8 Questions with Shivansh Trivedi

Shivansh Trivedi, at only 17 years old, is a remarkable young global citizen with enviable achievements for someone his age and an outstanding perspective on life. Through his passion for and success in debate, he has had the privilege of visiting the Hague, International Criminal Court, and the Ugandan Parliament to participate in discussions on national and regional issues. His peers are often wowed by his display of maturity, sophisticated thinking, distinct intellect and articulation of seemingly complex ideas.

During the pandemic, he has been active continuing his learning at home and online, participating in online debates, working on himself, spending more time bonding with family and friends, and contributing to covid19 interventions and discussions via Al Jazeera and other platforms and communities. Shivansh looks up to his dad, Mr. Jitendra Trivedi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Barack Obama for inspiration. In his own words, “My dad is the epitome of responsibility. Cristiano Ronaldo exhibits the outcome of effort and hardwork. Barack Obama shows the potential of edging oneself in history as a leader the people never saw coming.”

He is currently in his final year at high school at Jinja College, in Uganda and hopes his story will inspire someone and everyone.

1. What five things are you most grateful for in life and why?

Education, family, time, faith and respect. These have and always make life more meaningful for me.

2. What are your aspirations, dreams and goals?

I want to build a lasting legacy and contribute to positive turning points at home and abroad. I would love to be UN Secretary General, work with the UN, or engage in International Relations as an influential Diplomat. I love debate, speech and research which I believe are shaping me for just that.

3. What do you usually do in your spare time and how has this added value to you?

I enjoy reading and doing research, interacting with family and friends, having some quality me-time to meditate and reflect, writing poetry and listening to music. These have helped me stay rounded, I learn so much and build on my knowledge. I also get to appreciate more the people in my life, become more self-aware, strengthen my relationships and build my character. I understand there’s more to accomplish in life with effort, patience and a positive attitude and through all these activities I have gained resilience.

4. The lockdown and pandemic have depressed many young people and some are on the verge of losing hope. How has it affected you personally and what have you done and are doing to make the most of the situation for the future?

The lockdown has made me value time more as an asset. I have had time to rethink life and see everything from different angles. I am using the time to work on my academics and improve on my weak areas so I can have much better grades whenever school resumes. I have enrolled for online courses on GCED Online and Alison.com. I am reading books, and bonding with family. I have expanded my social network through online debates and social media interactions. The future is most uncertain now so am preparing myself for not only the immediate future as a student but life after school. I am seeing the big picture and thinking long term. I hope to further my studies at the Geneva School of Diplomacy, Strathmore University, Victoria University or Cavendish University and I understand I must work extra hard and what better time to work on myself and be better prepared than now. Many students are discouraged, yes, but we have all been affected and rather than waste this time or give in to depression, we can all focus on building ourselves, doing what we must to achieve even when it may seem boring, develop resilience and determination. We should see the bigger picture beyond the pandemic and strive to achieve our goals.

5. In a remarkably short time and for someone in his teenage years, there’s so much you have achieved. Any particular accomplishments you would like to share?

I recently completed successfully in short courses online and currently a graduate of GCED (Global Citizenship Education) Online Campus and Alison. Some of the courses are Operations Management on Alison.com; Critical Media Literacy, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Pathway to Sustainable Development, Climate Change in Practice, Understanding Conflicts and the Process of Peaceful Resolution: What educators can, and should do to promote peace?. The courses on GCED Online Campus were organized by the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU). Under the Debate Society of Uganda (DSU), I participated in the 2019 Inaugural National Tournament as Student Representative in the debate with honorable members of the parliament of Uganda over ‘Universal Primary and Secondary Education’. Finalist at the Regionals Tournament in the same year where I won 2nd Best Debater and 3rd Best Public Speaker.

In 2017 and 2018 I took part in HIV/AIDS and Climate Change discussions during the nationals organized by the National Debate Council. In 2017 I participated in the Model United Nations conference at the International School of the Hague, Netherlands in 2017 (MUNISH2017) as the delegate of Armenia talking about the Involvement of Youth in Radical Groups in the Middle East. I qualified for a trip to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a Student Ambassador where I had the privilege of visiting the ICC Intern Office and there gave an African Student’s Perspective of the ICC. Currently, I am the Senior Language and Information prefect at Jinja College where I started debate tournaments as part of the school program since 2019.

6. Who in your circles are your role models, people who motivate you, stand with you and make life worthwhile and challenges seem possible to overcome?

There’s my dad, Mr. Jitendra Trivedi, Liz, Sharifa, Monica and myself. Dad shows me everyday the value of responsibility and family. He lives life ordinarily but arms me with extraordinary principles which are scarce these days. I feel extremely special to have him. With Liz, our acquaintance was orchestrated by fate only. She’s helping me grow more fully as a person to be able to thrive in life. She’s made me a better person and more sociable. For Monica, if I were Merlin, she’d be King Arthur. I’ve not seen so much potential and richness in character like I see in her. She motivates me and keeps me hoping for more and doing more. It’s rare to find someone you can see yourself building a legacy with. There is Sharifa who makes me happy and has stuck with me even when others would leave. Her friendship has been so unconditional, tolerating me at my worst and still around as I improve and grow into a much better person. She’s someone I can count on. Then there’s myself, I don’t want to disappoint these people who have helped me and continue to help me discover myself and my potential. They are the best part of being me as I experience a life with them in it. I want to push on for them and with them. Where I was, where I am and where am going, their encouragement and faith in me, drive me at my core.

7. Any words of comfort for the world during the pandemic and a little about how you have personally contributed positively to the community during this critical time?

Well, troubles come and go but humanity remains. We’re accountable for our actions so let’s work to ensure tomorrow is better than today however small our effort. I have joined online communities like Students Against Covid19 @SAgainstcovid19 and raised awareness online via twitter @trivedi_the and on Facebook via my page (Shivansh Trivedi). I have written on various topics and issues besides the pandemic. I suggested a topic: Domestic Violence Amidst Covid19 which was covered by Al Jazeera stream @AJStream on 30th April 2020. 

8. What’s next for Shivansh Trivedi? 

I hope to complete high school. I hope a project pending will take off and place me in a better position tomorrow than I am today. I want to be exemplary and an inspiration to my wonderful and amazing siblings, my community, my dad, my friends, and the world. Whatever the future holds, I am working towards it and hope to be all the better for it.