To start with, the 90 minute webcast from the main event at Berlin was played. The BIG picture event was convened by Melinda French Gates and hosted by Chris Anderson. Jeff Chapin (IDEO), Sven Giegold ( Member of the European Parliament), Thea Sowa ( AWDF), Babaa Maal (musician) and Melinda Gates (Gates foundation) gave us great insights into their work and the challenges that need to be addressed. At the end of the 90 minutes, we were already overwhelmed and raging to make some contribution to the society.
And to get a closer look at what was happening back home, we had an opportunity to listen to big change makers like Nina Nayak Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Chanchalapathi Dasa from the Akshaya Patra Foundation, and Tara Kini a well-known educational consultant.
Ms. Nina Nayak spoke about the educational challenges being faced by the rural population around Karnataka. It’s not an easy task to reach out to the entire population and educating them on what’s available. Nor is it easy to get the government to look at the current issues and policies and make concrete changes. She sent out a clear message that the society needs volunteers to help make those changes!
Chanchalapathi Dasa spoke of the story behind Akshaya Patra and the current reach it has. Although most of us in Bangalore know about the Akshaya Patra’s contribution, very few knew about how the entire system works. Through videos and pictures, we were able to visualize the tremendous amount of effort and co-ordination that went behind it. It’s amazing to see how many children benefit out of the mid-day meal programme in India! Needless to say, Chanchalapathi Dasa received a standing ovation for the contribution Akshaya Patra has made to society!
Ms. Tara Kini started off with a beautiful rendition of a folk song. She went to explain how music and culture can be collaborated to bring about a change in the way it is taught. We were introduced to very unique techniques that had been used to reach out to a wider audience. Very simple, yet very powerful methods!
By the end of the session, you could see the motivation in everyone’s eyes. A lot of people enquired about the various volunteering opportunities and were keen on being a part of ‘The Big Picture’ themselves!