WSDC 2011 – Team India Report

An article by S. Pranav Kumar, captain of Team India on WSDC 2011 from

Debating Our Way To Dunde

Team India at the World Schools Debating Championship

I’d love to tell you what my first impressions of the city of Dundee were, but the regrettable truth was that I was in a sound sleep throughout what seemed a never-ending trip from Glasgow. But as I stumbled groggily from the bus and trudged to my room, the crisp air of Dundee woke me up, and with a burst of excitement I realized it was all true: I was really the Captain of the Indian debating team and we were going to participate in the World Schools Debating Championships in Dundee, Scotland from the 16th of August to the 26th.

The team, comprising of five members from four different Chennai schools (Siddarth and Sanchith from Bala Vidya Mandir, Sehr Raheja from Arsha Vidya Mandir, Dhruva Bhat from P.S. Senior and me, from PSBB KKN) devoted ourselves to the debating, putting in long hours of preparation before the debates. Under the tutelage of Mr. Andrew Fitch, an experienced Australian-English ex-debater, we came out victorious in 5 out of our 8 preliminary rounds (defeating Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Indonesia; but losing to England, South Korea and the UAE). At the end of the tournament (which was ultimately won by Singapore) we clinched the 20th place among 48 nations.

Aside from the debating, which was a brilliant experience by itself, we were also given ample opportunity to soak in the Scottish Culture. We were taken to the famed Edinburgh Museum, and to the supposedly haunted Glamis Castle (though much to my regret, I never saw a ghost) and were given an opportunity to learn Ceilidh, a traditional Scottish dance. This last one was particularly funny, as more than a hundred people from fifty nations danced awkwardly with each other, trying to imitate the instructor’s movements.

It was a fantastic experience where you not only debated and learnt from it, but also made friends with people of different nationalities and understood their culture.