Model United Nations (MUN) is in integral part of curriculum in many schools where the brightest students tackle the latest issues confronting the world through challenging debates. It encourages students to develop their oratory skills, understand significant world topics and argue their position in a structured and precise manner.
Each year, young orators look forward to debating competitions on the local, regional and international level, which allow them to pit their skills against their peers. Only the most promising students have the opportunity to enter the international level and compete against the best from around the world. This year, Sudharsan Rathna Kumar of Indian Central School, Kuwait, has been invited to participate in this year’s Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) debate, which that takes place in Boston, United States from 26 – 29 January, 2017.
While being invited for HMUN was a dream come true for Sudharsan, participating in the debate proved to be an expensive affair. Luckily for him, he heard about Mughal Mahal Group's corporate support and promotion of talented young Indian students in Kuwait. He, along with his parents, decided to approach the company's managing director, Ashok Kalra with a sponsorship request.
“Our decision to provide sponsorship to Sudharsan was the outcome of a meeting I had with him and his parents, where he gave a very strong impression as a driven, inspirational youth determined to make his motherland India, and his adopted country Kuwait, proud,” said Mr. Kalra, when The Times Kuwait contacted him regarding the sponsorship.
“We at Mughal Mahal Group pride ourselves on helping bright and talented youngsters who we believe deserve to be encouraged and promoted and Sudharsan was one such student. We have been supporting students since 1991, when we realized that a lot of talented young Indian students in Kuwait were not getting the encouragement and support they deserved. For instance, since the Liberation of Kuwait we have instituted a program that presents three gold medals each year to three outstanding Indian students studying in Kuwait. We are also engaged in several similar ventures in India, where provide educational and financial support to needy students.”
“My support for Sudharsan comes specifically because I believe that he has the ability to participate successfully in the HMUN debate. The experience will not only broaden his perspective and develop his capabilities, but also, more importantly, he will become a role model for his peers and other young students. I am positive he will achieve his dreams and we at Mughal Mahal wish him the very best,” added Mr. Kalra.
The Times Kuwait recently had the opportunity to interview the young orator, who began by expressing his gratitude to Mr. Kalra and Mughal Mahal Group for their full sponsorship of his trip and stay in Boston, and for giving him the opportunity to realize his dream of participating in the HMUN debate.
Elaborating on his experience in school level debates, Sudharsan said, “I have participated in various MUNs in Kuwait, and went on to win the best speaker in FAIPS MUN, and won the best delegate in Bhavans MUN. My teachers told me that I should apply abroad and HMUN was the top choice because of its prestigious name and the fact that I could compete with some of the best talents in the world.”
“My invitation to participate in HMUN came as a surprise; it involved a rigorous whetting process that I was able to successfully overcome. I will be participating as an individual delegate in the Non-Governmental Organizations Programme and I have been assigned to debate the perspective of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).”
He admitted that it is a huge challenge to understand the viewpoint of IFRC and to successfully convey their perspective. “I realize the debate is not going to be easy and I have been undergoing extensive and intense preparations for the debate. The topic is such that I have to ensure that I stick to the subject without deviating, while making sure I elucidate all the main points. I am reading up on several current topics and studying professional debaters online. I am also a huge fan of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and enjoy watching his speeches,” he noted.
“There will be over 3,000 delegates at the HMUN debate and each will have his or her own unique skills. Competing against them will pose difficulties, but I have confidence in my abilities and I am ready for the challenge. I will persevere against all odds,” said a confident Sudharsan.
“The best part of joining HMUN is the excitement and fun of acting as diplomats and thinking from their perspective. Moreover, at HMUN you are exposed to people from different countries with new ideas. I think every part of the event is enjoyable, from debating to impressing fellow delegates; every aspect is a fascinating experience,” said the young orator, who looks forward to eventually joining the diplomatic service when he grows up.
“At HMUN you need make a strong impression during your interactions with other delegates and to be able to voice your views succinctly. I will try my best to win the best delegate at the HMUN or at least an outstanding mention,” said Sudharsan. “Also, I wish to prove I am worthy of the faith, trust and respect of my sponsors, my parents, teachers and all my well-wishers,” he added.
Ending the interview, he expressed his appreciation to his supporters who have given him encouragement in one way or the other, he mentioned Dr. Shantha Maria James, Principal ICS, Mrs. Jayalakshmi , Secretary ICS, Mr. Jagdeesh, Mr. Thomas John, Mr. Abhay Kashyap, Dr. Abhay Patwari, Dr. Mohan Ram and Mr. Mahesh Sharma.