Boston University students Devika Gholap and Ritika Sharma are Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of Detour India Fest, a first of its kind conference being held at Boston University.
Devika Gholap is a Senior studying Biomedical Engineering and Business Administration while Ritika Sharma is a Senior studying International Relations and Political Science. They talked to Lokvani about the festival.
Could you tell us a little about the upcoming India conference at BU?
Detour India Fest is a first of its kind India conference ever being held in Boston University. It is a two day event from 10th-11th Nov 2017. On the 10th of Nov, we will host an exclusive reception dinner for our celebrities and on the 11th of Nov, we will have our conference from 9am-5pm. (www.detourindiafest.com)
What is the theme of the conference?
The conference will focus on the issue of "Breaking away from the global perspectives of Indian Stereotypes". Our conference will deliberate on this issue faced by us Indians globally through a variety of keynote speeches, interviews and panel discussions.
Why did you choose this theme?
The theme of Detour India Fest came into being as we noticed the prevalence of stereotypes regarding Indians in our society. Each and every person from our team has been in this situation where they have been stereotyped in some way or the other. Through this conference, we aim to promote Indian culture, which goes way beyond the current perceived notions of being Indian. We want to show the world that Indians are capable of doing so much more and we aim to do this through having our speakers talk about this issue.
Who are the attendees in the conference?
We have a brilliant line-up of speakers including Mr. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Mr. Ajay Jadeja, Mr. Kapil Sibal, Mr. Rohan Joshi (AIB), Mr. Ashish Kashyap (Ibibo Group Founder), Ms. Anu Chitrapu (Senior VP, Bank of America), Mr. Karambir Kang (Area Director of Taj Hotels). We are currently finalizing two more amazing speakers.
What do you hope will be the outcome of the conference?
Through this event, we want to tell our fellow Indians to not be afraid to follow their dreams. Our speakers have chosen a variety of career paths and have succeeded in their chosen path. By listening to our speakers speak about their experiences and how they overcame their challenges, we aim to help our audience, who might be facing the same issues, to deal with them and succeed.
What should the community come to the event?
Not only has this line-up of speakers not been seen in any conference in New England, but this issue has also not been tackled by any event before. The community of New England will get to witness a unique event with a message that resonates with every individual at some level. Only when communities come together and tackle such issues together, can we proceed ahead of this issue and succeed.
Any special message for our readers?
Our end goal for this event is to help our community. We want to do this by donating the proceeds from the event to "Save the Girl Child" campaign in India. This can only be done when a majority of our community in New England comes together for this conference. So we request our community to come together and help us save the girl child back in our homeland!