The citys intelligentsia were in for a treat on Saturday as Pune hosted its first TEDx event. A series of 18-minute talks were conducted by eminent personalities such as Anu Aga,Sudha Menon,Sunny Handal,Usha Uthup,Will Muir,Sujatha Ramdorai and Asim Sarode,among others,on topics ranging from death,love and womens rights,to mathematics and genomics.
Will Muir of the city-based Equal Community Foundation said an opportunity to study and practise gender-equitable behaviour is the way to end violence and discrimination against women. We believe that not every man is part of the problem,but every man can be part of the solution. Each one of us has a role to play in raising men to end violence and discrimination against women, he said,during his talk.
Sunny Handal,an Indian-origin UK-based author and journalist addressed the issue of 60 million missing women in India,a concept that looks at the scale of the problem of male-female ratio and the violence against women in India. A lot of it stems from deep-rooted challenges such as illiteracy and lack of financial independence in women, he said.
Shravani Hagargi,a Hubli-based entrepreneur led by example,by attending and talking at the event,even though she is nine months pregnant. Hagargi runs Karnatakas first women security guard agency,called Safe Hands 24×7. Since its inception in 2009,we are delighted to share that we have successfully provided employment to over 200 women from different backgrounds, she said.
While author Sudha Menon spoke about the importance of dreaming big,17-year-old artist Aisha Chaudhary,who was born with an immune deficiency disorder,talked about finding happiness in little things.
The last talk of the event was by the effervescent singer Usha Uthup. Dressed in her trademark Kanjivaram sari,she spoke about the importance of energy and originality. She left the audience stunned with a beautiful cover of Adeles Skyfall,sung in her sonorous voice. TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to spreading world-changing ideas. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago,TED has grown to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED Conferences,the worlds leading thinkers and doers speak for 18 minutes on a diverse topics.
Many of these talks are then made available free on their website. TED speakers have included Bill Gates,Jane Goodall,Elizabeth Gilbert,Sir Richard Branson,Nandan Nilekani,Philippe Starck,Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. A TEDx event is an independently-organised local event.