Meet Our Speakers–Part I
We are 6 days away from the conference and we thought we would take this opportunity to give you a glimpse into the lives of the inspiring personalities who will grace the TEDxDharamshala stage on January 13th, 2019.
Director General of Prisons, Himachal Pradesh
A playful child who actively participated in cultural activities, Somesh was brought up in a remote town in Haryana. Somesh is a Masters in Literature who, after 3 years of teaching the subject, decided to join the prestigious (in his words) Indian Police Service.
“It was a conscious decision to get into the civil services. In my opinion, it presented a more comprehensive opportunity to serve the people. I do and always have enjoyed helping people in distress.”
A humble and kind soul that he is, Somesh is also a talented photographer. He began his photography by capturing the beauty of the nature. However, a trip to the Jim Corbett National Park brought out his love for the wildlife. His collection is available in the form of books titled Common birds of Shimla and Stripes in the wild.
TEDxDharamshala Talk: Transforming lives of prisoners
Somesh has been the recipient of the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Services in prison management. Here’s what he had to say for his exemplary initiatives in the prison:
Life does not end behind bars
“A thought process prevalent in the society is where prisoners are looked upon as people whose lives have no further meaning. They are, at best, sentenced and forgotten. Very few of us are open to understanding the possibility that those living behind bars are just humans, like you and me, who, in a moment of absolute passion, let their worst overflow.
In my understanding of their lives, I have noticed a perpetual loneliness that lingers in their soul because they are now deemed good-for-nothing. But when you converse with them and get to know them, they amaze you with all these wonderful things they know or are willing to learn, if given a chance again.
I wanted to give them this chance because I had the power to do so. I feel truly blessed that my efforts bore fruit and it all worked out.
A finance student and CA on paper, Vaibhav is a scholar music who organises frequent drum circles in the Delhi-NCR region. He started performing as a street musician merely as a hobby to rejuvenate himself from the boredom of CA studies. But one thing led to another and music became his whole life.
“Music has been a part of my life since I was a child. But in the past 5 to 6 years, my bond with music grew so intense, it became something I wanted to share with everyone around me.”
Vaibhav is essentially a percussionist who plays 20 of the rarest musical instruments—learnt all on his own. With his ever-growing community, he puts in constant effort into using music to help people relax. After years of doing that, Vaibhav began to use his music skills to raise funds through cancer awareness camps and to train autistic children as well.
TEDxDharamshala Talk: The World is My Stage
On the TEDxDharamshala stage on 13th January, Vaibhav will showcase his journey of becoming a self-taught musician through a musical performance. His performance will be taking us through his journey from a street player to a concert musician—all in a musical form.
Here’s what he has to say to the audience:
“Through my performance-based talk on the TEDx stage, all I want is to tell people that there are no true restrictions in life. You can always find a way around whatever stops you from pursuing your dream or passion.”
Sociological Research Associate
A sociological research associate in NIT Hamirpur, Mridul is a film maker, a writer, and a consultant. Mridul has finally learnt to be proud of being a nerd. She reads extensively and is also writing a novel.
She identifies herself as a daughter of the mountains and she enjoys doing things for the community. At present, she dedicates her time to conducting sociological research focusing on the Himalayas. And works as a resource person for initiatives and programs related to Secular Ethics.
TEDxDharamshala Talk: Helping Humanity Evolve with Secular Ethics
In the past, Mridul has worked closely with the Secular Ethics Program by the Dalai Lama Trust wherein she reached out to the communities in the Himalayas on the importance of humanity based on secular ethics.
“In the time spent with His Holiness The Dalai Lama, I came across a belief of his which I strongly agree with. “Humanity has come to a stage where we don’t necessarily need the help of religion to guide our goodness.” Secular Ethics are different from religious ethics in the sense that they do not bind you. Being a good human being should not require a prescriptive rulebook but should be based on common experiences. This is a philosophy I want to share, in detail, with the community to understand it further.”
Mridul will be talking about the philosophy of secular ethics and how it can help us be better human beings.
An apple farmer by profession, Pranav is a trained mountaineer who has walked a trail of 950km-trail on foot in the Himalayas.
Born and brought up in the Himalayas, Pranav has always been in awe of mountains. He became a trained mountaineer to further his exploration of the Himalayan mountains.
TEDxDharamshala Talk: Walking 950km through the Himalayas
Pranav has been in love with the mountains for all his life. His TEDx story focuses on his journey through the mountains and the lessons learnt.
“One thing I learnt about trekking while walking through the Himalayas is the importance of travelling light. That is something I want to share with people, to enable them to have a better mountaineering experience.”
Pranav will walk us through his experiences in the Himalayas with focus on the rights and wrongs.