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‘Wellness is not only about ourselves but contributing to the well-being of others’: Dr Neha Berlia

Dr Berlia virtually addressed the audience in the valedictory session of Apeejay Stya University’s workshop on wellness



Apeejay Stya University (ASU) successfully concluded a 10-part workshop on “Enhancing Wellness” which was attended by students and professors in large numbers. The event was organised under the aegis of G20 and W20 and mentored by Dr Neha Berlia, Co-promoter, Apeejay Stya & Svran Group, Joint Secretary, Apeejay Education, and Pro-chancellor, ASU.

Experts were invited to the event to touch upon various themes including self-awareness, journaling, emotional well-being, communication skills, successful habits, and more. The workshop was conducted by Poonam Bhargava, certified holistic well-being therapist, career counsellor, mindfulness coach and founder of VNAND-The Learning Academy. She is a member of the International Association of Therapists (IATH) with over 22 years of professional experience. The expert introduced students to key ideas around wellness, which ended with a final assessment at the end of the last workshop, based on which certificates were awarded to the students.

‘Wellness is about finding a balance’: Dr Neha Berlia

To mark the valedictory session, Dr Berlia addressed the audience in a virtual speech. Here’s the full speech:

“I stand before you with immense gratitude and a sense of accomplishment. I would like to congratulate Team ASU for organising this series of workshops on Enhancing Wellness – self-awareness, positive affirmation & more. My heartiest congratulations to all of you.

Friends, as we all know that this is the G20 year for India and the theme of India’s G20 Presidency is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future” – which is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad. The G20 Presidency is responsible for bringing together the G20 agenda in consultation with other members and in response to developments in the global economy.

The W20 is the official G20 engagement group focused on gender equity. Its primary objective is to ensure that gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions and translated into the G20 Leaders’ Declaration as policies and commitment that foster women’s economic empowerment. The vision is to create a world of equity, where every woman lives with dignity in an environment and ecosystem, where they can thrive, transcend, and transform.

I am delighted to be part of the W20 Forum that aims to create such an environment and ecosystem for women in India. Apeejay Stya University (ASU) is proud to be associated with the W20 forum as a knowledge partner.

At ASU, we aspire to create a positive change in society on an individual and collective level through gender sensitisation and community service activities. Our endeavour is to provide rich opportunities for innovative teaching-learning, creativity, and research across disciplines. We believe in empowering learners with a fundamental foundation in leadership and professional skills to face the challenges of the new liberalised global economy.”

Wellness, in its truest sense, encompasses physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is about finding a balance that nurtures our mind, body, and spirit, allowing us to lead fulfilling lives both personally and professionally.

As we all go through our life journeys of gaining knowledge and skills to shape our professional lives, we face numerous challenges. We navigate through sleepless nights, demanding schedules, and the pressure to perform. But in the midst of it all, we need to be aware of the importance of self-care and the power of maintaining our well-being, which is key to our happiness and success.

We must take care of our physical health through regular exercise, nourish our bodies with wholesome food, and ensure that we get adequate rest and sleep. Our mental and emotional well-being is just as crucial as physical well-being, and we must embrace mindfulness, stress management techniques, and should seek support when needed. The impact of positive relationships, empathy, and self-reflection on our overall happiness cannot be over-emphasised.

Moreover, our experiences teach us the value of extending our knowledge beyond the confines of textbooks. We realise that wellness is not only about ourselves but also about the world around us. It is about being socially responsible, caring for our environment, and contributing to the well-being of others.

As we move forward into the next chapter of our lives, let us carry this profound understanding of wellness with us. Let us remember that success should not come at the cost of our health, happiness, or relationships. Let us strive to create a life that is balanced, purposeful, and meaningful.

I would once again like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed faculty members who have helped us to understand and imbibe the concept of wellness during these workshops. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Madam Chancellor, for her guidance, unwavering support and encouragement at all times, which has been a constant source of strength and inspiration for all of us.”

In conclusion, may we always strive for wellness in all aspects of our life. May we find the balance that allows us to pursue our passions, nurture our relationships, and make a positive impact on the world. Congratulations to each and every one of you, and may our future be filled with joy, health, and success.”

Art of Communication

Prior to concluding the workshop, Poonam held an important session on the penultimate day on the “Art of Communication.” She said, “We need to be heard, for which the first important trait we should have is the ability to listen.” She talked about how drinking water before beginning a conversation improves voice throw and thereby motivates the mind to churn out structured thoughts. She also talked about the various types of communication, from verbal to interpersonal and intrapersonal, and more. “When we talk to somebody, we need to be physically and mentally available. And when you listen, you must also respond,” she added.

She helped students identify communication flaws in themselves while highlighting the different communication barriers, encouraging learners to articulate their emotions. The expert also highlighted “likeable communication skills for college and work life” like patience, active listening, and flexibility, besides sharing tips for effective listening like withholding judgement and clarifying by asking open-ended questions.

Not just verbal communication, non-verbal communication through one’s body language is equally important, she emphasised. “If somebody is sitting with closed arms, I may think the person may not be willing to listen. Communication also involves how you present yourself through a smile, a nod, and so on.”

‘Healthcare is a combination of illness and wellness’

Professor Sanjay Ahirwal, dean, Students’ Welfare, ASU, opened the valedictory session by welcoming the guests. In his speech, he said, “ASU, being the knowledge partner of the event, is proud to be associated and believes in the G20 presidency as one of healing, harmony, and hope. These workshops encouraged us to look inwards and applaud our inner strengths. I am sure our students have learnt a lot from these sessions.”

Dr Vimala Veeraraghavan, dean-academics, and an emeritus professor at ASU, said, “We started this wellness programme with the topic of self-awareness, which helped you to know yourself better. Through journaling, you learnt how to record what you feel and experience every day, which facilitated an understanding of yourself, more than what you knew about your strengths and weaknesses. Most of us tend to talk negatively about ourselves. You also learnt self-compassion. You learnt about self-motivation and emotional well-being. I hope all of you will be able to think about yourself positively, more than before.

“You are your best teacher. You are the only one who knows yourself and can become better by your own efforts,” she remarked. 

Dr Ravi Gaur, MD, Pathology, founder, DRG Path Labs, who also addressed the students on the inaugural day, added, “When we talk about healthcare, we only talk about illness. It is important to realise that health is a combination of illness and wellness. The purpose of this workshop was to provide students with knowledge and skills, stress-reduction techniques, practical tools to improve overall well-being, adopt positive lifestyle changes and improve quality of life and most importantly, leave an impression wherever they go. A holistic approach is most important for good health and happiness.” He talked about the need to take control of our emotions to get true joy.

In his concluding remarks, Professor Raj S Dhankar, vice-chancellor, ASU, thanked the team who “made sure that these worksjops at ASU are really rewarding in terms of how we can become better human beings.” To the students, he said, “I’m sure you will imbibe the learnings and practise them to lead a fulfilled life. We all have elements inside us to lead reasonably good lives but our purpose is to make it even better. People all around the world, especially after COVID-19, are feeling more jittery and helpless. The most cost-effective way to avoid this is to train your mind to generate positive thoughts to keep sickness at bay. It is important to decode basic human behaviour in order to enhance wellness. One should not be greedy, egoistic, and fearful and do what one can in the best possible manner. You become what you think.”

The valedictory session concluded by felicitating the distinguished speakers at the event.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.