Some days back our college had organized a science workshop. Many students from different colleges across the nation had participated. Besides, there were also some international students from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and some African nations. The workshop went for 5 days.
The first day we had introductory session about the cutting edge concepts in science. Eminent scholars and scientists from across the nation gave their thoughts. Then it was the turn of the international students to express their opinions. One student from Lahore University gave a presentation on Nanotechnology. Even the brightest students and professors were awestruck by his session. At the end of the day, I went to speak with him. I realized that we shared many common interests. Apart from Indo-Pak matches, we both were interested in astronomy and shared our space in most of the online astronomy forums.
The next day, we had to demonstrate our projects to the students and the visiting professionals. What was surprising that most of the projects were common between us and the students from Pakistan and Bangladesh. Although, before the worship we had boasted of our projects being the most “fundoo” of all, soon we had to give second thoughts. Students from Sri Lanka had developed the project which was unanimously voted as the best. They had developed software which actually demonstrates the origin of life on earth.
On the third day we were asked to from groups and take up a presentation on a topic stated as “Science and the Mankind”. Most of us started formed groups according to their colleges. Suddenly a thought came in my mind. I went to my Pakistani friend. Instantly we decided to merge our groups and conjointly give the presentation. As we went bombarding each other with arguments, ideas, philosophies, we soon realized that our Pakistani counterparts were at par with us if not ahead with the latest developments in science around the world. When we asked them the reason behind being so abreast about the latest developments, they told us that they had clubs in their colleges which were mainly meant for discussions/presentations on the latest developments in science. Instantly we thought of replicating the same in our college.
The presentations began from the fourth day. It started with the various colleges from our country. Some of the presentations were good, but were not able to impress the judges much. Then the students from Bangladesh gave their presentations. They were able to glue everybody to their seats till the end. The judges seemed to be impressed quite a lot.
The next day started with the presentations from Sri Lankan students followed by Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The audience were impressed with the heterogeneity of concepts that were presented. Finally it came our turn. While most of us expressed their thoughts about the welfare of science……., at the wind it was my friend and I who were able to put the final blow. We discussed about the advances in science that India and Pakistan had made, and further proved that if the two hostile nations could collaborate their scientific expertise, it could put us in the ranks of the most advanced nations in the world. Moreover if our nuclear energy is properly harnessed, it could be a great weapon to alleviate poverty and usher in prosperity. In addition to that, our IT expertise could help the Government of neighboring nation to better manage their millions of population.
This left a deep impression in the minds of the audience. Surely if competition and rivalry amongst different nations is substituted by collaboration and alliance, definitely the world would be a safer and a more comfortable place to stay. We realized and appreciated the technical prowess of our counterparts from the neighboring nations we decided to hold more such workshops in the future, to collaborate out thoughts and our knowledge in more diverse subjects.
Finally the media did a good coverage. Our concept became such a great success that within weeks we received an invitation from a college in Lahore for a similar session. It was said that most of the students in the subcontinent started to have the feeling that the animosity is a matter of the past, and collaboration and co-existence is weapon for a better future.