The Millennial Summit put together by the Rotaract clubs of RI District 3141 left an indelible mark on 1,100 Rotaractors who attended it. Young achievers shared their experiences, challenges and failures. “We shaped this event so that the success stories of these millennial leaders will inspire young minds. It is easy for the youth to connect with people of their age, rather than hearing from the older generation, and our speakers were just brilliant,” says DRR Kushal Bhuva.
Twenty-five-year-old entrepreneur Farrhad Acidwalla spoke about how he achieved his childhood dream over the years and turned his passion into profession. At 13, he built an online community devoted to aviation and aeromodelling and later launched Rockstah Media, a business focused on web development and marketing. Harshwardhan Zala was another speaker. A CEO at 16, he shot to fame at 12 when he designed a drone to detect and defuse landmines planted on war fields without risking human lives. Hip-hop artist Deepa Unnikrishnan impressed the youngsters with her story on how she fought hard and waited patiently until she got recognised for her work in Bollywood flicks Uri and Gully Boy, smashing patriarchy existing in filmdom. “Hers was a lesson in staying calm and focused, and believing in your dreams,” says Bhuva.
The team took six months to put this programme together. “It was a huge hit and now we are getting offers to buy this concept, as Ted Talk and Moth are so expensive,” says the DRR. It was a five-hour programme and not a ticketed event. The CEO of BSE, Ashish Chauhan, sponsored the venue which cost about ₹12 lakh. He was a charter member of RC Bombay Nariman Point and is now its honorary member. “We had a sizeable amount of sponsorships,” says Bhuva, adding that the funds will be used to repair and renovate schools and provide scholarships for needy students under the district’s umbrella project Prayas. They had arranged for the sponsors to route the money to schools identified by them earlier. For example, one of the corporates is funding the repair work of three classrooms in a school in Vikhroli. “We are planning to make this an annual event,” smiles Bhuva.
Other speakers included Anandini Fernandes, an advocate who runs the Soup Kitchen that serves food for the underprivileged; Munaf Kapadia who quit his job in Google to launch his restaurant, The Bohri Kitchen; VJ Sushant Divgikar who was crowned Mr Gay India 2014; and Anto Philip, Co-founder of the Under 25 Summit.