Sitting on the banks of the sparkling Kodai Lake and listening to stories of leadership from the life of Dr APJ Kalam is everything I could ask for, says an emotional participant of D 3000’s
CLIFF RYLA 2015. The chief guest Dr V Ponraj, former Scientific Advisor to Kalam, completed his 55 minute lecture “and every participant in the hall stood up, most of them with tears in their eyes,” says PP P Baskaran, RYLA Chairman.
DG Theenachandran inaugurated the programme amidst loud applause and heavy rain. “We named the event ‘Cliff,’
because we hosted the RYLA in the salubrious climes of Kodai Hills and wanted the 70 participants from D 3000 to understand that life is all about overcoming hardships and getting to the top,” says P Ganesh, President of RC Tiruchirapalli Fort. Rain did not dampen the spirit of the young boys and girls who “walked on a pit of fire” on mentor Senkuttuvan’s instructions, to show that “fear is in the mind and a leader can do anything,” quips Amrita, a participant.
For majority of the participants who were from the plains “Kodaikanal felt like heaven and the camp fire session was my favourite,” says Monica. “I felt like the real Shah Rukh Khan after winning the Mr RYLA,” says Khan, a student from Madurai while Archana (Miss RYLA) from Anna University, Trichy felt nothing short of “Miss World. They gave me a crown,” she
says. Quiz Shahji James about where he lost points and couldn’t win the title, and he says, “Who said I didn’t win? Bhaskar Sir called me a good leader, so I won too.”