The Telegraph
Tuesday , June 10 , 2014
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Global platform for young leaders

Three boys from St. Xavier’s, School, Calcutta, landed in Washington DC on Sunday to join youngsters from over 100 countries at the Global Young Leaders Conference 2014 that began on Monday.

The conference, which will continue till June 18, is aimed at educating and inspiring students to fulfil their roles as world leaders of tomorrow.

The first part of the intensive and stimulating leadership conference is being held in Washington DC and the second in New York.

The students were selected on the basis of their ability to speak spontaneously on any subject. The selected candidates from Xavier’s are Akshat Kapoor of Class XI and Abhinav Shandaliya and Sayan Chakraborty of Class XII.

“They had to go through rigorous grooming during the summer vacation,” said Saptarshi Mallick, who teaches English in the senior section of the school and was in charge of the project.

The reading list for the boys included works on Vivekananda, including Romain Rolland’s The Life of Swami Vivekananda, as well as newspapers and magazines and information on the functioning of the UN. They also studied quotes from the Bhagvad Gita and the principles of Advaita Vedanta along with the interpretations.

“The focus was on sharpening their leadership skills, brushing up their knowledge of world politics, environmental issues as well as UN studies and social awareness,” Mallick said.

Senior teachers Andrew Singh and Mini Joseph helped with the preparations.

At the conference, the students will interact with each other to discuss issues ranging from global to local, diplomatic community, peace and security, interdependency in the world, human rights and the role of international organisations .

The participants will also deal with current issues such as international drug trafficking, global warming, nuclear proliferation and foreign aid. They will present resolutions and adopt a plan of action on these issues.

“This educational tour is surely going to be empowering and inspiring for the students. It would show them that they have the potential to make a difference at home and out there in the world,” said a senior teacher of the school.

In the previous years, the conference has been addressed by Kofi Annan, Strobe Talbott, Jean Gazarian and Gillian Sorensen, among others.