Bollywood megastar Akshay Kumar, well known internationally for enabling passionate tailwind for notable social causes, extended his support for the Festival of Education, a first of its kind event in South Asia, incepted by the Government of Rajasthan in partnership with GEMS Education, to celebrate the future of education in India. An unprecedented event, the festival saw over 1,00,000 global innovators, academicians, faculty, change-makers, vice chancellors, educationalists, teachers, students, parents, scientists, and policy makers under one roof, united by the same goal – to give shape to the future of education through discourse, discussion and debate.
The Festival of Education entertained and inspired in equal measure and was divided into three experience zones which included Fundamental to capture high-level, thought-leadership panel discussions led by international stalwarts in the field of education and policy and game changers who play a fundamental role in shaping the future of the youth and in turn the future of India; Elemental, themed around Earth, Water, Wind, Fire and Aether to feature conversations by high-profile personalities from all walks of life, derived from these elements, to encapsulate a holistic learning; and Experimental, a special curated zone where governments exhibit technology that will drive the future of education.
Akshay Kumar participated in a panel session in the Earth Zone where he conversed with Amreesh Chandra, Group President, GEMS Education, India. Akshay Kumar addressed various questions touching upon the subject of socially conscious film making, including his decision to embrace the worlds first feature film on open-defecation ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’. Answering the question, he said:
“I wanted to highlight how a ‘Toilet’ is crucial to India’s health & sanitation, our state of living, even in the 21st century. More importantly I wanted to highlight how this film and the issues we are spotlighting affects the majority of women in this country, the country that we call our Motherland, yet our mothers, wives and sisters quietly and shamefully have to live without toilets & in conditions that should be inexcusable especially in this day and age.”
He added: “Open defecation is a problem that affects all of India. It is not only an issue for villages but equally a problem for the cities. Cities are at greater risk as we live in a confined area. Open defecation near the sea, or in between railway tracks, means germs and disease are able to spread quickly in the cities as we are so close to each other in the concrete jungle.”