A Day out at Digital Empowerment Awards: By - Samrat Sharma, MBA 1st year student at Jaypee Business School.
I attended the wonderful “Social Media for Empowerment Awards and Summit 2016” which was organised by Digital Empowerment Foundation on 15thof March. The venue was India Habitat Center, New Delhi. All the eyes were glued to this event as nominations and participation were received from across South Asia. JBS, Noida was privileged to be the institutional partner for this event and excitement level of the students was sky high.
The event was inaugurated with a welcome note by the Founder & Director of DEF, Mr. Osama Manzar which was followed by speeches from Dr. Ronald Meinardus, Ms. S. Radha Chauhan, Mr. Rai Mahimapat Ray and Mr. Epi Ludvik Nekaj. Students from JBS, Noida could be seen all around as they were involved in coordinating parallel session onto topics like Community Mobilization, Women Empowerment, Online Safety, Citizen Journalism and crowd sourcing. Students were engaged in tasks like photography, live tweeting and liaison work with the participants. Not only did this event offer students a chance to meet social entrepreneurs who are making a big difference in the real world but mainly it offered us a real life interaction with the industry outside classroom sessions which was very welcome.
All the volunteers had to be on their toes from one room to another in order to perform their volunteer duties as well as catch sessions on all the interesting topics that were being discussed by the eminent speakers. At one point, there were three panel discussions and one workshop going on and JBS students could choose to attend the session that interested them the most. Some amazing real life instances were shared where people were using social media as a platform for different social causes. These projects were a great source of inspiration to the students as they learnt effective application of using social media such as Facebook, twitter and blogging for the betterment of the society. SM4E awards are a great way of recognizing and honoring people from across India and seven other south Asian countries. The event had winners hailing from India and Pakistan. Each winner and special mention in the ten categories had used social media platform for social upliftment. Hearing about their work and seeing them being honoured was not only inspiring for the students but it also gave us many ideas for the future.
Students learnt a lot by volunteering at an event that actually recognizes and brings to the front the “common man” who is working for the upliftment of fellow “common people” and finally getting the lime light they deserve. The day ended up successfully when the winners were awarded and all the volunteers were given certificates and nice return gifts as a token of appreciation. We look forward to similar experiences in the future.