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SRMD London Youth Festival: Celebrating unity, impact, energy

SRMD London Youth Festival: Celebrating unity, impact, energy

Through an action-packed schedule of 25 curated events across Wisdom, Wellness, Service, Culture and Sport, the SRMD London Youth Festival 2023 concluded last weekend but its impact will create a lasting legacy.

Organised by the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD) UK, the event brought about a transformative experience for hundreds of youngsters who made the journey to London and ignited creativity, instilled empathy, and motivated the youth to embrace their potential as changemakers. Moreover, the organisers took steps to minimise the environmental impact by decorating the entire venue and creating feature walls using upcycled materials such as wooden crates and milk cartons.

Manthan Taswala, Trustee of SRMD UK and organiser of the SRMD London Youth Festival, shared: “Drawing from the guidance we have received from Pujya Gurudevshi Rakeshji, the Founder of SRMD, and his powerful vision for the youth, our aim was to create a dynamic and safe space where the youth could connect, collaborate, and draw inspiration from one another.

“Through this festival and future events, we aspire to nurture a community of compassionate and empathetic leaders who actively contribute to a better world.”

Embodying the tagline ‘Meet the Real You’, the festival commenced with a session led by Global Youth Speaker and Head of SRMD Yoga Atmarpit Shraddhaji on the topic ‘Unmasking Yourself’. The session inspired participants to take a moment to truly reflect on their authentic selves.

A highlight of the festival was the “Changemakers Panel”, composed of powerful women who have challenged the status quo. The panel included Philanthropist and Trustee of the Serendipity Foundation Varsha Sehgal; Assistant Head of Coaching at QPR F.C. Manisha Tailor MBE; and Head of ESG Strategy, Wholesale Lending, at Barclays, Heeral Shah. The interactive discussion captivated the audience and opened their eyes to the various ways they could contribute to making a change in society, ranging from helping those whose voices are not heard, using sports as a medium to connect, and by encouraging conversations about diversity to empower people from all walks of life.

To foster the notion of team spirit and promote physical and mental well-being, the festival included a lively sports tournament consisting of over 40 teams playing football, cricket, badminton and netball. Moreover, the youth were energised and found their zen with a specially curated “Techno Yoga” session and “Glowstick Meditation”.

The two-day event on July 23-24 culminated with the “Social Impact Hackathon”, a unique concept to turn challenges into opportunities, opportunities into ideas and ideas into innovation. The hackathon included 45 participants, divided into eight teams who worked together to create solutions to three key challenges the youth face today:

·       Breaking Down Barriers – improving access to mental health services within the South Asian community;

·       Opening Doors – bridging the housing accessibility gap for young professionals; and

·       Less Waste, More Taste – minimising food waste and combat the impact of climate change.


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