Interview at Junior Round Square Conference, Gwalior

Interview of Mr. Sandeep Dutt with Niket Jain
via Award India by The Studio on 2/16/11

Niket: Your Biodata mentions your profession as brewing knowledge, what do you mean by that?

Mr. Sandeep: It’s very interesting. This always happens to be the first question that is asked of me in every interview. I always ask what is life. It is like a pot in which we put in and take out information. So essentially what we do in our life is create a knowledge base. Whether you study, teach or do anything else in life. This is the key and when I say brewing knowledge, it essentially means what we do everyday. It’s your job whether you are giving, taking or learning each moment you are brewing knowledge. This I feel is the most important thing to do as an entrepreneur.

Niket: Being a Doon School product do you think residential school students have an edge over day school students.

Mr. Sandeep: There is a very simple answer to that. A residential school gives an opportunity to a person to find himself, understand himself and see the world with an advantage which an average young child does not have. And as residential schools focus on real front, on the ground work and training or delivery, they are much better than the others. This is the way it helps the students to learn and lead ahead.

Niket : How did you discover your love for adventure, mountaineering in particular?

Mr. Sandeep: To me life is an adventure itself and is a journey with ups and downs which come in our way. I feel mountains personify a leader. They are high, strong and have value. They give a lot to us and take very little in return which is what a good leader does. And that is why in adventure, mountains have always played the role of a mystic. They symbolize the ultimate for an adventurer. Lot of challenge today is based on mountains. The height of a mountain helps us to reach personal heights as an individual.

Niket: You have won many awards. One of them is the ‘Himalayas Clean Prize. How do you try to create environmental awareness in people?

Mr. Sandeep: What is the most important thing when you talk about environment? You must accept that the only reality in life is the environment around you. To make this comfortable, you have to be in harmony with it. So when we say ‘keep clean’ it doesn’t really mean picking up a broom and ensuring there is no litter around. Litter is only the surface, it’s not the answer. Litter is just what is visible but there is so much more that defiles the environment. When we look at cleanliness we have to work out a way that we leave nature untouched and don’t disturb its pristine beauty. My philosophy of going to nature is just leaving it as it is. That’s what I mean by cleanliness. A very simple thing, when you put up a camp side please restore it to as close as possible. That’s just a small message about keeping a place clean.

Niket: Sir, can you tell us how you are associated with the Duke of Edinburgh awards?

Mr. Sandeep: Essentially, I see my role today as primarily to raise the profile of the awards programme. We have been in India for almost 48 years now. So my job is to promote the award authority, our first task is to promote. Our second task is to provide, which means every young person who is of the age minimum 14 and maximum 25 should have access to the award program and third is to make the award more precious to young people. To make young people live the award and not just wear it.

 Kind courtesy Editor of The Review, Scindia School at Gwalior, India

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