Dhruv Lakra and Mahesh Bhatt inspire students with stories of courage and spirituality
NOTED FILMMAKER Mahesh Bhatt and Mirakle Couriers CEO Dhruv Lakra shared their journeys with over 800 students during Lecture 7 of the Aircel Power of Inspiration lecture series at the Royal Group of Institutions ( RGI) in Guwahati.
The session began with a welcome address by moderator Gunjan Batra, followed by a video on Aircel and the launch of the Aircel College Brand Ambassador programme. Aircel Sales Head (Assam circle) Vishwadeep Mukherjee took the students through a presentation of how they could enrol and eventually gain Harvard certification. A multimedia presentation by the Tehelka Foundation played next. It was a call to the youth for action.
Lakra started Mirakle Couriers in 2008 after a chance encounter with a deaf boy in Mumbai. It made him think and look for a way to mainstream this marginalised section of society. He said people often pitied the deaf and offered alms instead of empowering them by giving them “skill training and a job so that they can walk with their heads held high”. “People with disabilities don’t need charity. They need acceptance and a life of dignity,” he said.
Lakra spoke about a heartbreaking incident when a deaf woman came to his office looking for a job. She was earning 9 a day by stitching three blouses each day. “We fed her and then trained her and found a role to suit her. Today, she earns upwards of 4,000 a month,” he said.
Then it was Bhatt’s turn to come on stage. Before he shared his journey, he took it upon himself to emphasise what Lakra had said. “This young man has debunked the whole idea of charity,” he said. “The worst thing a human being can do is burden somebody else with the idea of charity. Giving someone a blanket may give you a high but it will leave the person waiting for the next fix. Let’s teach him to walk.”
“I don’t want to be remembered by the bank balance I have or the awards I have won but by the number of people whose lives I have touched. Apart from making movies I like to create destinies.”
He spoke about his turbulent 20s when his film bombed, his marriage was failing, he was already a father and in an extramarital relationship. All of this became too much to bear and he sought refuge in Osho’s ashram, but soon realised that he needed to look for the answers within. He then came in touch with philosopher UG Krishnamurthi, which became a turning point in his life. From UG, he understood the real meaning of spirituality.
Bhatt rued the fact that though there were many places of worship, spirituality seemed to be dead in India. “Spirituality is being empathetic and making a difference, like he (Dhruv) is doing,” he said. Talking about a recent visit to Porbandar, he said, “I understood the importance of building bridges with rural India. A country needs to take forward everyone together. It cannot grow if there are affluent pockets in the midst of abject poverty.”
The launch of Aircel The Power of Inspiration book by the dignitaries, including the speakers, Aircel’s Mukherjee, RGI Chairman AK Pansari, Director SP Singh and Principal B Banerjee. The book was given to all the students who attended the talk.
A vote of thanks by Gunjan to all the partners brought the event to a close.