Successful women leaders, entrepreneurs, and authors discuss the ‘power of words’ on Day 1 of WEF Bangalore 2020
Words can either create or destroy. They can build nations or bring down dynasties and governments. These were some of the ideas discussed during ‘The Power Of Words’ panel discussion held on the first day of WEF Bangalore 2020, Global Digital Summit.
Moderated by author Roopa Pai, the online plenary session included speakers such as Lakshmi Menon, CEO of Express Publications (Madurai) Pvt Ltd India, Mita Kapur, Founder and CEO, Siyahi, Preethi Srinivasan, Founder, Soulfree, Deepa Rao, Author and Entrepreneur, Lit Spirit and Anuja Chauhan, Author.
Each of the panelists shared their thoughts on how they perceive this idea of ‘power of words.’ The session began with Ms Menon sharing her experience of being the CEO of a newspaper company and what words mean to her. “Words have the power to heal and to destroy so we must use words judiciously. As a newspaper, we sensitise our reporters to use words that create positivity rather than creating a sense of despair and hopelessness,” she said. She also shared that as a company, the Express Publications (Madurai) Pvt Ltd India continues to keep up its legacy of fighting fault but the real challenge is in reporting negative news. “Even when such stories are written, we look for hope in them and use words that highlight it. In fact, we have a Good News section to report all the positive stories,” she added.
Anuja Chauhan, who is a well-known advertising professional (the person behind Pepsi’s ‘Yeh dil maange more’ tagline) and author of popular books such as The Zoya Factor, Battle for Bittora and Those Pricey Thakur Girls, spoke about how words hold a completely different meaning for her. “Words contain worlds inside them. They can make you or tear you apart. Lakshmi’s (referring to Ms Menon) team carries a huge responsibility on its shoulders because headlines can create communities or destroy people,” said Anuja. She further added, “I go to words for everything. It’s (referring to words) like my best box of crayons. I use it for escapism or to look at the brighter side of life.”
Among other speakers, the founder of Soulfree, Preethi Srinivasan, narrated her inspiring story. Preethi was the youngest member of the Tamil Nadu State Women’s Cricket Team and was a National Level swimmer. But at the age of 18, a freak accident left her paralysed from neck down. However, the young woman fought against all odds and started Soulfree, an organization that works for the rights of the disabled, particularly those with spinal cord injuries. “After my accident, I had given up and was lashing out at my parents. I always asked ‘why me?’ Nothing was seeping into my system and that’s when my father read out teachings by Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, and I realised the power of words. My father said, ‘Everyone’s body has to go, yours went away earlier than others, now you need to look within and find yourself,’ these words stayed with me and I felt my soul was free, and this gradually led me to start Soulfree,” said Preethi.
The session concluded on an optimistic note with each of the panelists sharing their most memorable and go-to words. Ms Menon shared her favourite maxims, “Little do we realise that our ignorance is far more profound than knowledge. Words are like seeds, what we throw around will grow and someday we will have to eat that fruit.” WEF Bangalore 2020, Global Digital Summit is jointly hosted by the ALL Ladies League and Women Economic Forum.
July 25-26. Details: https://www.wef.org.in/