#IWriteForDiversity: Online contest by IIMB students club gets warm response

Bengaluru: Poems, essays and short stories celebrating diversity made their way to the online contest — IWriteforDiversity, an initiative of a few post graduate students in management at IIM Bangalore, led by Abhishek Ghosh and Rohit John Philip.

QUEst, the diversity and inclusion group led by Ghosh and Philip, had announced an online writing contest inviting stories, poems and reflections on inclusion. The contest #IWriteForDiversity, was launched on August 1, in collaboration with Interweave, an inclusion solutions consulting firm. It was hosted on a platform called Penbound, a socio-publishing, networking and learning platform for readers and writers.

Vineet Shetty, Co-founder of Penbound, said: “It’s nice to know that people from ages 18 to 60 and from different educational and cultural backgrounds, participated in the contest.”

Dr. Radhakrishnan Pillai, author of ‘Corporate Chanakya’ and the ‘Chanakya’ series, evaluated the entries.

Charumathi Supraja, an independent journalist, who won the first prize for her short story ‘Eyes Full of Stars’, said: “It’s good to see the focus on inclusion and diversity”.

Among the entries, ‘The Third Sphere’ by Nisha Babu, a 20-year-old student from Bhopal, shines the spotlight on the transgender community in India, ‘Making’, a short story by Bangalore’s George Thomas, deals with homosexuality, and ‘Cinderella – no holds barred’ by 15-year-old Upaasana Kartik retells the fairy tale. Aarti Shyamsunder, organizational psychologist who runs her own consulting practice focused on leadership, assessment, diversity and inclusion in Bangalore, writes on ‘sexism and its victims’, while Sastra University’s Kavyapriya Sethu and Lady Shri Ram’s College’s Aditi Majumdar, in their poems, ‘What Do You See?’ and ‘Your Cup of Tea’, write on gender roles, identities and biases.

Anushka Shetty, Co-founder of Penbound, said: “Collaborating with QUEst has helped us get people to think about issues that are often swept under the carpet. The response has been very encouraging.”

Rohit Philip, of PGP 2016-18 at IIMB, agreed with Shetty. “The response has been fantastic. We have received requests for regional language contests and we are working with Penbound on this. To sustain the momentum generated by the contest, we are also working with Kashish Art Foundation and will host a film festival on campus this weekend (Oct 14th) for students and the IIMB community.”

The winning entries of the #IWriteforDiversity contest can be read at www.penbound.com