Sunday, the 30th April 2023 marked the 400th Meeting of the Dehradun WIC India Toastmasters Club. The Club celebrated the milestone at the Laata Café, Jakhan, Dehradun. The meeting was attended byover 60 persons comprising of Senior Toastmasters, Distinguished Guests, Members of the Club and special Invitees, students from the Bajaj Institute of Learning for Special Children and from the Purkul Youth Development Society (PYDS). The participation of ten students was sponsored by Dr. TejasviKamra and SadhnaKamra. Alpika Sharma, a fitness coach and owner of Gleam Clinic opposite St.Joseph Academy also sponsored 10 students.
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. The organization supports over280,000 members improve their speaking and leadership skills. There are a total of over 14,700 clubs in 142 countries. The Club at Dehradun is a part of Toastmasters international. Dehradun Toastmasters Club held its very first meeting on 2nd August 2015 and has the unique distinction of having organized its weekly meetings ever since leading to this 400th meeting.
The celebration began with a walk down the memory lane whereby the journey of the Club thus far was depicted by way of a picture presentation of several past events, video clips shared by several past and current members and their sharing of collective experiences as to how they all gained by being members of this enriching global community of Toastmasters.
Toastmaster Antriksh Garg started the meeting on a high energy note and invited the current President of the Club, Toastmaster Prakash Bhatt, to give his welcome address. TM Prakash extended a warm welcome to all members and guests and spoke about the glorious history of the Club.He spoke of the beginning of the Club by the efforts of Toastmaster Harry Sethi.He also talked about how the Club has impacted its members from different professions and age groups. He expressed the hope that the Club would keep growing and fulfilling its commitment towards empowering members to become confident in their communication and public speaking skills.
Toastmaster Pallavi Pandey Kamboplayed the role of the Toastmaster of the Day for the 400th Meeting. There were engaging speeches delivered by TM Maitreyi and TM TMRatika Garg. As per the norms of the Club these speeches were evaluated by TM Ashima Sharma and TMShobit Pandey, Division Director. This was followed by the fun section of impromptu speeches, the Table Topic Session. This was masterfully conducted by the veteran Toastmaster Dr. Meenakshi Goel Chaudhary.There was enthusiastic participation by the guests and invitees in delivering short and interesting speeches.
Toastmaster Harry Sethi, the founding President of the Club, shared his experiences. He told the gathering about how he started the Club when he was 68 and how the growth of the Club has been his passion ever since. He thanked all those who have contributed in the journey of the Club and stated as to how the growth of its members in the personal and professional lives has given him immense satisfaction and pride
Dr. Kumar Shravan, Dean Students Welfare, Uttaranchal University, was the Keynote speaker. He emphasized the importance of communication in personal and professional lives. Words we use in our communication should be simple and clearly understandable. He advised everyone to read and keep adding to one’s knowledge. He also recited some lines from the poems written by him.
Puneet Basur, Director Bajaj Institute, spoke about how the institute gives education to the deaf children. They also impart them skills that can help them in securing jobs or starting their own enterprises. Radha Bajaj, Chairperson DEEDS that runs Bajaj institute, was also present. DEEDS has given better life to 15,000 deaf persons and given jobs to 1500 deaf persons in last two decades. Annaya Garg from the institute delivered a speech that was simultaneously translated by his school teacher. Dr. Sanjay Goyal evaluated his speech and appreciated how despite his handicap he could deliver a very good speech.
Students from PYDS gave entertaining performances. One of the students spoke of Gavel club set up in PYDS by Harry Sethi and how it has benefited the students in their lives. Gavel club is an institution created by Toastmasters International for persons below 18 years.