Young changemakers talk about Change

16 Apr,2012

By Insiyah Rangwala


The Young Changemakers Conclave (YCC) 2012 was held on April 14 at the US Consulate, Mumbai. Organized by Samyak Chakrabarty, Managing Director, Youth Media Group and team for the United Nations Information Centre forIndia and Bhutan (UNIC), in collaboration with the US Consulate General, and presented by UTV Bindaas, the Conclave which is in its second year, was being hosted in Mumbai for the first time. The key focus point of the Conclave was ‘Role of Youth: Transforming Dialogue To Action’.


The Conclave was attended by 200 young individuals between the ages of 18 to 35 who were selected from diverse backgrounds of the 5000 who applied, to attend this near-day-long event to discuss, deliberate and confer on a wide array of topics while engaging with current day leaders and started off with an address by Mr Peter Haas, US Consul General, who talked about how change wasn’t meant to be easy.


Thereafter a diverse and interesting list of dignitaries addressed the gathering:

> Mr Suhel Sheth, Managing Partner, Counselage who talked about change being internal and about understanding yourself and changing yourself before the world.

> Mr Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-chief, Times Now, spoke about how the fear of exposure is what leads to making people want to control the media and how that is a change that should be stopped

> Mr Agnello Dias, Founder, Taproot spoke about creativity in finance and business.


Other speakers included Mr Sanjay Nirupam and Mr Anurag Singh Thakur, both Members of Parliament who spoke about the importance of educating the youth about politics, and a mix of celebrities from the arts and cinema, sports, advocacy and hospitality. Masaba Gupta, Leander Paes, Rahul Akerkar, Rajeev Samant, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Asin Thottumkal, and Awista Ayub, Director, South Asia Program for Seeds of Peace, all of who spoke about their respective journeys to make a change in their own way. Musicians like Vishal Dadlani spoke about using music as an instrument for social change and how it is easier to sneak in a message through music. The event ended with a vote of thanks by Mr Keith Alphonso, Business Head, UTV Bindaas.



Keith Alphonso, Business Head – UTV Bindass, talks to MxMIndia about what he defines as a changemaker, the channel’s new look and plans for Bindass

The word change maker is used a lot nowadays. What do you, and the company, think is a change maker?

Well, Bindass has always been about change. If you look at the brand, it has changed. This country is on the threshold of an immense amount of change across a variety of levels. I really think that for young people, success is a religion and achievers are their gods. Those who have taken the plunge beyond what society told them, they are the heroes for the kids today. Their achievement is what has identified them as a hero.


Who do you believe are the three top Indian changemakers?

A: I think it would be a gross injustice to name just three. The only thing that comes to my mind isIndiaitself, and the fact that there is a majority of young people today who are heroes. These are the kids who are going to drive the change, so there maybe 3,000 heroes in small towns who actually go out and do something to make a significant difference to the big guys you see on stage. I think it is the spirit of change that exists among the kids today that will be the changemaker.


Bindass has changed their logo, so any comments about the new look.

This is the third change we are going through because the audience changes at a supersonic level, there is no such thing as a steady state, especially when dealing with young people. The new look is about the change, so the new tag line- Restless – is about change. It’s about the fact that there is so much opportunity out there, that if you get up and do it now you will succeed and that is the message we want to take across.


Future plans for Bindass…

To start with the idea behind the new logo is that we celebrate the fact that ‘If you rest less rather than sitting ideal you will be successful and you will achieve’. We want to empower that transformation. We have several platforms through which we want to do it – we have two blockbuster shows coming up: Live Out Loud and Fearless. The brand is all about helping you change, helping you make that move to the better life. On ground we have got a whole string of activities- there is Campus, we’ve got something called the Bindass Buddies, a contact program which helps people get admission to college because that’s a huge problem for a lot of people. We’ve got a 5 city music tour that we are doing. So, the idea is not to do a couple of shows and just be happy. We are looking at the Young India and where we can make a difference.



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