InspirEd 2016 Speech

The Times Of India organised a teacher’s meet on the 19th of November 2016. Alongside various prestigious speakers like Shashi Panja and Prof. Anindyo Sen, I was invited to speak, to thank teachers as well as inspire them to motivate minds. The teachers were handed out firkis (rolling paper blades) as a symbol of change.

Here is my speech:

Good Morning one and all present here.

I am Jishnu Bandyopadhyay.

Marshall McLuhan, a teacher by profession, once said “People don’t actually read newspapers.  They step into them every morning like a hot bath.” And if that were to be true, I am extremely lucky and privileged to have contributed a small drop of bubble bath liquid into that hot bath. It has been of extreme honour to work with a prestigious institution like The Times Of India NIE. Thanks to everyone present here, all the honourable dignitaries who have put together put forward this huge platform for young journalists and writers, like me.

Thanks to Althea Philips and Sravanti Chattopadhyay for their continuous and untiring support and encouragement.

And thanks to the species of people for whom this event has been organised, our very own teachers.

Without whom, I wouldn’t be able to write what I write, read what I read and look at the world the way I do. They have always been a constant source of knowledge, wisdom, inspiration and positivity in my life.

As a student, I always like to write and read vigorously. I try to come with articles for the TOI NIE newspaper and the website that will bring about, even if a little bit, of change. An article of mine just came out in yesterday’s issue titled How to Deal with body shaming. I try to write articles that matter, articles which solve problems and articles that create a wind of change strong enough to make your firkis go round.

I have also been contributing actively to the brand new NIE website,, which is also a great platform for writers, painters and newsmakers who cannot always submit their work to the newspaper. Students who submit regularly are also certified and recognised by this epitome of an institution, I was recently informed that I have also received an award for my active contribution, which is great again.

Now, as I have come to end of my speech, it is time to share my Phirki story.

I was always horrible at Maths, which my psychologist aunt would put as a case of dyscalculia. Now before I joined Apeejay School, Part Street, I used to study in another prestigious school which I left, for the sake of Humanities, I mean the stream. There I had come across extremely strict Math teachers right from the 5th standard, who turned my dyscalculia to super dyscalculia and my math results were obviously not very pleasing, which would come along as a sharp contrast when compared to the grades I received in the other subjects throughout.

I was really scared when I came up to the tenth standard as I didn’t want to scar my mark sheet because of one single subject.

Then, I met my maths teacher for the 10th grade and everything changed. She was kind, ever supportive, understanding, I mean all those things you don’t expect a maths teacher to be like. And guess what? At the end of the year, I passed with flying colours!

All of you are teachers here, you shape minds and touch lives every day. No one is more capable of bringing about change than all of you are.

So today, I would like to encourage you to bring about change, in your own way!

Thank you so much for being patient and lending me your ears.