30 young scholars from 15 countries came together to immerse themselves in two-days International Students Retreat held at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Vadodara Gujarat.
The students learnt leadership skills, team work, cultural aspects of different countries and more. They came from countries like Uganda, Yemen, South Africa, Afghanistan, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Rwanda etc.
Sharing their cultural experience and personal journeys from their home countries in Africa and Asia to the vibrant life of India, this intimate experience was a unique initiative. While the day time included seminars, policy negotiations and team-work sessions, the cultural evening showcased country presentations, dance and music performances.
A young delegate from South Africa, Courtney-Celeste Patel, remarked, “Personally, I learnt a lot about Indian culture and a bit about history. It made me realize the close bond my country South Africa and India share. A very big thank you to Vision India Foundation.”
The delegation was also addressed by Prof. Michel Danino of IIT Gandhinagar, who highlighted India’s traditional knowledge systems and their relevance in the current world crisis. In a session by Mr. Praful Harshe, IAS (retd.) from the Gujarat Public Service Commission, the young minds got inspiration to become public leaders and contribute effectively towards their country. While a majority of the delegation was studying technical subjects in India, the session on India’s Foreign Policy by Prof. Amit Dholakia of MSU sparked great interests in the delegates.
Sharing his views, Jameel Ahmed Al. Ghaberi from Yemen said “What was interesting was the glimpses we got of the Indian FP and how they envision the future. The mix of activities and lecture made it a dynamic process”.
With the aim of bringing cultures and countries closer through people-to-people interaction, the International Students Retreat was a second event under the programme of Global Young Achievers Network (GYAN). The program was organized by Vision India Foundation, a Delhi-based think-tank, in partnership with the MSU and Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Gujarat.