Under 25 Summit – the youth fest in Manipal4 min read
MANIPAL: The Under25 Summit, India’s largest youth festival for entrepreneurs, designers, developers, musicians and other young people, was organised for the first time in Manipal at the MJC Grounds on January 19, with the theme ‘#CelebrateConfusion’.
The event had over 1300 attendees, with the excitement running high for the various performances and discussions. The speaker lineup included Sidharth Bendi, Nisha Subramanium, Anto Philip, Jovanny Varela Ferreyra, Vineeth Kumar and Naser al Azzeh of JordIndian, Biswa Kalyan Rath, and the final act by When Chai Met Toast.
An open mic was also organised for the up-and-coming talents which were received enthusiastically by the audience.
When asked about the experience of coming to Manipal, Anto Philip, CEO and co-founder of Under25, responded, “There is so much power to the collaboration of youngsters coming to the city. What’s heart-warming about Manipal as a city and a university is the unison and the fact that it is a city that is controlled by the power of young people. It is made in a way to support the young crowd so that they can take it forward in life.” He continued, saying, “Having travelled to 44 cities in the past four years, I have realised that young people from larger cities have a certain sense of privilege and are spoiled for choices. They often do not understand the smaller things that might have a positive impact on life. Under25 exists to change that perspective, and to do small things with great love.”
On talking about the opportunities for the youth of India, Sidharth Bendi, a singer-songwriter from Hyderabad who had the audience spellbound after his performance, said, “Considering my life, things are more possible for our generation and that’s a very, very fortunate place to be in. I feel like there are a lot of things that are wrong right now. Instead of looking at that, we need to focus on the greater things.”
JordIndian, the comedic YouTuber duo, when asked about their vision for the youth of India, said, “Focusing on what one aspires to do is a must to achieve their goals, but it is also advisable to have a backup option to fall back to in case something goes astray along your journey. Everything is about balance.”
Jovanny Varela Ferreyra, better known as ‘The Artidote’, is an advocate of mental health who uses art on social media as a medium to cultivate empathy to deal with mental health issues. On being asked about his decision to use social media as a platform, he replied, “It all started as an experiment; social media became the place where people, especially the youth, gathered around and I realised that my message would reach out even further as their entire attention was on it. Social media is no different from the reality that we live in, so it is going to be vicious and malicious, and maybe that is why I want to share some light.” He further said, when talking about fan interactions, “It is very exciting to see or learn about something that I said or shared impact someone else’s life positively.”
When Chai Met Toast, a four-piece English folk band, also discussed the positivity they tried to share through their music. They said, “We have a song called ‘Believe’ for a reason: you should do what feels right to you, the motivation is what you have to look for and feel it inside. There is a lot of competition, but do not lose hope and keep working, do not let anything get in your way. I think that is what the vision of this generation should be.”
An aspiring social worker, Deepa, a student at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), in reference to the talk by sociologist and educator with Teach For India, Nisha Subramanuim said, “It was extremely helpful of her to guide the interested in the right direction. I wanted to venture out and use my skills in a way that assists others and I think I have found the right opportunity. The summit itself is such a pleasant opportunity to see the lively crowd accepting and sympathising with the things that were once never talked of, as well as enjoying at the same time.”
Featured Image Courtesy: Abhishek Manoharan
Edited by: Rayna Lele