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Delhi’s first Social Media Baithak was held on the eleventh of September, 2010. It was organized by Sanjukta Basu and me. The experience was extremely fulfilling for a variety of reasons. Perhaps I will put these down in a longer post once I return to the UK. For now, I leave you with a brief summary of the event.

The first Social Media Baithak in Delhi was a roaring success. The event ran for about two and a half hours. It was held at CCD in Janpath and the staff were kind enough to give us free access to the premium wifi service. The decision to host the Baithak in central Delhi worked well as the location was accessible to people from all corners of this vast city. We even had someone from Mumbai!

Meeting dynamic and inspiring people

At the Baithak

A chance to meet inspiring people…

Visitors (shishyas) included representatives from some dynamic community initiatives across India. There were plenty of youth based programs. What I found particularly inspiring was that many of these initiatives are managed by university students and young professionals. It is humbling to see how these young Indians consider selfless action integral to their personal and professional development. They are also willing to take risks and experiment in order to operate within a sustainable framework.

The gurus were extremely kind to give up their Saturday evening for the event. They came from a wide range of backgrounds. We had product managers, entrepreneurs and artists at hand to give advice and suggestions on how to make the best use of social media in different contexts.

Working collaboratively

The idea for the Baithak took shape when Sanjukta got in touch with me via Twitter a couple of months ago, and it was planned via conversations on Skype.

Working with Sanjukta was an absolute delight. It is the kind of collaboration that appeals to me. Almost instantly we created a working space that was conducive to sharing ideas in an open and frank way. I would like to point out that we met for the first time in person an hour before the event.

The Baithak concluded with a group discussion. Both participants and gurus were invited to share their opinions and suggestions. Everyone was extremely appreciative of the initiative and as things stand, there will probably be a few more Baithaks in the near future. Sanjukta is more than willing to shoulder the responsibility and I will continue to provide support in different areas. Just a quick note to let you know that I organize the Social Media Surgeries in York (UK). We have held 7 events since January of this year and are still going strong. The surgery/baithak is part of a much larger movement.

Coverage in the Sunday Guardian

Professional photographer Naina has done a tremendous job of capturing the event through her lens. The images from the event are available on her blog. If you happen to visit her site do take a look at her collections of images from Bhutan.

We have received some coverage in the Sunday Guardian, please take a look at the clipping.

Finally, if you attended the Baithak, may I request you to leave a comment bellow. Feel free to share your experiences and suggest ideas for the future. Both Sanjukta and I would be happy to hear from you. If you prefer to tweet, please use the hashtag #SMBaithak.


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