BY THE STUDENTS, FOR THE STUDENTS!
From networking to staying in the loop, city students do it all on an e-zine
Elina Priyadarshini Padhiary
What happens when a Hyderabadi guy studying in a Chennai college wants to get the latest city dope? Well, in the case of Vishwarath Reddy this was the spark that ignited the thought of starting an e-magazine — StudentLive.in. Taking the help of his gang of friends, Vishwarath launched their ambitious project, and within two years of its existence this e-zine has over 3,000 subscribers and over 30 active contributors who write for free!
Getting nostalgic, Vishwarath, the founder member of the e-zine says, “I’m basically from Hyderabad, but I did my graduation from SRM University, Chennai. Two years back when I was in the city for vacation, I was sitting idle at home and had nothing to do other than chatting up friends on the Net. I wanted to know what was happening in the city, especially among youngsters. And it was then that the idea of launching a magazine struck my mind. But then, bringing out a magazine in print is an expensive affair, so I thought of starting an e-magazine, which is cheaper. I shared this idea with a few friends and all of them were enthusiastic to be a part of it.”
So, that explains how Puneet Murthika, an M Tech student from SRM University, Rahul Sam, an MBA student from Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Govind Kavaturi, a B com student from Osmania University and Sreeram Madhav a distance education student, joined hands with Vishwarath to make his dream a reality. The mission statement of the e-magazine, we learn, is to provide a platform for students who want to raise their voice and express their views on issues that concern them the most.
However, it wasn’t an easy task to kick off such an ambitious project. Team member, Govind Kavaturi, says, “We started off by getting the site designed by a student, eager to show his designing skills. In August 2011, we launched the e-zine and posted our first article. For the first three months we worked very hard as we had to generate content, but gradually we got students who offered to write for free. Today, we have around 30 writers contributing regularly to the magazine. To subscribe to the magazine, one has to just to give their email id so that articles can be sent to them on a regular basis. And anyone can go through the magazine online, free of cost.”
Apparently, this magazine, which has currently around 3000 subscribers online, is more than a magazine. Vishwarath says, “We have LSD (Let’s Sit and Discuss) sessions. It’s a platform for students from the Twin Cities to network, interact and share ideas with other likeminded students. We organise this session bi-weekly for an hour.” Getting into the details, Vishwarath says, “We invite famous personalities to interact and share their experience with the students. For example, our recent topic was cinema and we had invited director Sekhar Kammula who spoke about direction and more. Before that we had invited theatre artiste Vinay Varma. We invite people from different fields, who can talk about their work and tell us things that we don’t know.”
Apart from LSD sessions, this group is also into a campus connect project, where they reach out to different colleges and share information about what’s happening in a particular college. Another core group member of the magazine, Rahul, says, “We have representatives in every college who share information about what’s happening in their college. Also, we post details about the events happening in different colleges on our magazine. So, that’s how the networking is done. We’re also aiming at campus branding through our magazine.”
The young lot’s urge for more innovation doesn’t end here. Vishwarath adds, “Our next project is a survey on students’ lifestyle. And we’re aiming at reaching out to at least 3,000 students. This survey will go on for three months. After that we’ll analyse it and have a story posted online. Then we’ll have surveys on education, career and also on internet habits in the coming months. Our aim is to present good articles, discuss interesting topics and reach out to the college crowd.”
Committee members of StudentLive