Mumbai: Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai (GLIM), hosted its first TEDxGLIM Chennai 2021 on the eve of Valentine’s Day. It was the first time since its inception that the event was hosted virtually for the audience. The theme of the event this year was ‘Shed the Layers’ which illustrated that there is power in vulnerability and let yourself be you. Distinguished speakers including Ms Sarah Kashyap (Cross-country motorcycle rally racer), Ms Deane De Menzes (Founder of Red is the New Green and NGO activist), Mr Vikram Poddar (India’s first Corporate stand-up comedian and founder of Boredroom Comedy) and Ms Garima Avtar (Extreme Rally Driver) graced the event and shared inspiring stories about being one’s true self. They provided a perspective based on their personal experiences and observations over the years. The event witnessed an enthusiastic participation from students and faculty alike. The 2021 TEDxGLIM Chennai was sponsored by Coca-Cola.
During the event, the speakers touched upon some pertinent questions that we all face in our lives at one point or the other. Ms Sarah Kashyap spoke about incorrigible non-conformity and how she never bowed down to stereotypes. She further added, how she believes in collecting experiences and her time in London helped her break the stereotype that nobody can ever tell you that you are not capable of living on your own. She summed it up in some very famous words ‘It isn’t finished till it is finished’. She encouraged the audience to venture into the unknown and wear your failures on the sleeves. Her mantra to ‘Shed the Layers’ is ‘Rediscover your potential and keep punching’. The event then witnessed the presence of young and dynamic Ms Deane De Menzes who is on a mission to make India period positive and break the stigma around it. She shared from her experience and said, there are 355 million mensturators in India and some stories celebrate this natural body phenomenon and some are heart-breaking to hear. For her ‘Shed the Layers’ meant Purdah, which is to remove the layers of mystery, secrecy and misinformation around periods. She spoke about how women in India can pave a path to empower others and lead them to live authentic lives. She highlighted three layers that should be shed. First being talking about one’s personal experience of menstruation and rued the fact that there is still lack of knowledge-sharing, it is something which is bad and shouldn’t be spoken about and there is no discussion about it when you are growing up. Secondly, she spoke about the community’s relationship with menstruation and how young girls are forced to miss 5 days of school as there is lack of period products and education for them which impacts the society drastically and takes them one step away from financial independence. The third layer she highlighted is network and how it will benefit the women in the society if there is constant dialogue. She encouraged the audience to become a beacon of education, shed inhibitions, and normalize the period conversation which will help in giving a renewed sense of confidence to the female populace of our country.
Next up, the event dripped into the hue of humour and wit as Mr. Vikram Poddar took centre stage. He spoke about the presence of invisible layers around oneself and how books became his companion to shed these layers. He suggested that one should carve their own way to get a perspective about important things in life. He spoke about how he added popularity and public speaking to his life and also incorporated a layer of survival in his life. His mantra to ‘Shed the Layers’ is to adapt ‘Love You Zindagi’. The event witnessed its final speaker in Ms Garima Avtar as she spoke about self-realization which helps a person in doing the right thing in life. She also highlighted how we can confront our deepest fears and challenges and how she despite being a single mother took up motorsports in life and was undeterred by the societal judgment. She emphasized that every learning and experience becomes important and it shouldn’t give rise to self-doubt and self-questioning. Her idea to ‘Shed the Layers’ is to condition yourself, build better resilience, understand your limits and know yourself better than the others.
Speaking during the event, Dr. Suresh Ramanathan, Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, said “We are excited to host this one-of-its kind TEDxGLIM Chennai virtual event. I want to firstly thank our esteemed speakers who helped me and the audience to identify our inherent biases. They have shown us a mirror as to how we look at ourselves and how we judge people. They have shown us the path to shed these inhibitions and traverse a journey of completeness and contentment. These amazing stories of overcoming hurdles will go a long way in inspiring us for the future and break the barriers of how we think about the others. I also want to thank our wonderful audience who learnt a lot from our guest speakers and will use this knowledge to build a better future’.