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Elocution Competitions for College Students

In August 1965, Mr. A.D. Shroff had proposed to the Executive Committee of Forum of Free Enterprise that with a view to enable the youth to study, think and speak on economic issues, elocution competitions be arranged for college students. Forum accepted and implemented this proposal in the same year. After Mr. A.D. Shroff suddenly passed away on 27th October 1965, the competitions continued but were named after him. After the A.D. Shroff Memorial Trust was formally registered in 1967, the Trust decided to continue the competition under its banner, jointly with Forum. Currently the competition is in its 52nd year, while under the banner of the Trust it is in its 50th year.

The competition is now conducted in colleges spread over several states and about 120 or more competitions are held each year. As of today over 4400 competitions have been held around the country in which over 45,000 students have participated. Many of these students are now occupying important positions in business, government and elsewhere.

Each year the students are given a list of selected topical subjects, and they are free to choose and speak for five minutes each on any one of them. In many small towns and cities the students are also given the option to speak in Hindi or the regional language. The three best speakers in each competition are awarded cash prizes.

In a few places inter-collegiate contests are conducted with the help or local organizations. In Mumbai, the competition is first held in about 30 to 40 colleges. In each college the three best speakers are awarded prizes. Later the seven best among them are selected for participation in an inter-collegiate contest. The quality of performance in the competition has been of a high order. It is highly encouraging to see that in colleges excellent encouragement is being given by the teaching staff to the students. The students themselves deserve compliments on their eagerness to participate for which they have to do considerable amount of research to get the best material.