Arjun Shukla is a final year economics student studying in Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. He is an accomplished debater having won numerous accolades in the Delhi University parliamentary debating circuit and other circuits around the country. While at Mother's International School, Arjun enrolled in the debating classes offered by Aawaaz. Below is his testimony detailing his experience with Aawaaz and what he took away from it.
Entering the DU debating circuit can be a daunting experience for a lot of freshers. The motions are obscure, the adjudication harsh, and the jargon unnecessary. It’s easy for anybody to be intimidated, but fortunately, I wasn’t – and Aawaaz is the singular reason why. Aawaaz had already equipped me with the skills required to approach the DU debating circuit. Back in high school, the highlight of my week was the weekly Aawaaz classes, where we would discuss and debate upon everything under the sun – from politics in India to the education system in Finland. In the midst of the heated discussions, unbeknownst to me, I was developing skills that proved to be of utmost value. I was learning how to critically understand, analyse, and rebut arguments. I was developing the confidence to speak in a room full of people and drive my point home without any hesitation. Thus, unknowingly, I became a confident public speaker (arguably) and an above average debater (hopefully).
To restrict the impact of Aawaaz classes to my debating merit would be a disservice. For it has taught me life lessons transcending debate rooms. To think of it, there is no domain in my life which is not influenced by Aawaaz. I remember sitting in job interviews, and being given case studies to critically examine. Albeit nervous, I was at peace compared to the other candidate because I was exposed to critical thinking in high school itself. It has also helped me study huge chunks of syllabus a night prior to the exam, and come out of the exam hall with reasonable results. Most of all, Aawaaz has helped me develop into a more aware and responsible citizen of this country.