual voyage from one web page to another and thats how I came across the information about a conference that was organised by World Peace Youth on September 23.
It was a webinar to be precise but as long as you get the feeling of a conference, although a virtual one, this web+seminar concept really doesn’t matter! (This was not the first time that I was going to attend such a webinar.)
On the said date, after logging into the system, all the participants were warmly greeted by the two very young and vibrant moderators- Tomas Villar de Rohde and Anita Martinez. But I was elated when the first speaker of the conference (was a webinar, I know!) was introduced. He was an Indian! The joy when an Indian spots another in the midst of unfamiliar faces is inexplicable.
There were four speakers in all- Brandon Perdomo from the United States, Jacinta Mwania from Kenya, Beatrice Torrez from Portugal and Laxman Kami from India. The panellists belonged to diverse backgrounds and as a result, shared totally different experiences. Jacinta, the girl from Kenya was born in a slum and is currently working with the Ministry of Social Services to cater to the problems of the slum dwellers. Beatrice graduated with a degree in communication and strives to contribute to peace building. On the other hand, Brandon is presently the Youth Representative to the United Nations for The World Peace prayer Society and has the experience of being associated with a number of peace building initiatives.
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Laxman Kami, aged 20, was born and brought up in Mumbai though his family hails from Kailali State in Nepal.
After having graduated from St. Andrews’s College for Arts, Commerce and Science in Accountancy, he is presently a Senior Company Manager at Split Sole Dance Academy, Mumbai. He is a professional dancer having being trained in almost all the western dance forms namely jazz, jazz funk, contemporary, hip hop, new style hip hop, lyrical styles, and ballet. He loves calling himself versatile and is extremely passionate about teaching dancing. He teaches dance to more than 500 students at present.
His golden mantra for peace keeping is — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. He emphasizes on the importance of ‘Me’ being the change to bring about a change in the society. Bringing about peace, according to him, is not at all about undertaking ambitious projects. It could be as simple as doing deeds and acts of love and kindness without expecting anything — not even a thank you or a smile in return for your services.
While Laxman was addressing youth the world over, the moderators were quick enough to notice a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi hung on the wall of his bedroom. Gandhi’s portrait quelled all doubts that the Father of the nation was indeed his role model. As he was representing India at the global platform, he was interrogated as to how India, a nation with a number of social problems, could undertake peace initiatives. Laxman was unabashed in replying that although a number of social problems plagued India, it gave the world a perfect example of ‘unity in diversity’.
All the participants were free to pose questions to the panellists. I was lucky to have my question answered too. What I wanted to know was how the youth can be prevented from going astray in times of terrorism that has gripped the entire world? All the eloquent speakers gave the same reply — “Communication…Through proper dialogue and discussion, it is possible to engage youth in peace making rather than peace breaking.”
May peace prevail on earth!
Know more about World Peace Youth here.
All pictures: Facebook