Sunday, 13 December 2015

AMITAV - CARING FOR HISTORY

When you hear about three 11th grade girls who believe they can bring about a change in the world by preserving our "past" (quite literally), your first instinct will be to laugh. But not after you've seen how much these girls have accomplished already.


Kunalika Gautam (16), Lavanya Singh (15) and Siddhidatri Mishra (16) of Sanskriti School are humanities students, with a passion for history, and preserving it.



They've started an organisation called "Amitav", which I firmly believe they should boast about. Below is an exclusive interview with them: 

  • What is Amitav?

    "Our organisation aims at preserving the culture and heritage of the world, starting with Delhi. We have come to realise that historical topics are considered to be redundant by many. We hope to take history to it's former glory. Our passion for history and it's symbols is undying and we hope to translate this into reality through Amitav."

  • What is your inspiration?

    "I always wanted to start something related to history, and in class 11 the idea of Amitav dawned upon me. I felt that even though my passion was enough, the time an 11th grande student will get will not allow me to dedicate enough hours as Amitav would require.", says Kunalika, very matter-of-factly. "I roped in my 2 best friends and "directors" in crime, Lavanya and Siddhi, and the inspiration is ofcourse," ...... "Phineas and Ferb!" She laughed annoyingly. (They later clarified that their inspiration was the TV show only because of the kids, who did whatever they wanted.)

  • 16 (and 15, Lavanya) is a very young age to start an organisation... Tell us about some of the challenges faced by you.

    "A lot of people very genuinely thought that we started Amitav only for college applications and to impress the teachers and get into the Student Council, whereas that is far from our true objective," complained Siddhi. "What they don't understand is that Amitav is not just a hobby for us; it's something we would want to continue even during college, and after too! People don't take us seriously when we tell them about Amitav, they think we're joking."


  • How did you come up with the name Amitav?

    *Crazy amounts of laughter* "I had initially thought of the name Sabhyata, but after checking it turned out to be the name of a clothing line. Next option was Atulya, but I wanted to save that for my kid maybe?" Kunalika laughed and continued, "So me and Lavanya went to a site for baby names and searched for names that were related to history in any way, and we found Amitav." *so much laughter, I can't even*

  • So, how do you plan on changing people's views on history?

   "At the moment, we've launched a series of cleaning drives called P.U.R.E (Preserving Ubiquitous Remembrance) and the first one was held at the Purana Qila. We plan on starting historical tours at the Jama Masjid sometime soon."






  • You recently went to a competition regarding Amitav. What was that about?

     "We participated in the Young Ideation Challenge organised by IILM school of business. In the challenge, we had to identify a problem in society, suggest a solution to it and convert that solution into a business venture. We decided out problem was that many people don't take history seriously. Our solution was Amitav, and our solution was to start a historical fest twice a year called "Ek Dastan". Te top five teams were given an award and Rs. 11,000 to initiate the project. We were one of them!"























  • What are your future plans for Amitav?

    Our final aim is to be able to collaborate with world groups and protect civilisations all over the world. We wish to start with small scale programs within our school and Delhi and then slowly expand to other parts of the nations and then the world. We also wish to create a platform for all history enthusiasts who are reluctant to take up the subject due to lack of career opportunities by providing a base, which hopefully in the future will be a licensed and registered organisation." 





Photographs and answers provided by Amitav.

You can contact Amitav at amitavsabhyata@gmail.com and look out for their logo, to be launched soon, on their Facebook page!