Building a global village 

Amrita Prasad
Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Symbiosis Law School (SLS), Pune, is organising its 10th edition of inter-collegiate annual cultural festival Symbhav 2018. The five-day festival, which commenced on February 21, is celebrating cultural diversities and traditions.

It is the season of college fests, and for Symbiosis Law School (SLS), Pune, the celebrations are bigger this year because it is the 10th edition of its inter-collegiate annual cultural festival Symbhav 2018. The five-day festival, which commenced on February 21, was inaugurated by Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who was the chief guest. 

Symbhav 2018, which will conclude on Sunday (February 25), is witnessing a participation of 3,000 students from various institutes in India and one team from New Zealand. 

This year’s theme is ‘Global Village’ which upholds the school’s motto — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. The theme will further propagate the idea that the world is one family, focussing on cultural diversities, traditions and their complete integration. It aims to celebrate the spirit of harmonious co-existence and establishing a symbiotic relationship between different people of the world. It hopes to cater to the myriad cultures which subsist across nations, sports enthusiasts and the epicures. The underlying objective of the festival is to bring together students from different disciplines across the country as well as abroad to exhibit their talent. 

Dr Shashikala Gurpur, director, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Viman Nagar, and dean, Faculty of Law, Symbiosis International University, says that since the festival is in its 10th year, some innovative activities have been added, besides the usual ones. For example, extempore moot, in addition to other events such as client counselling, mediation, negotiation and judgment writing, is being organised. 

Talking about some of the highlights of the fest, Gurpur says, “Our institutional social responsibility avenues have been increased to include NGOs and prison. For the inauguration of the event, the Chief Minister of the State Devendra Fadnavis was present. Apart from being a young leader, his family has always been associated with culture. We couldn’t find any better name personifying the spirit of Symbhav. Usually, the festival lasts for three days, but this year it is being celebrated over a period of five days. As the CM inaugurated our fest, we organised a law theatre --- a combination of theatre and law trial enactment which focussed on sex workers. The Buddhadev Karmakar case has been theatrised.” 

Adds Gurpur, “Young political leader, Kartikeya, who is actively involved in youth politics in Madhya Pradesh, will also be a part of the festival. We are happy that the platform will prove useful to students who can showcase and nurture their talent through participation. The speciality of this year’s festival is a video competition for which we have got an entry from New Zealand.” 

Emphasising on how organising and participation in college fests, help students learn leadership qualities, Gurpur says that it gives them an idea of how to work as a team, execute concepts, raise funds, manage so many activities taking place on a large scale, take responsibility towards their duties as leaders and volunteers, and set goals and achieve them. 

“In the entire process, they learn the art of being good hosts because they are hosting about 3,000 students from different colleges. It will also prepare them to comply with the rules, when they are handling so much money because there is a big sponsorship involved with the tune of Rs 50-60 lakhs. Year after year, students take active participation in organising Symbhav and they have been carrying out their responsibilities quite well under the faculty and college leadership. These attributes help them develop leadership qualities,” says Gurpur. 

She believes that inter-collegiate competitions such as Symbhav always lead to cultural exchange and transmission of new ideas. “Our students take part in competitions taking place at other institutes and they too participate in our events. It is a reciprocal way to learn. We seek ideas from their events and try to reflect them in ours, some of our events are recreated by other institutes — it is all about symbiosis,” she concludes. 

The activities
•    Symbhav will witness 55 legal, sports and other cultural events distributing maximum cash and other prizes in comparison to other festivals. Flagship events of the fest include Fashion Show, War of the DJs, Battle of the Band, Group Dance, Mr & Ms Symbhav, Gear Heads, Basketball and Football. 
•    This year, the festival, has also introduced innovations under different categories including street play, stage play, beatboxing under Performing Arts; Funk from Junk under Creative Events; block & tackle and word games under Literary/ Entertainment; lip sync battle under Miscellaneous; Futsal, Footvolley, Sports Essay and Sports Quiz under Sports.
•    Symbhav 2018 will also showcase an ensemble of curios, crafts and cultural exhibition by prison inmates, self-help groups and NGOs such as Maher representing the ethical core of SLS’ institutional social responsibility. Pet adoption drive will also be a part of Symbhav.  
•    The other major attractions are the Pronite starring Farhan Akhtar with his band playing for 90 minutes on February 23; Varun Thakur, the famous standup comedian, and The Local Train, the band, will perform on February 24; and Candice Redding & Zaeden, international DJs, will perform on  February 25.  

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