Turning Adversity into Opportunity
Just a few months ago marked the anniversary of the greatest adversity of the 21st century. We were all busy in our own lives whilst the coronavirus started expanding from a marketplace in Wuhan (China) and evolving into a global pandemic, crippling the world as we know it…or rather knew it.
Governments, industries, education, trade, and global economies were all at its mercy. The world shut down in front of our eyes. It was like a mysterious apocalyptic movie scene. Some thought it was natures way of teaching us the ancestral lesson of health is wealth. For humans it may have been unfavourable circumstances but the vast majority of species including nature and the environment were probably the biggest beneficiaries of you and I being caged for the better half of 2020.
A few months down the line whilst we all began accepting the so called ‘new normal’ we began adapting and evolving. Technology, social media, the internet, all was leveraged to get the systems back up and running. Industries enabled work from home measures, Trade was re-established, governments started fuelling the economy and slowly but steadily we got back on our feet and rose into a virtual world where almost everything was digitally accessible. Almost all sectors were up and running but what about education? What about our children in the classrooms who we so proudly call the future? What about their holistic development? Just because they cannot cast votes that does not mean they should not be accounted for. They were last on the list.
Established in 2011, India’s International Movement To Unite Nations is what is considered by world governments and the UN as the world’s largest youth run organisation. They focus towards the holistic development of young students between the age bracket of 13-19 by organising a series of conferences, events and activities with the aim of uniting the world- the Indian way. They do this in over 7500+ schools, 220 cities/towns in India and 35 countries impacting over 10 million students, preparing them to be 21st century citizens with an Indian ethos and global perspective. Imagine, a fuelled-up team of 26,000 students across India and the world organising over 300+ events annually put on pause, but a series of brainstorming sessions, long nights of conference calls and strong leadership catalysed the world’s largest offline network of students to now connect online.
31st March 2020 marked the pilot of the newly conceptualized Digital Conferences. A platform was made in less than a week where the organisation which had taken the concept of understanding glocal affairs to the country through MUN Conferencing, debates and simulations recreated this world online. Whether it be students first practising yoga or being divided into different rooms so that they could debate on various issues, everything went online. All concourses have speakers engaging in conversation with the students during evening sessions which are interspersed with song and dance, even this was turned into a 3D virtual reality platform, which could be enjoyed on your mobile phones sitting in your PJ’s.
There was no turning back now. Whilst students across the country and the globe were sealed safely in their homes wondering what to do next, they all patiently waited for every weekend to be a part of this borderless and educational extravaganza. The organisation welcomed its Board of Advisors from Mr. Ajay Piramal to Former Chief of Indian Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan to interact with the students, live dance training sessions were taken by the Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts amongst many other things as students from across the globe got to interact with each other. As on date, the I.I.M.U.N. team has successful executed over 182 such events. Students were not only able to make new friends but so also learn things about people and cultures which may have ordinarily have taken them years. The organisation has now impacted over 1 million students through these events. A classic case of turning an adversity into an opportunity
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