For many people in the IT industry, which, thanks to rapid convergence, is increasingly the ICT industry, Nasscom’s annual event has become a routine affair. And yet, the number of delegates and attendees continues to rise with each passing year. (The India Leadership Forum summit concluded on February 10 in Mumbai.)

While the event indeed is a great opportunity to meet and exchange market views and business ideas with the IT…err ICT fraternity, an even bigger opportunity lies in listening to some of the best minds and their views, sometimes not necessarily on the state of the industry or the economy.

As an example, when HCL Tech chairman and philanthropist Shiv Nadar spoke, he didn’t at all talk about the industry. And yet, the audience sat speechless, as Nadar himself choked towards the end of his speech and ended it, apologising, “I can’t speak further.”

Nadar spoke about VidyaGyan, an institution he has founded with the aim of imparting world-class education and campus environment to students coming from rural, poor backgrounds, where the tools of learning are nowhere near the ones used by students in urban, affluent centres.

He narrated the tale of the vast disparity with emotions flowing from his own set of experiences of a somewhat unprivileged student life. And that resonated seamlessly with the audience, bringing tears to many of the eyes that filled the sprawling hall.

He likened the bright, but deprived, rural young minds to lotuses that flower after rising above the abjectness that surrounds their early lives. He talked in detail about the first school that has come into being and shared with the audience his current plans to bring a total of four such schools.

Nadar’s effort and personal involvement in the cause is laudable and will hopefully trigger more such initiatives from other industry honchos. Such initiatives can also be seen as steps to build minds that would build the nation of tomorrow. To borrow a couple of phrase from Nadar himself, such initiatives are about “doing good” while “doing well” too.

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