By Dr. Onima Sharma
As I reminisce my school days I remember being one of those students who would hide themselves as the teacher allotted duties for the morning assembly. The very idea of going up to the podium and delivering seemed daunting to me. As I grew up I saw that fear subside perceptibly. I savour the unpredictability of life, as they say ” Life happens when you least expect”, and in my professional pursuit I landed up being a Professor. By no means did I have an option to stay aloof from public speaking and here I am today years down the line in the same career. I live by Roosevelt’s words, “All you have to fear is fear itself.”
As I enter classrooms now, I carry a bit of wisdom along, with a resounding message to my students to be cautious in life and learn from people’s mistakes. I try and instill the art of public speaking in them and their sheer exuberance to learn things leaves me astounded at times. This is what gave me a major push to start a Debating Society in my college, DAV(PG) Dehradun and after major contemplations we decided to name it Mantrana.
Mantrana is just a year old, perhaps in its formative years and it elates me to see the Debating Society stride by leaps and bounds every passing day. In such a short span the society has had student representation in international summits as well. It fills me with immense pride to see the society collaborate with the Valley of Words for the second time.
Last year we had organised the VoW-Mantrana Debate at the district level with a participation of almost all the colleges from Doon and around. This year too we are bracing ourselves up to organise the VoW -Mantrana National Debate Championship 2020 ,on a bigger scale envisioned to be a PAN India event. The debate will be organised in 4 rounds namely – the preliminary, the quarter finals, the semi-finals and the finals .
The topics are thought provoking and quite insightful for all the 4 rounds. The topics for different rounds will be, the Preliminary Round topic will be “Media trials violate the Fundamental Rights of the Accused”, the
Quarter finals topic will be “Protectionism is ultimately destructive to International Relations” followed by Semi finals in which participants will be debating on “Judiciary should not interfere in religious matters” and lastly for the Finals the topic is “India should recognize Tibet and Taiwan”. These topics have been deliberated upon by the esteemed Jury and they reflect the pulse of the Nation and also provide food for thought for young minds.
There are three zones which would facilitate Mantrana in having a larger reach across India for the preliminary round. The four zones including Mantrana are:-
a. Zone 1: Mantrana Debating Society of DAV(PG) College, Dehradun
b. Zone 2: DAV College Management Committee, Delhi
c. Zone 3: Department of Higher Education, Haryana
d. Zone 4: Voice for India , NGO
The edge on the seat are the prizes that the winners of the Championship will carry back home – 1 prize of Rs 51,000/-, 2 prize of Rs 31,000/-, 1 runners up Rs 11,000/- and 2 runners up Rs 11,000/-. VoW- Mantrana Debate also promises to give participation e-certificates in order to give the participants a national recognition.
The pandemic has taken a toll on our daily lives and has brought various tasks to a standstill. The VoW- Mantrana Debate is one such platform that didn’t let a pandemic become an impediment in the learning process. Sky is the limit as far as avenues are considered and VoW Mantrana Debate has proven it yet again by taking the entire debate online this year. The debate is scheduled to begin on the 11th of October 2020, with young ebullient minds all set to express themselves and put across their views with conviction. The VoW Mantrana Debate ensures to be informative, inclusive of students across the nation, and enlightening with opinionated students. As eloquently said “What the youth thinks, the country becomes”, and I hope these students with a purpose channelize their energy into making this World a haven for ideas, beliefs and culture.
Dr.Onima Sharma is Director, Mantrana Debating Society, DAV(PG) College, Dehradun