Wednesday, 12 December 2018

A Solid Step Ahead

Charged with passion and motivated by the vision to show that young hands can do wonders that the world cannot fathom, the Award participants of Pt. Uma Dutt Public School, along with the Award leaders, Dr. Pankaj Vashishtha and Gufran Khan visited Machkund, an ancient sacred place in Dholpur city and offered their services by launching a cleanliness campaign.

The area from Monisidha Hill to Machkund Lake was squalid, with plastic bags and other waste material scattered all around as a result of a massive fair that took place, visited by thousands of people from all over India. The open fields and the area beside the road were not in good condition and the participants had to combat numerous difficulties to collect polythene bags and plastic waste material. They cleaned the entire premises in four hours nonetheless, reaffirming the philosophy of the Award Programme to ‘Engage. Equip. Empower. Reward.’

The Award participants, together with their mentors, have made volunteering to clean 10 square kilometre wide premises a part of their Service section of the Award Programme. The purpose of this cleanliness drive was to create awareness among the villages regarding cleanliness and to highlight the ill effects of poor hygiene. Such a pioneering effort by the Award participants convinced the inhabitants to not use polythene bags in their daily routine and ensure cleanliness in their respective areas. Initiatives like these not only fortify IAYP’s philosophy and values but also strengthen the individuals who choose to spread its values far and wide.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

IAYP’s Community Service Projects Have Made Us Empathetic

The following report has been submitted by Shubhra Jain, an Award participant from Uttam School for Girls, who narrates her experience of a community service project to be undertaken as part of the Award Programme. She highlights how it helped her and her fellow participants grow.

I believe that IAYP’s community service projects aim not just at building strong and self-reliant communities but also empathetic individuals who endeavour to create a better society. As part of one such community service project, a number of Award participants from our school, Uttam School for Girls, organised a fund-raiser talent show to support the students of Sewa Samarpan Vidyamandir – a school that aims at educating the children belonging to economically disadvantaged sections of society.

We toiled to make the event a huge success. We prepared posters and put them up in the corridors of our school to promote the event. Teams were prepared that coordinated with teachers and looked after the discipline and finance. Also, we made entry tickets out of old used paper and an entry fee of ₹10 was charged from those who witnessed the show. Our students gave enthralling performances; while some delivered commendable dance performances, and some left the audience spellbound with their melody in singing. Not only these, the participants also performed a magic show and a street play depicting the plight of beggars in our country. To mollify the atmosphere were some funny ‘shayaris’ that appealed greatly to the audience.

Our skills and efforts bore fruit when an amount of ₹6500 was successfully collected through the fund raiser. With some part of the amount, we purchased textbooks which were distributed among the students of Grade VI and VII of Sewa Samarpan Vidyamandir, while the remaining amount was used for purchasing 28 metres of cloth with which the students of Sewa Samarpan Vidyamandir created exquisite shopping bags to be used in place of polythene bags. This activity helped the students there to acquire a new skill for a lifetime.

'No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.' In the process of raising funds for the students at Sewa Samarpan Vidyamandir, we developed a sense of empathy and understanding – values that will guide us in our stride of bringing about a change in the world.

Student Orientation Workshop

In its stride to be an all-inclusive platform that provides opportunities for individuals as well as growth of a community and to charge young minds with passion, a team from the National Office of IAYP comprising Mr. Bivujit Mukhoty – the Programme Manager and Ms. Pallavi Gill – the Programme Officer visited Titiksha Public School, Rohini, Delhi, on 28th November, 2018 for a student orientation workshop. Its objective was to interact with students and introduce the Award programme, highlighting its ideology and benefits.

The orientation commenced with an ice-breaking session, followed by an introduction about the Award Programme. The team threw light on the philosophy of the Award, its journey and its framework. They then elaborated upon its various facets that include Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventure and the Residential Project for the Gold level of the Programme. The orientation concluded with discussions on the benefits of the Award Programme and its power to bring about a difference in the lives of young people.

Such workshops are stepping stones in IAYP’s stride to build aware and able young people who can make productive use of their capabilities.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Service is done out of empathy, not sympathy

The following piece is a narration of the experience of the Award participants from Mody School, Lakshmangarh, who visited Kasturba Seva Sadan in Rajasthan, as part of their Service project.

As part of its endeavour to proliferate the idea of responding to the needs of others, IAYP ensures that its Award participants plant the seeds of a better world in their stride. As part of their Service for the Award, 50 participants from Mody School visited
Kasturba Seva Sadan, a local orphanage situated in Sikar, Rajasthan, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. With the funds that they managed to collect as ‘pocket money’ and collection from the community, the participants distributed sweets in the orphanage. To mark the essence of the colourful occasion of Raksha Bandhan, they also tied handmade ‘rakhis’ to the children. Additionally, they gifted them items of stationery and clothes and danced with them. This was an overwhelming experience for the participants, who returned with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

The objective of IAYP’s Service projects is to propagate the idea that service is done out of empathy and not sympathy. By motivating Award participants to transgress their comfort zones and contemplate the greater good of the world around them, IAYP’s Award participants become not just receptive but also sensitive to the needs of others.