Modern School, Barakhamaba Road, a 95-year-old institution situated in the heart of the national capital, is hosting its tenth   edition of the Community Development and Leadership Summit (CDLS), which is themed as “It’s All in Us —Integrated Intelligence”. CDLS 2015, is witnessing a participation of 105 delegates of 22 schools from 18 different countries across
the globe.

Dr Vijay Datta , principal, Modern School, Barakhamba Road said, “Tomorrow’s world leaders need to have the qualities of the head and the heart. And the CDLS conclave is the right avenue where these qualities are further honed. Hence the theme Integrated Intelligence has been aptly ingrained into the consciousness of the youth present; they would deliberate and judiciously brainstorm on this. The youths present at the conclave would learn that if the wind does not assist, one should take to the oars. Thinking individuals should be the order of the day”

   The tenth edition of the CDLS features several projects and activities aimed at nurturing young minds and changing young mindsets by promoting a logical and scientific outlook to world problems. Along these lines, the delegates had an opportunity to participate in interactive sessions with eminent and dynamic personalities from a wide spectrum of fields like,   Salman Khurshid, an ex-foreign Minister of India, Siddharth Luthra, who is an eminent lawyer, General (retired) G.D Bakshi, Dr. S. Chaudhary from the field of medicine, among many others.

“CDLS is probably the only platform in the world where service expectations are taught to the youth from across the world. It is again the only platform where debates and discussions around world issues are deliberated by young and intelligent minds. It is a lifelong learning experience for both the delegates and us. We are also trying to give our delegates the experience of real India, its values and traditions.” 

Gautam Sarkar, HOD, CDLS, Modern School, while speaking to Guardian 20 said, “It is a unique program. We at Modern School started this in 2006 and successfully entered into the tenth year this time. The key objective of the summit is to create global citizens who are responsible for enabling international peace and will work towards the path of international growth, peace and inter-cultural harmony. It is also probably the largest international summit at school level organized in the country.”

The ten days of the summit turned the school, into a “global village” having a delegation from countries like Australia, Bangladesh, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom and The United States of America. The students and teachers from all these countries had the opportunity to interact with each other in the process learning about one another’s cultures and traditions.

“At the school level the CDLS is the only conclave which without the help of any government agency or any other agency can actually take care of delegates from across the globe and we are successful in doing so. And as we entered the 10th year, it is important to note that despite the havoc of the recent France tragedy and the entire world being quiet upset with the security problems, we have 18 countries visiting this year. It speaks volumes about the credibility of India as far as safety and security is concerned. India is as safe as any other western countries and unsafe as other western countries. It is at par with the West and rather I would say India is safe.” Said Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Teacher In-charge, CDLS, Modern School.

 The Summit inaugurated in the HLL auditorium of the school along with a panel discussion on “Leadership” for the leaders of tomorrow is something that would be etched in the minds of the young participants. Various events had been spread over ten days ranging from discussions to debates by eminent personalities on issues of global importance to cultural fests for familiarizing delegates with the notion of  “Incredible India”. Visits around the Delhi’s historical monuments like Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Red fort, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, a presentation on Indian monuments, traditional and folk dances of India dances of India were also on the cards. The delegates were even exposed to community service and interactive sessions on their visit to several NGO’s in Delhi, teaching them the importance and value of service towards humanity. The Cultural Night, which saw the delegates, dressed in their respective traditional attire exhibiting specialties from their own home nations was the highlight of the event.

“CDLS is probably the only platform in the world where service expectations are taught to the youth from across the world. It is again the only platform where debates and discussions around the world issues are deliberated by young and intelligent minds. It is a life long learning experience for both the delegates and us. We are also trying to give our delegates the experience of real India and its values and traditions, for which we have sixty nine host families, with whom the delegates are allotted to stay during the entire program, it is through this process they learn and understand Indian values, food and traditions.” Said Sonal Bedi, Teacher In-charge, CDLS, Modern School. 

The summit, will call its close on Sunday, with the Valedictory function being held in the school’s prestigious Shankar Lal Hall, with eminent personalities visiting to share a piece of their thought for the world community after which the enlightened minds would depart for their homes taking along with a bag full of memories, love and a life long experience.

Several participating delegates from different countries and schools spoke to Guardian 20 documenting their experience. Following are a few excerpted interviews with the participants. 


Name: Aldo Colombön: “Its been really grateful to see that you have not been alone in the search for new leaders and in the search for people who are not afraid of getting what they want in life. This summit is about breaking those stereotypes and knowing more people and getting related by coming out of your comfort zone. I am also getting frontal experience of a lot of traditions and cultures. 

It is a great experience. Learnt a lot of things, the way of living and experiencing the meaning of life and expect to take back lot of friends, places and a lifelong experience.”


Name: William Mathew Groce: “A very good experience, it has opened my eyes to many things. I expect to take back a more global outlook and now consider myself to be a part of the global citizen. I am very excited to visit the Taj Mahal, it is like icing on the cake for this trip. When I talk of the Indian traditions and cultures it is something that I am learning and something that would be etched in my memory forever.”


Name: Isidora Racov; “Its been great experience, met a lot of people, from many countries, learnt about Indian cultures and mostly importantly Indian food, along with the cultures of other nations. I even wore the Indian traditional Saree and attended an Indian wedding. It is so colourful. We also had workshops where we discussed global problems and have many takeaways from them. I am now a Global Citizen.”

Country: Germany

Name: Uwe Kraffert: I had an enjoyable time, learnt a lot of things. Like today we went to an orphan age, and learnt how people in India are doing community work and I would say its very affirmative and also found out that the problems we face in everyday life is similar in all the countries. I would definitely take back cook work because Indian Cuisines is so superb and would try hands on it at home as well. The traditional dance performance last night was mesmerizing.”


Name: Hallie Shahinian: “Its been an eye opening experience for me, and has helped me see things in a different light to get an insight on how different things work and diff countries think. I have also been interacting with a lot of countries and learning about each other’s cultures. I was am so excited to visit the Taj Mahal, Its so much talked about and it is perhaps the highlight of this trip. I am also excited to see the President of India’s house where we will go on Sunday. I would also like to say that Indian food is so delicious and the Indian streets are so colourful.”


Name: Kreneva Anna: “Indian food is little spicy, in Russia our food is not that spicy. My English is developing, as I am interacting with friends from the world. I am also enjoying India and it is a beautiful country. The Delhi local sighting and the monumental presentation gave me a detailed insight about Indian history, which I was unaware of. Overall a life long experience.”


Name: Aryamaan Nijhawan; “Representing India in such a platform is a big responsibility and one has to be aware at all times. Interacting with different countries is making me learn about their traditions and cultures and their way of life. I am also looking forward to making friends from across the world.”


Name: Li Guangyu; “Today Went for a community service to an orphanage, Interacting with the orphans was an eye opening experience. The inaugural day was really great, had a wide panel of eminent people from across the spectrum. Learnt how to develop a community around us and help those in need and how to deal and address problems that are of common interest to the world.”


Name: Toriqul Amin Tonmoy;  “It has been a good experience. We started our journey with the visit to the Rajghat and paying tributes to Gandhiji, It feelt good. Looking forward to the Taj Mahal Visit and making lots of friends.”


Country: Sweden

Name: Johanna Sävelin: It has been a great experience in India, people here are very nice and helpful. The Indian students and my host family has become like my own family. I am taking back a lot of memories from this event and this country. Would also like to thank Modern School for giving us this platform and plethora of experiences that can be reckoned for life.


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