INK Talks founder and renowned curator Lakshmi Pratury on Monday said among all the personalities she has hosted, Hollywood producer and Avatar Director James Cameroon and renowned social worker Prakash Amte fascinated her the most at her Conferences.
“Among the best of guests I had at INK conferences were Prakash Amte and James Cameroon. My father had worked with Gandhiji. To me, Prakash Amte is a modern day Gandhi. He is very humble. He is not doing social service out of sacrifice or whatever, but (because) he loves doing it,” Pratury told PTI here.
Pratury has hosted celebrities like Cameron, visual data scientist Alexander Tsiaras, French designer Philippe Starck and Indian activist Sunitha Krishnan, who works for eradicating human trafficking, psychiatric rehabilitation and social policy for the victims of trafficking.
INK Conference aims to offer individuals a platform to voice their ideas and exchange them with the world. On Amte, Pratury said she is completely blown over by his humbleness and his company brings a lot of peace and serenity around.
On the funnier side of Amte, Pratury, who was included in Forbes Magazine’s list of Women to Watch in Asia, said the social worker surprises the journalists, especially the foreign correspondents, who mistake him for being a mere servant for his simple dressing at his house.
“When he introduces himself as Amte with a better dress on, the foreign correspondents are taken by surprise as they had asked for him mistaking him as servant. That’s funny; that’s personable, indeed,” she said. Asked to react on the elitist tag attached to INKTalks or INKConferences, Pratury said nothing comes for free, but 75 per cent of participants were not celebrities or well known people, who became famous by providing them such a platform.
“If you see our talks, only 25 per cent of the speakers are well-known people, but other 75 per cent were not well known when they came on the stage. Some of them became famous because they came on to our stage. We never build campaigns around famous people because we don’t know whether they will be participating,” she said.
Pratury gave an account of a struggling chess player Sandhya Goli, who was selected as INK Fellows of 2016 as she was impressed by her perseverance to make it big through the platform.
“There is one girl called Sandhya Goli. She hasn’t made to grand master. She will take another four years to be grand master. Because of her perseverance, I was fascinated by it and selected her as one of the INK Fellows”.