The Telegraph
Saturday , April 5 , 2014
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Fest lends voice to youth

While the newly elected Lok Sabha will meet only after the elections, a parliament of youths has come together on the BIT-Mesra campus to discuss socio-political problems during the 2014 edition of Rostra, an annual fest organised by the cradle’s literary society.

The three-day event with the tagline “Come, Let’s breathe literature” kicked off on Friday. Organisers have lined up a number of contests that will give expression to the budding writer, aspiring politico or the wannabe journalist in you. The competitions are being held in both English and Hindi, giving a scope to more number of students to exhibit their skills.

Around 400 students from 20 colleges, including NIT-Rourkela, NIT-Adityapur, ISM-Dhanbad, St Xavier’s College, Marwari College and Ranchi College, are taking part.

Uday Kiran, a second-year student of electronic communication and engineering and a member of the literary society, said the competitions were an ideal platform for youths to express their opinions on national and international matters.

“Participants will have to use their practical knowledge of the way various sections of society work,” he said.

After the fest was inaugurated by chief guests Anurag Gupta, IG (provisions), CID; Franz Gastler, founder of NGO Yuwa, and Retd Colonel Ishan Basu on Friday, a panel discussion on gender inequality was held. Fifty teams, five in each group, battled it out.

The other contests will be held over the weekend.

In Panchayati Raj, young citizens will need to assume rustic roles and solve problems through discussion within the community, while Vaad-Vivaad will see debates on socio-cultural issues. Newsroom will challenge the rookie journo among the participants as they will need to adapt themselves to unforeseen developments in a newsroom-like atmosphere.

These apart, there are online events like Be the next Shakespeare, Rewrite the History and Shabd Dwand.

While Be the next Shakespeare will test the participants’ ability to use their imagination to conjure aesthetic write-ups, Rewrite the History will want them to construct an alternative reality starting from an imagined occurrence in history. For example, participants will have to write on what would have happened if Adolf Hitler became president of the US instead of Abraham Lincoln.

Shabd-Dwand will call forth the poet in the participants.