The National Hindu Students’ Forum (NHSF) UK recently opened up a whole new vista for debate with an annual conference attended by over 250 students from across the world.
The Hindu Experience: Students’ Edition (T.H.E.S.E.) was designed to inspire and motivate participants and audience members to project their voices across all levels of society.
The conference, held on September 12-13, involved 19 panels and workshops, including career guidance and CV development sessions, interactive skills training and spotlight conversations with successful global thought leaders.
T.H.E.S.E. attracted 25 speakers from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Trinidad and Tobago, including the likes of:
* Manoj Ladwa, Founder of the India Inc Group, who led a session on British Hindus in the media entitled “From Twitter to Television: Telling our Story”
* Lord Jitesh Gadhia opened the conference with a keynote speech
* Jayesh Jotangia, Founder of the Hindu Lawyers’ Association, contributed to the “Project Politics: The Hindu Voice”
* Anil Asthana, Founding Trustee of Rashtram and an accredited gastroenterologist and hepatologist based in Australia, spoke about “Hindus in Healthcare: Prescribing a New World Order”
* Pankaj Chandak, a specialist transplant registrar at Guy’s and St. Thomas Hospitals in London, also known for leading innovations in 3D printing for paediatric kidney transplant surgeries, which have been displayed at London’s Science Museum
* Dr Nicholas Sutton, Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
* Brahmacharini Shripriya from Chinmaya Mission, who spoke about “Sustainable Dharma”
* Ravi Sidhoo, Managing Director of Synergy Bank, shared insights on “Wealth and Wellbeing: A dive into the meaning of success”
* Dr Ramesh Pattni, Trustee of Chinmaya Mission and Yoga psychologist
The concluding panel of the conference was “From New York to New Zealand: A Global Future”, bringing together Hindu student leaders from across the world to explore the responsibility of role models of the next generation.
Supported by the India Inc. Group, Hindu Yuva, Hindu Students’ Council, Hindu Students’ Youth Network (New Zealand), Chinmaya Mission, Vaani Speakers Academy, Tattva Press and Vichaar Manthan UK, NHSF UK showcased how Hindu voices have contributed to global conversations, and why the next generation of Global Hindus must carry the torch forward.
Nitin Patel, NHSF UK’s National Events Team and Project Manager for T.H.E.S.E. 2020, said: “After six long weeks of planning this virtual conference, it feels fantastic to see it all actually happening.
“The project team and other members of the national committee worked hard, long hours to pull this all together, and it was an unforgettable weekend!”
Manoj Ladwa, the First President of NHSF UK, noted: “The National Hindu Students’ Forum was formed to address a burning need – to provide a platform at universities for British Hindu students to explore and express their identity during some of their most formative years. Now, to witness it growing over the past three decades to be one of the biggest student bodies of its kind, providing thousands of students a home away from home, fills me with immense pride.
“This conference was able to bring together some of the most successful Global Hindu organisations and voices to inspire the next generation of leaders. I am proud of my association with NHSF UK ever since its inception, and at this pivotal time, as the world is on the brink of unprecedented change, let’s all work together and harder to imagine a brighter future for all.”
by Vidhu Sharma
The National Hindu Students’ Forum UK was set up in 1991 to provide Hindu students at universities across the United Kingdom a safe place to explore their Hindu identity, cultivate their key values, and develop into future Hindu ambassadors. Today, it is one of the largest student bodies of its kind in Europe, with over 4,000 active members at universities across the country, engaging in weekly discussions, sewa (selfless service), meditation and sports, amongst other activities.