The Bomb Squad of the National Security Guard (NSG) on Saturday conducted an anti-sabotage sweep at different locations in the national capital ahead of the G20 Summit.
The Delhi Police conducted comprehensive dress rehearsals for the upcoming G20 Summit on Saturday.
They oversaw the procession of caravans from various parts of the national capital towards the New Delhi district.
The rehearsal session began at 8:30 a.m and continued till 12 p.m. Further rehearsals were also scheduled for 4:30 p.m to 6 p.m, and 7 p.m to 11 p.m.
Commuters were strongly encouraged to utilize the metro services due to expected traffic disruptions.
Throughout the carcade rehearsals, traffic restrictions will be in place at several key locations, including Sardar Patel Marg-Panchsheel Marg, Sardar Patel Marg–Kautilya Marg, Gol Methi roundabout, Mansingh Road roundabout, C-Hexagon, Mathura Road, Zakir Hussain Marg-Subramaniam Bharti Marg, Bhairon Marg-Ring Road, Satya Marg/Shantipath roundabout, Janpath–Kartavyapath, Barakhamba Road red light, Tolstoy Marg, and Vivekanand Marg, among others, according to officials.
The traffic police said that passengers going towards railway stations will be able to use their private vehicles, Auto-rickshaws, taxis for travelling to New Delhi railway station and Old Delhi railway station.
However, in case of road journeys they may face some congestion and consequent delays. Therefore, they are advised to keep sufficient time at hand. For easier and more convenient access to railway stations passengers are advised to make maximum use of Metro services,” they said.
The traffic advisory further advised that passengers going towards the airport are advised to make maximum use of Metro services, especially the Airport Express Line connecting New Delhi Station to Dwarka Sector 21 Station via IGI Airport T3.
“City Bus Services will not be affected at large. However, they may be diverted from certain road stretches in New Delhi District depending upon the real time traffic situation,” it said.
“Motorists are requested to have patience, observe traffic rules & road discipline and follow directions of Traffic Police personnel deployed at all intersections. People are also requested to plan their journey in advance with sufficient time at hand to avoid inconvenience,” it added.
BOMB SQUAD’S ANTI-SABOTAGE CHECKS
The Bomb Squad of the National Security Guard (NSG) on Saturday conducted an anti-sabotage sweep at different locations in the national capital ahead of the G20 Summit.
Earlier, on Saturday, Delhi Traffic Police conducted another full dress rehearsal as part of its preparations for the upcoming G20 Summit in the national capital on September 9 and 10.
The two-day summit will draw leaders and delegates from 40 countries, including the 20 member states.
The carcade rehearsals were carried out in the Pragati Maidan area of the national capital where the global event will be hosted next month, officials said.
Speaking to ANI on Saturday, Special Commissioner Of Delhi Traffic Police, SS Yadav said, “We have shared the travel guidelines with all the media houses. Newspapers have also published our releases and necessary information is also being shared on our social media handles. The focus is to ensure that the impact on the movement of traffic is kept at a minimum.”
The G20 Summit is set to be hosted at the state-of-the-art Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre at Pragati Maidan.
Earlier, on August 23, Delhi traffic police authorities carried out a full-dress rehearsal on selected routes.
Delhi Police, which started its preparations for the G20 Summit in earnest a few months ago, has been training personnel who are to be deployed at various locations ahead of and during the big-ticket summit.
The personnel are also being trained to deal with the fallout of possible hazards, including the use of chemical and biological weapons, and have been asked to focus on their soft skills. (ANI)
The spectacular cultural celebration showcased rich heritage and diversity of the Indian community in Manchester.
The Indian Association Manchester marked the 77th Independence Day of India on August 19th with a spectacular cultural celebration that showcased the rich heritage and diversity of the Indian community in Manchester. The event took place at Gandhi Hall, Withington, Manchester, and was attended by numerous community members, dignitaries, and esteemed guests.
The program commenced with a warm welcome by Vice President Vijay Kumar Ji, setting the tone for an evening filled with cultural splendor. The event was hosted by the renowned professional compere/host “Jazzy J” who expertly guided the audience through the evening’s festivities.
The highlight of the evening was the mesmerizing cultural performance presented by local community artists, who skillfully presented a variety of traditional and contemporary dance forms, music, and theatrical acts. The vibrant colors, intricate costumes, and energetic performances captivated the audience, creating an immersive experience that celebrated India’s cultural vibrancy.
The event was graced by distinguished guests, including Mr. Pramod Kumar Yadav, the Assistant Consulate Officer from the Consulate General of India in Birmingham. Mr. Yadav’s presence highlighted the importance of the occasion and emphasized the strong ties between the Indian diaspora in Manchester and the motherland.
Adding to the honor, Mr. Nripjit Singh Bedi, the Ex-Commandant of the Border Security Force (BSF), brought his profound insights and experience to the event. His presence resonated with the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve the nation, a sentiment that echoed through the celebrations.
Councillor Vimal Chowksy MBE, representing Tameside Council, attended as a guest of honor, acknowledging the significant contributions of the Indian community to the local society and its cultural fabric. Likewise, Councillor Dr. Kaushik Chakraborthy from Trafford Council graced the event, symbolizing the unity and collaboration between different communities within Manchester.
The event was a testament to the spirit of unity and harmony that defines the Indian diaspora in Manchester. It showcased not only the vibrant cultural expressions of India but also highlighted the sense of belonging and pride that the community members feel towards their roots. The celebration underscored the cultural diversity that enriches the fabric of Manchester.
Reflecting on the event, Mr. Sathish Kumar, General Secretary of the Indian Association Manchester, expressed his gratitude to all those who contributed to making the celebration a resounding success. He emphasized that the event was a platform to promote cultural understanding and to strengthen the bonds between the Indian community and the wider Manchester community. The program concluded on a high note, leaving attendees with cherished memories of a night that celebrated the essence of India’s Independence Day and the unity of the Manchester community.
The two pilots lost their lives in the crash despite having liberty to land in open area but this could have caused damage to ammunition point and civilians on ground…reports Asian Lite News
President Droupadi Murmu has approved 76 Gallantry awards to Armed Forces and Central Armed Police Forces personnel on the occasion of 77th Independence Day, an official release said.
These Gallantry awards include four Kirti Chakra (posthumous), 11 Shaurya Chakras, including five posthumous, two Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 52 Sena Medals (Gallantry), three Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) and four Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
The President has also approved 30 Mention-in-Despatches to the Army, including to Army dog Madhu (Posthumous), and one to Air Force personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations.
The operations include Operation Rakshak, Operation Snow Leopard, Operation Casualty Evacuation, Operation Mount Chomo, Operation Pangsau Pass, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Orchid, Operation Kalisham Valley, Rescue Operation and Operation Evacuation.
The Kirti Chakra awardees who received it posthumously are Dilip Kumar Das, Raj Kumar Yadava, Bablu Rabha and Sambha Roy, all of the Central Reserve Police Force.
The Shaurya Chakra recipients include five personnel named for it posthumously, including Major Vikas Bhambhu and Major Mustafa Bohara of Army Aviation Squadron; Hav Vivek Singh Tomar of the Rajputana Rifles, Rifleman Kulbhushan Manta of the Rashtriya Rifles and Saifullah Qadri, SG constable, Jammu and Kashmir police.
Indian Army Majors Vikas Bhambhu and Mustafa Bohara awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously for flying away their crashing ALH Dhruv Rudra helicopter from a built up area and an ammunition point in Arunachal Pradesh in October, 2022 saving many precious lives.
The two pilots lost their lives in the crash despite having liberty to land in open area but this could have caused damage to ammunition point and civilians on ground.
Wing Commander ShreyTomar awarded Vayu Sena Medal Gallantry for safely landing his twin engine fighter aircraft safely on single engine due to fire and preventing both loss of life and property.
Havildar Vivek Singh Tomar awarded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously for saving the lives of fellow soldiers and preventing a major fire incident during deployment at the Siachen Glacier at an altitude of 18,300 feet. He observed a fire inside a snow tent in January this year and entered inside disregarding personal safety to contain the situation but laid down his life in the incident due to injuries. (ANI)
The children must run with the national flags during this unique Independence Day relay race and pass them to the other team members who must carry them to the finish line…writes Olivia Sarkar
As we approach another Independence Day on August 15, it is a proud time for everyone. This day is observed annually and is a time to remember the courageous leaders and war heroes who fought for the freedom we now take for granted. Here are some fun ideas for celebrating Independence Day and activities to teach kids more about the significance of the holiday.
In your neighbourhood, you can organise a march past, often known as a parade or procession. The opportunity presented by this activity can be used to remind everyone of the sacrifices made by our independence warriors and the significance of this day for us as Indian citizens.
Show a Patriotic movie
In large school halls or auditoriums, it would be a wonderful idea to use projectors to broadcast a patriotic movie on the big screen. Select films that depict crucial events that contributed to freedom as well as the spirit of fraternity in attaining their objectives.
Independenc Day theme party
Setting up a theme party helps to capture the essence of the important day, just like any other event. Every arrangement for the day might draw colour inspiration from the flag of our country or other connected symbols. By integrating tricolored food products, the organisers can build the menu depending on themes.
For children in elementary and intermediate schools, it can be a pleasant pastime. You are all familiar with the guidelines for the typical relay race. The children must run with the national flags during this unique Independence Day relay race and pass them to the other team members who must carry them to the finish line.
This is a fun activity that could brighten the celebrations. Kids might use this chance to recreate any famous historical event that exhibits feelings of patriotism. This opportunity can be used by parents and educators to encourage children to take a closer look at historical events.
India is unique because of its diversity and unity. There are numerous cultures present in each of the 28 states of the union, many of which we are not even aware of. The finest time to learn about the various cultures in India is on Independence Day, and one way to achieve that is by planning an ethnic dance performance.
This year’s big Independence Day event at the Red Fort in Delhi will feature around 1,800 ‘special guests’ as part of the government’s “Jan Bhagidari” push…reports Asian Lite News
With the approaching Independence Day celebrations and the upcoming G-20 Summit, the Delhi Police’s Special Branch has issued a vigilant advisory to all officers, urging heightened alertness.
In preparation for the Independence Day parade, where more than 30,000 visitors are expected, the police have taken comprehensive measures to mirror the security arrangements of the pre-pandemic era. These precautions encompass a network of over 1,000 cameras, a robust four-layer security protocol, anti-drone systems, facial recognition technologies, expert bomb disposal units, and the presence of para-military forces.
The advisory, designed to thwart potential breaches by hostile entities, terrorist organisations, or anti-national groups impersonating officials, warns officers about the risks of impersonation and spoofing. It details how adversaries might use telephone calls, both domestic and international, or social messengers to deceive police personnel by adopting the identity of senior officials or the police department itself.
Additionally, these elements might gather intelligence from individuals associated with public vendors or employees indirectly linked to event arrangements. Social media accounts of officers stationed at sensitive locations could also be exploited for information collection, while fake emails may be deployed to extract sensitive data.
To counter such threats, the Special Branch offers practical recommendations for officers. These guidelines stresses on refraining from sharing any form of information through phone or social media with unknown individuals posing as government officials without independently verifying their credentials. Protecting computer systems containing sensitive data against potential cyberattacks is deemed paramount, with adherence to established cyber safety protocols strongly advised.
This year’s big Independence Day event at the Red Fort in Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the National Flag and deliver the customary address to the nation, will feature around 1,800 ‘special guests’ as part of the government’s “Jan Bhagidari” push to encourage public participation in governance.
The ‘special guests’ invited to the Red Fort event include Sarpanches of vibrant villages, representatives from the Farmer Producer Organisations scheme, beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Shram Yogis (construction workers) of the Central Vista Project, Khadi workers, those involved in construction of border roads, making of Amrit Sarovar and Har Ghar Jal Yojana as well as primary school teachers, nurses, and fishermen.
Selfie points dedicated to different schemes and initiatives of the government have also been installed at 12 locations across the national capital.
As part of the celebrations, an online selfie contest will be conducted by Ministry of Defence on MyGov portal from August 15-20. People are encouraged to take selfies at one or more of the 12 installations and upload them on MyGov platform to take part in the contest. Twelve winners, one from each installation, will be selected on the basis of the online selfie contest. The winners would be given prize money of ₹ 10,000 each,” a government release said.
The Indian Army is the coordinating service at the Red Fort this year.
“Major Nikita Nair and Major Jasmine Kaur will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling the National Flag,” the release said.
As soon as the National Flag is unfurled by the Prime Minister, flower petals will be showered at the venue by two Advanced Light Helicopters Mark-III Dhruv of the Indian Air Force in the Line Astern Formation.
PM Modi on Sunday changed his profile picture on his social media handles to ‘Tiranga’ (Indian flag) ahead of Independence Day celebrations, and also urged citizens to change the Display Picture (DP) of their social media accounts and extend support to this “unique effort”.
“In the spirit of the #HarGharTiranga movement, let us change the DP of our social media accounts and extend support to this unique effort which will deepen the bond between our beloved country and us,” he tweeted.
Earlier on Friday, the PM urged the people to participate in the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign from August 13 to 15 this year.
PM Modi said that the Indian flag symbolises the spirit of freedom and national unity and urged the people to upload their photographs with the Tiranga on the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ website.
“The Tiranga symbolises the spirit of freedom and national unity. Every Indian has an emotional connect with the Tricolour and it inspires us to work harder to further national progress,” he tweeted.
Initiative two is the production of a documentary on young people of determination, titled “Youth are Leaders”…reports Asian Lite News
Marking International Youth Day, Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO) launched two initiatives in support of its members.
The first initiative is the inauguration of the second branch of The Bee Café for people of determination at the headquarters of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC). The café is intended for promoting and raising awareness of the skills and capabilities of people of determination in various areas. It is the first-ever café in the UAE, fully operated by people of determination.
Opening the café comes in implementation of the joint cooperation agreement signed between ZHO and ERC, aimed to empower people of determination and highlight their achievements and potentials by providing opportunities contributing to supporting them and promoting their employment and community integration.
Initiative two is the production of a documentary on young people of determination, titled “Youth are Leaders”. It highlights the importance of the role of youth in the transition towards a green economy and the promotion of a culture of sustainability. It is designed to highlight their great capabilities to fully integrate into society, challenge disability and turn it into productive work force, which demonstrates their excellence and good skills to prove themselves, and contribute to development and renaissance efforts.
Abdullah Al Humaidan, ZHO’s Secretary-General, asserted that ZHO strives to enable the role of people of determination in society by establishing strategic partnerships with many government and private bodies to train and qualify them to obtain specialised certificates in fields suiting their abilities and tendencies. They have already been rehabilitated and trained to enter the labour market in various fields and many innovative projects, including The Bee Café for specialty coffee, branded bee, which is associated with various products of people of determination, he said.
Al Humaidan added, “ERC is one of the entities having successful strategic partnership with ZHO. Opening the café comes within their distinguished partnership to carry out one of ZHO’s most important innovative projects, aimed at moving people of determination to a new stage outside the umbrella of ZHO’s centres to serve as an experience for them and an opportunity to show their abilities and their engagement into society more closely and directly.”
For his part, Hamoud Abdullah Al Junaibi, ERC’s Acting Secretary-General, affirmed that opening the Bee Café vital project embodies the interest of ERC and ZHO in constructive and fruitful cooperation to empower people of determination economically and socially, create appropriate conditions for them to actively participate in the social and productive life and help them achieve as much of psychological and social compatibility and economic and financial independence.
The Bee Cafe is the first café with a full staff of people of determination with various disabilities. Its first branch is located at ZHO’s headquarters in the Mafraq Area, at the entrance to ZHO’s Abu Dhabi Rehabilitation & Care Centre.
Asha, the epitome of timeless melodies, has lent her enchanting voice to over 12,000 songs across various Indian languages. Her versatility, passion, and magnetic stage presence have made her an unparalleled music icon who continues to inspire generations of music lovers…reports Asian Lite News
Anand Bhosle and PME Entertainment, the global event management company announced an extraordinary musical extravaganza to celebrate the 90th birthday of the legendary playback singer, Asha Bhosle, in Dubai. “ASHA@90: Live in concert,” marks the grand return of the iconic songstress to the stage in Dubai after over a decade, making it an event that music enthusiasts have eagerly awaited.
Renowned celebrities, including Jackie Shroff, Jamil Saidi, Nitin Shankar, Salim-Sulaiman, Poonam Dhillon, and Padmini Kolhapure expressed their unwavering admiration for the legendary Asha Bhosle at a press conference held to celebrate her upcoming concert. These die-hard fans came together to extend their heartfelt congratulations and support as she gears up to grace the stage after a decade for this special event, The event was moderated by RJ Anmol.
The concert is scheduled to take place on 08th September 2023 at the prestigious Coca-Cola Arena, known for hosting world-class events that have graced Dubai’s cultural landscape. This once-in-a-lifetime event will be a memorable tribute to Asha Bhosle’s illustrious career, which has spanned over eight decades and produced some of the most memorable melodies in Indian cinema.
“We are honoured and ecstatic to celebrate the 90th birthday of the legendary Asha Bhosle ji with an exclusive concert in Dubai,” said Salman Ahmed, Founder, of PME. “Her return to Dubai after a decade will undoubtedly create a nostalgic and unforgettable experience for the audience. This concert is a testament to our commitment to present extraordinary musical events that resonate with our diverse audience.”
“ASHA@90: Live in concert” will be the world’s first-of-its-kind musical Broadway feature a magically curated repertoire with Singer Sudesh Bhosle and others, spanning classic Bollywood hits, soulful ghazals, and evergreen melodies that have left an indelible mark on music history. The concert promises to be an enchanting journey through Asha Bhosle’s musical legacy, paying tribute to her invaluable contributions to Indian and world music.
Sharing her excitement at the press conference Legendary singer Asha Bhosle said, “I am filled with immense joy and gratitude as I prepare to return to the stage after over a decade, celebrating my 90th birthday with this extraordinary concert organized by PME Entertainment. Music has been my lifeline, and to share my melodies with my beloved fans once again is an emotional and unforgettable moment. I look forward to creating magical memories together and rejoicing in the power of music.”
Asha, the epitome of timeless melodies, has lent her enchanting voice to over 12,000 songs across various Indian languages. Her versatility, passion, and magnetic stage presence have made her an unparalleled music icon who continues to inspire generations of music lovers.
Sharing his excitement Anand Bhosle said,” I can hardly contain my excitement as we eagerly await Asha ji’s mesmerizing concert in Dubai! Her unparalleled voice has the power to transcend time and culture, bringing joy and harmony to every corner of the world. As we celebrate her 90th birthday, let us remember that her music isn’t just a collection of melodies; it’s a symphony of emotions that has touched hearts for decades. Here’s to Asha ji, the eternal melody of life, and to many more years of her enchanting artistry.”
This incredible light show has been brought from Marseille, France to Covent Garden, London to mesmerise UK audiences since July 28th 2023 … reports columnist Riccha Grrover for Asian Lite International.
Following a hugely successful stint in Europe in which it sold over 100, 000 tickets, the stunning projected audiovisual experience, GENESIS, arrived in London on 28th July 2023. The experience takes guests on a breathtaking journey to the origin of the universe, immersing them in a 360º spectacle of sound, light and color as they discover the beginnings of history. Tickets can be purchased on the website.
Zurich-based artist collective, Projektil, in collaboration with Fever, the leading platform for entertainment and leisure discovery, brings the experience to the historic and beautiful Swiss Church, London, a building with roots in the 18th century and one of the city’s lesser known architectural gems.
GENESIS takes guests on a four-part journey through the elements of light, water, earth, and plants, representing the first three days of creation of the Universe. The experience lasts approximately 30 minutes and is divided into four scenes: light, earth, plants, and water, all of which are to be experienced while seated on comfy bean bags, as they gaze up in awe at projections that sprawl across the ceiling and walls of the building. Projektil skilfully employs video mapping, a technique that precisely captures the structure and shape of a three-dimensional space, enveloping the listener-spectator in the ambience. Vivid imagery is intertwined with the moving sound of classical music to fully engage the senses and captivate the viewer.
While immersive art experiences have grown in popularity over recent years, Genesis takes this immersion to another level entirely. The entire ceiling and structural layout of the 18th century Swiss Church have been pain-stakingly measured, calculated and sized to ensure that projections are optimised for the proportions of the building, resulting in a sense of engulfment within imagery and sound designed to completely mesmerise the spectator.
GENESIS invites people from all walks of life, believers and non-believers alike, to step into this escapist oasis in the midst of the city and experience a world in which art, technology and spirituality collide.
PROJEKTIL is an internationally renowned artist collective from Zurich. Their multidisciplinary team includes visual artists, musicians, programmers, sound engineers and designers. They create contemporary and innovative experiences at the intersection of art and technology and they produce sensory stories from light and passion. With their work, they aim to inspire, arouse curiosity and appeal to all the senses.
About The Swiss Church The ‘Eglise Helvétique’ was founded in 1762 by a group of expatriate Swiss and the first ‘Helvetic Chapel’ was built near Moor Street in Soho in 1775. Funded by contributions from the cities of Geneva and Bern, the church was an integral part of the Swiss community and until 1817, the pastor was even the official issuer of passports to Swiss citizens in London.
Fever is the leading global live-entertainment discovery platform which has helped millions of people discover the best experiences in their cities since 2014. With a mission to democratize access to culture and entertainment in real life through its platform, Fever inspires users to enjoy unique local experiences and events, from immersive exhibitions, interactive theatrical experiences, and festivals to molecular cocktail pop-ups, while empowering creators with data and technology to create and expand experiences across the world.
The event brought together young minds from various backgrounds, fostering a sense of togetherness and empowering them to be catalysts for positive change.
The much-anticipated SRMD London Youth Festival, the first of its kind in the UK, left a lasting impression on each of the 350 Youth who travelled from all over the UK to attend. Organised by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur UK (SRMD UK), this extraordinary event brought together young minds from various backgrounds, fostering a sense of togetherness and empowering them to be catalysts for positive change.
Through an action packed schedule of 25 curated events, across Wisdom, Wellness, Service, Culture and Sport, the SRMD London Youth Festival brought about a transformative experience that ignited creativity, instilled empathy, and motivated the youth to embrace their potential as changemakers. Moreover, the organisers took steps to minimise the environmental impact by decorating the entire venue and creating feature walls using upcycled materials such as wooden crates and milk cartons.
Embodying the tagline ‘Meet the Real You’, the Festival commenced with a session led by Global Youth Speaker and Head of SRMD Yoga, Atmarpit Shraddhaji on the topic ‘Unmasking Yourself’. The session inspired participants to take a moment to truly reflect on their authentic selves and reminded all present that they do not need to fit in by changing who they are, but instead instilled a sense of belonging by being exactly who they are!
Manthan Taswala, Trustee of SRMD UK and organiser of the SRMD London Youth Festival shared, ‘Drawing from the guidance we have received from Pujya Gurudevshi Rakeshji, the Founder of SRMD and His powerful vision for the youth, our aim was to create a dynamic and safe space where the youth could connect, collaborate, and draw inspiration from one another. Through this Festival and future events, we aspire to nurture a community of compassionate and empathetic leaders who actively contribute to a better world.’
A highlight of the Festival was the Changemakers Panel, composed of powerful women who have challenged the status quo. The panel included Philanthropist and Trustee of the Serendipity Foundation, Varsha Sehgal, Assistant Head of Coaching at QPR F.C. Manisha Tailor MBE and Head of ESG Strategy, Wholesale Lending at Barclays, Heeral Shah. The interactive discussion captivated the audience and opened their eyes to the various ways they could contribute to making a change in society, ranging from helping those whose voices are not heard, using sports as a medium to connect, and by encouraging conversations about diversity to empower people from all walks of life.
To foster the notion of team spirit and promote physical and mental well-being, the Festival included a lively sports tournament consisting of over 40 teams playing football, cricket, badminton and netball. Moreover, the youth were energised and found their zen with a specially curated ‘Techno Yoga’ session and ‘Glowstick Meditation’. Who said Yoga and Mindfulness was boring?
The wet weather also did not dampen the energy of the youth that flowed through the weekend with over 200 participants overcoming their fears and focusing on mind over matter, by walking on fire!
One such participant from Leicester, found out about the Festival through social media and travelled 90 miles each day to attend, ‘I didn’t know anybody prior to the start of the Festival and was greeted with a bunch of warm, friendly, vibrant and welcoming people. It was so refreshing to meet not only like-minded people but also people from different backgrounds. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and glad I put myself out there now. The events were incredibly well planned with so much thought and organisation that went behind this to make this such a magical experience for us all.’
Participants were also mesmerised by the exciting ‘ImmerseVerse’ – an immersive collection of unique experiences and stalls including blind drawing and doodling, an affirmation wall, ‘jamming’ corner, board game bazaar, ‘readers’ retreat and opportunity to engage in experience booths such as ‘The Art of Smart Living – Life Hacks to Take Home’, and ‘Flex Your Mental Muscle, Unlock Your Brain’s Potential’.
The two day event culminated with the Social Impact Hackathon, a unique concept to turn challenges into opportunities, opportunities into ideas and ideas into innovation. The Social Impact Hackathon included 45 participants, divided into 8 teams who worked together to create solutions to 3 key challenges the youth face today;
1) Breaking Down Barriers – improving access to mental health services within the South Asian community.
2) Opening Doors – bridging the housing accessibility gap for young professionals
3) Less Waste, More Taste – minimizing food waste and combat the impact of climate change
With a combination of brainstorming, problem-solving and mentor guidance, participants managed to define their challenge, refine their ideas and design a comprehensive solution; all in 36 hours! Of the teams, 3 were selected to pitch their solutions in front of a panel of 6 esteemed judges including Executive Coach and Host of globally renowned podcast ‘A Millenial Mind’, Shivani Pau, highly distinguished Psychiatrist and former Chairman of BAPIO, Professor JS Bamrah CBE, Lead social worker at Kent and Medway Perinatal Mental Health Service, Priti Joshi, self-made Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Founder of Redsky Homes Group, Tejinder Sekhon, Co-founder of RefillAbell!, Sameer Kassam and Chief of Staff at Olio, Rohan Sheth. Sharing her thoughts on the event Shivani Pau shared, ‘I was really blown away, there is a really wonderful energy here and I don’t think I’ve been to an event like this. If this was every year or regular, I am sure loads of people would love to meet like-minded individuals as this provides a space for people, regardless of background, religion, or culture.’
The winning team of the Social Impact Hackathon pitched their solution to improving access to mental health services and were invited by Mr Dean Russell, MP for Watford and Co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Mental Health, to discuss their idea further at Parliament. Leaving the youth with a motivational message, Mr Russell shared ‘Failures are stumbling blocks to learn from and opportunities to pick yourselves up, look back and understand what can be done differently. If we all look that way, we can make a difference. It is only when we work together and weave ourselves together and when we’re a community, that we can make the impossible happen. Continue planting the seed of your ideas in the ground; water it, nurture it and let it grow and you will make the world a different place.’
In today’s interconnected world, cultivating a sense of community and understanding among the youth has become paramount. The SRMD London Youth Festival recognises this imperative and has provided a platform for young individuals to share their unique perspectives, experiences, and talents. By doing so, the Festival has successfully nurtured a generation of empathetic leaders who value diversity can harness positive community energy and spirit.
For more information and how to be a part of future youth events organised by SRMD UK, please visit london.srmd.org.