E Week Yatra Stories
The Daring Knights of Kolkata
Heritage Institute of Technology Kolkata
Feb 8, 6.00 pm
Kolkata’s annual International Book Fair is considered the ‘Baap’ of all book fairs in the country with over 5 lakh footfalls a day, and E cell members of the Heritage Institute of Technology sabotaged it completely with the message of E Week.
When I say sabotage, I am not exaggerating. On Feb 3, 250 students bought Rs 5 tickets and entered the fair with 150 handmade E Week posters and took positions at various points in the fair. One of them even launched a signature campaign by spreading a mega-size flex on the ground. Visitors were interested, and organizers were bought in with passionate talk on entrepreneurship and its power to transform India’s challenges into opportunities.
Encouraged by their small victory, the E cell turned even more daring.
On the closing day, Feb 7, students found the Fair’s main stage empty minutes before the main event, and before anyone could react, they made it to the stage with a 20x6 feet E week Flex. A huge crowd gathered, and the surprised organizers could do nothing but go with the flow. The E week pledge was read out on the microphone, and 5 lakh people joined in to take the pledge. While leaving, several visitors enquired “Will you be back again next year?” The students answered with a resounding ‘Yes’.
Recalling the ‘Raid’ the morning after the closing ceremony, NEN E leader Siddarth told me it was an experience of a lifetime. “We thought the Book Fair would give a unique opportunity for marketing. But we never knew our bold act would turn out to be so successful. Every person who spoke to us or took the pledge went back home thinking of entrepreneurship,” he says.