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January 20
When a Monologue Becomes a Dialogue: Student Engagement at The Mother’s International School, New Delhi

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On December 22, 2016, INTA’s Unreal Campaign made a presentation at The Mother’s International School (“MIS”) in New Delhi. The MIS school was founded in the year 1956 and has been independently ranked as one of the top-ten public schools in India, and the best school in New Delhi. This was the first time that the Unreal presentation was delivered in India. Myself (Rachna Bakhru) and Ragini Kumar from RNA, IP Attorneys conducted the presentation for an audience of approximately 80 students, most of whom were 15- to 17-years-old. 

Ragini and I were given a 40-minute time slot with the grade 10 and 11 students at 8 am in the morning. A bit apprehensive, we realized that it could be a challenge to cultivate a discussion at 8 am on a cold winter day among high school students who had just finished their exams and were looking forward to their holiday break! Very soon, though, all our doubts were put to rest when we received a warm welcome from the students, who were filled with enthusiasm and keen interest right from the beginning of our presentation. 

We started off with the introduction of the Unreal Campaign and its objectives as well as an overview of INTA. In order to gauge students’ knowledge and engage them, we asked them what they understood counterfeiting to be. To our surprise, the students had a fair idea of what counterfeiting entails and the role of brands in our day-to-day life. 

India_2_011916.jpgWe then continued with basics of counterfeiting issues and the trademark law. Much to our delight, the students were very interested in the topic and asked us many pertinent questions about trademarks in general. The campaign’s videos of other students sharing their experiences with counterfeit goods helped our audience relate to the topic in a more personally relevant way. The challenging questions asked by the students advanced the presentation from an elementary level to a higher level of discussion. The students debated on the ethics of the significant difference in prices between original and counterfeiting goods, quality, and profits, etc. One student asked us “Why should I buy expensive goods when I can get the same for much less?” Another student brought up the point of student peer pressure to use only branded goods. Their insightful questions demonstrated that the presentation had stimulated their minds and had led them to be curious and inquisitive on the topic. 

We showed the students real-life examples of counterfeit goods seized by our firm during raids and asked the students to try to identify counterfeit products. The “real and fake” game we played with the students was enjoyed by all. We awarded small prizes for each correct answer and put a “thinking hat” on each student who found differentiating factors between the real and fake goods that were even beyond the pointers on the slides that indicated the more noticeable factors. 

The presenters invited students to join and follow Unreal Campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The presenters received positive feedback from the teachers and students after the session. The Principal, Ms. Sanghamitra Ghosh, appreciated the intention behind the presentation and invited us to conduct more of such sessions with the students in the future to expand their horizons beyond the curriculum. 

It was a productive morning during which students expressed their interest in and asked many questions regarding counterfeiting activities and trademark law, protection, and enforcement of pertinent laws. The presentation became a truly interactive session with valuable input from teachers, students, and Unreal Campaign presenters. 

What a great beginning to the Unreal campaign in India!

If you are interested in becoming involved with the Unreal Campaign, please contact Laura Heery at lheery@inta.org. Thank you to our 2016 Unreal Campaign sponsors, Tilleke & Gibbins, that made this event possible. We look forward to working with our 2017 sponsors; CompuMark, IP4KIDS, Gucci, New Era Cap Co. and Tilleke & Gibbins.

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