12 speakers stood side by side, smiling as the auditorium echoed the audience’s chants.
They’ve travelled beyond, they’ve looked deep within, and at this sixth edition of TEDxNITKSurathkal, they’ve come to teach us how. 

“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud”
– Bershtain Saal

TEDx is committed to giving a platform to those who don’t often have one and TEDxNITKSurathkal, held on 17th January, 2020 brought forward countless experiences and stories from diverse individuals passionate about what they’ve worked for, bringing to light the day to day struggles and urging us to move forward without giving up on our dreams. 

The theme of this year’s edition, Mirrors and windows, imparts the notions of deep self-introspection and taking a step beyond our comfort zone by grabbing the opportunities that pass by. 

Just two words, but together they emphasise on millions of meanings that urges us to widen our perspectives and interpretations and gives opportunity to self-reflect on our goals and the potential of today’s youth.

Mirrors, to look within and windows, to go beyond.

Celebrating ability in disability:

Entering the stage with a warm smile, Alina Alam left everyone in awe of her passion towards her cause, that she so strongly works hard for. 

Fighting to change the common perception of people towards the challenged ones since her first year of college, Alina Alam shares her thoughts on how people can use their privileges to empower others from backward settings and examples of how just a little push and a lot of practice can perfect the differently-abled. By her final year, she also founded a restaurant by the name MITTI cafe managed and staffed by specially-abled people, that she calls warriors. 

Tough times don’t last, tough people do:

This is what Lieutenant Gaurav Hore, an engineering student of NITK itself, taught us as he stood on stage and spoke about the days he embarked on as a young officer in the Singapore Armed forces. 

The 21-year-old urges us to look beyond our perceived ‘boundaries’. His deep-rooted principles and beliefs are a result of the gruelling and challenging experiences from his days. In spite of all the hardships, this young man wouldn’t think twice before doing it all over again.

Learning from learners:

Padmavati Rao, a sensitive actress and theatre artist highlights the fundamental flaws in the societal norms that are affecting the youngsters of the country. 

Her determination to make a social impact through her experiences of working with rural children, is shown as she emphasises and stresses on the importance of making schools, a home for compassion, open-mindedness, empathy, and healing.

Find where you are useful:

As he talks about his journey as a designer, uncovering his experiences, Ananya Khaitan spoke what went on behind the scenes in the creation of his work on drug addiction, child rape, and privacy policy documents. 

His work is an establishment to how one can and should remember to voice one’s opinion through their work and skill, and bring individuality to the table. 

Grassroot green architecture:

With these three words, Rosie Paul of Masons Ink simplifies sustainability against the backdrop of building construction. The consequence while satisfying the primary stake-holder also benefits the local community as well as the environment. 

The talk communicates that sustainability doesn’t have to be a difficult goal, rather it is what results when work is driven by the motto of ‘Hands, Heart and Human’.

Magic of puppetry:

Through a powerful performance and eloquent talk, puppeteer Anupama Hoskere brings us the beauty of Indian Puppetry. Mrs. Hoskere unveils the relevance puppetry still holds in society as a form of entertainment, storytelling and upholding values and helps us to re-discover the magic of puppetry.

 She teaches that though puppetry, though just an art form including the principles of engineering, mathematics and light involved in designing a show, can also teach us about life itself. 

Journey of the SlumGods:

Aiming to remove the stigma and stereotype hovering over the rural area, Sunil Rayana cofounded the renowned ‘SlumGods’, a hip-hop crew as well as a Tours and Travel Agency conducting Mumbai City Tours and Slum Tours. 

His dynamic and passionate individuality brought happiness and direction to the children of Dharavi, as what initially started as mere practice sessions, evolved into a dance school based in Dharavi. 

24 Minutes to revolution

Samyuktha Hegde in her TED talk takes us through the stages of an unusual relationship she had, one with her phone. In this talk, she encourages and urges us to utilize and benefit from the time and effort we invest in the internet. 

She is also an actress and a professional dancer.

Journey from IIT Madras to SpaceX:

Ankit Kukadia and Kalpesh Pawar take us along on their journey elaborating on the highs and lows of their journey. Team Avishkar Hyperloop became Asia’s only team to have competed in the final round of SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition 2019 

They emphasize on their ‘Six learnings’ obtained since the inception of Team Avishkar. These young and driven individuals from IIT Madras is the perfect representation of the phrase ‘Unity is Strength’.

Waste is not waste until you waste it:

Rajesh Babu, cofounder of the NGO, Swachha eco-solutions, talks about the journey of his social entrepreneurship venture that focuses on sustainable solutions, helping the city of Bangalore to turn its plastic waste into recyclable tiles, pipes and more.

Understanding LGBTQIA rights in India:

Gopi Shankar Madurai is an equal rights activist, Intersex Representative (elected) & Executive Board Member of the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex Association. Gopi is also the founder of Srishti Madurai LGBTQIA+ Student Volunteer Movement.

Gopi sheds light on the diverse SOGIESC identities and the struggles they face. Ze highlights zir journey to ban sex-selective surgeries on Intersex infants and how such an experience was an enlightening experience for the Madras High Court and how Tamil Nadu became second place globally to have a judicial regime on Intersex Human Rights

Photography, a window, a mirror:

Bandeep Singh talks and illustrate on how Photography is a vital subject in the world, and how one’s presentation is not only his/her window, but also the viewer’s window. His passionate and zealous explanation about photography imparted interest and knowledge to all of the audience.
Bandeep Singh is the group photo editor of the India Today group and a reputed editorial photographer, whose iconic images have been published in TIME Fortune, The New York Times, Business Week and Business Today

TEDxNITKSurathkal was indeed a huge success, bigger and better than ever, leaving the audience inspired and motivated to work hard to make their dreams come true. 

12 Speakers. 12 Individuals who came forward to share their journey. 12 stories. 

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”
-Oprah Winfrey