Youth power dominates annual conference

The younger members of the Hindu community have called on their peers to realise the power inherent in them and seek self-inspiration to bring about quality changes in lifestyle and promote a better society.

Organised jointly by the Hindu Youth New Zealand and the New Zealand Hindu Students Forum, the Conference held under the theme, ‘Dynamic You: The Power of Youth’ attracted 150 participants.

Among them were university students, professionals and entrepreneurs with a passion for Hindu values.

The Conference, held on March 1 at Aotea Centre in Auckland’s Central Business District, was the third in an annual series. It brought together young men and women from both sides of the Tasman.

Vibrant youngsters

It was an event that channelised the enthusiasm and exuberance of the younger members of the society, providing them a platform for exchange of ideas and information, and more importantly, find ways and means of assimilating the Hindu way of life.

A number of elders including Hindu Council of New Zealand President and prominent businessman Vinod Kumar provided financial and human resources in organising the event but took the backseat to allow the youngsters to hold the centre stage.

The Conference was a step towards bringing together youth from different walks of life and areas of interest to showcase their capacity, capability, realise their hidden potential and set an agenda for action.

As well as Member of Parliament Dr Rajen Prasad, a number of organisations patronised the annual programme. They included the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Chinmaya Mission, Ram Mandir Youth Group, Indiance Dance Group, Sri Sathya Sai Organisation and Hindu Youth Australia.

Hindus flourish

Murali Magesan proved that he was a chip of the old block, making his Scientist father Dr Guna Magesan (who was not present) proud. The young man, who undertook various responsibilities for the annual gathering, told in his keynote address that Hindu youth can be the leading light of the multicultural, multi-religious and multilingual community of New Zealand, provided they harnessed their capabilities for the common good.

“There are about 80,000 Hindus in New Zealand, accounting for about 2% of the population. As a group, we are significantly more qualified compared to the rest of the population. It is heartening that a high percentage of Hindus are highly successful professionals in this country,” he said.

Inspiring talent

Speakers at the ‘Inspire Session’ highlighted their motivators, challenges and learning from their experience in different sectors. They encouraged young people to think about participating more in their respective areas.

Among those that were a source of inspiration and endearment at the Conference were Telisha Kumar (Frontline Police),); Krishna Ramarathinam (Classical musician at an international event) and Kunal Bhargava (Technology)

An official from Youth Development Ministry conducted two workshops encouraging participants to learn about the importance of youth voice in decision-making (Your Voice), and equipping themselves with skills to be effective leaders (Your Leadership).

Agents of change

Calling on all participants to be agents of social change, speakers at the ‘Be the Change’ session highlighted their experiences and ways of addressing areas of Poverty (Divya Hariharan), Creative Industries and Collaboration (Bhavesh Bhuthadia), Youth Positive Engagement (Akshita Nama) and Character building through Dharmic Youth Classes (Rahul Chopra).

The Conference provided an opportunity to the participants to discuss City Planning, women in the Hindu society and experiences of Leadership Building Programme.

Fun energisers, team building exercises and a quiz were also held.

The above was written from a report sent by Nitika Sharma, President of Hindu Youth New Zealand. She can be contacted at neatyka@gmail.com

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