Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Thank You Award for Making Me so Confident!

Gold Award Holder Anupama Das from Sri Sarada Math, Kolkata, is sharing her life transforming experience with us.

I have been associated with the Award Programme since June 2012 at Sri Sarada Math-Rasik Bhita. When I started my Award journey I was physically unfit and was very worried about the Adventurous section of the Award. In spite of this, I didn’t lose my confidence and started working hard under the remaining three sections of the Award. Gradually, as I monitored my progress, I started gaining confidence and at last got ready for my first Adventurous Journey at Susunia Hills, Bankura. I live in a small village in the Hooghly District and have never been anywhere outside my village, so, it was for the first time that I came in contact with nature outside my village, and the experience of this journey was such that I would treasure and savour all my life.

In 2015, I completed my Gold Award Journey and received my Gold Award at the Gold Award Ceremony organised at New Delhi. It goes without saying that these three years of my association with the Award not only instilled in me new confidence but also transformed my personality to a larger extent. I now see myself as a confident and assertive individual who can express her self to anyone. Sharing a personal experience from my life here would probably highlight my point better. In my society and village, the act of child marriage is very common. Girls are married at a very early age and as a result, they are not able to continue their studies. I encountered a similar situation in my life when my family forced my elder sister to get married to an unknown individual.

The Award gave me confidence to fight against this social evil and I was able to protest against this incident that was going to happen with my sister. I fought with every member of my family and convinced them to stop this early marriage. At the same time I also took the initiative to find a job for my sister so that she could start earning and begin a new chapter of her life.

It was a dark phase that I had gone through but with courage and confidence I achieved success at last. It was not easy to start a career like other girls of my city. But I am happy to write that my elder sister started working in TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and this year after completing my graduation I too got placed in TCS. Besides this, I have also been involved with Gender Diversity Empowerment Project as an intern from our village.

I am grateful to my mentors and our Award Leader who have always supported me and encouraged me to overcome difficulties and challenges. Now, I can see transformation taking place in my village. By seeing my journey and success, most of the girls are interested in award Programme and want to continue their studies instead of getting married. I feel immense pride in being a pioneer of this initiative.

While I express my deepest gratitude to the Award, all I could say at the end is thank you Award for making me so confident!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Cultural Heritage Class and Award Ceremony

Sri Sarada Math, Rasik Bhita organised a Cultural Heritage Class on 4th September 2016. Seventy-two Bronze awardees from different units participated in this class. This Cultural Heritage class concluded with an Award ceremony where all the Award participants received their Bronze awards. These Award holders, part of the “Gender Diversity & Empowerment Project" of the IAYP, started their Bronze Award Journey in July 2015 and successfully completed their Award Journey in December 2015. The list of Awardees includes fifty-six participants from Rasik Bhita, nine awardees from Baladbandh Village, three awardees from Kumrogori Village and four awardees from Dum Dum.

These participants opted for different activities in the various sections of the Award. Under the Skills section, they chose activities such as Book reading, Spoken English learning, Jewellery Making, and Stitching. Some of them have now made these skills their Life skills and are now generating revenue by selling handmade goods and handmade jewellery. For their Physical Recreation, they all attended the Yoga Classes. Yoga has become an integral part of their daily routine now.

The awardees of Baladbandh and Kumrogori villages created a positive impact on their society by providing their wonderful Community Services. They went to rural villages to teach adults as well as young children. Most of the women in theses villages can write and sign their names now. It is a credit to these awardees that the numbers of these learners is increasing day by day in these villages.

For the Adventurous Journey, these Awardees went to Bishindha Hills at Bankura and Matha Hills at Purulia. They were taught how to live in a tent, climbing and cooking. They performed various activities like Burma Bridge Crossing, Rappelling, Rope Walking etc. Overall, it was great experiential learning for all of them -- something that they had never done or experienced before. 

All the awardees have now registered and started their work for the Silver Level of the Award with an aim to develop themselves day by day. They are not just improving themselves but helping their surroundings to improve more.

IAYP at CBSE Schools of Jalandhar

Kapil Bhalla along with the NAA team met and discussed the opportunities to expand The Award Programme at CBSE affiliated schools of Jalandhar city. The discussion was held during the orientation programme organised for Jalandhar Independent Sahodaya Schools at Cambridge International School, Phagwara. Mrs. Ekta Dhawan, Principal, Baba Lalvani Public School, Kapurthala; Ms. Sonia Walia, Principal, Cambridge International School, Nawanshahr; Mr. Jorawar Singh, Principal, Cambridge International School, Phagwara; Mrs. Ravinder Mahal, Principal, Cambridge International School, Nakodar; Mrs. Aarti Dada, Principal, Cambridge International School, Kapurthala and Dr. Sandeepa Sood, Principal, Saffron Public School, Phagwara attended the Orientation and showed their interest in expanding the Award programme.

Besides deliberations on various expansion opportunities of the Award, Mr. Bhalla briefed the attending delegates about the philosophy, framework, benefits and various sections of the Award and informed them that the CBSE Board has recently advised that First-aid learning should be made an integral part of the CCE curriculum, and of the four mandatory sections of the Award, First-Aid learning can be done under the Skills Section of the Award.

In addition, Ms. Ekta Dhawan and Mr. Jorawar Singh shared the self-discovery experiences of the students who are actively involved with the Award Programme and how those experiences benefit their institution and promote its growth. This orientation was one of the first major steps taken in the direction of the growth and expansion strategy of the Award where all the distinguished heads, decision makers and principals of the schools were involved. The IAYP team, in days to come, look forward to initiating and organising many such orientation meetings with heads and principals of schools.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

The International Award for Young People, India organized an Award Leader Training workshop at Christ Church School, Mumbai on 26th and 27th August, 2016.
The two-day workshop was attended by 23 participants from different institutions across India, including Jungle Lore Student Expedition, Mumbai; Euro School, Thane; P. G. Garodia School, Mumbai; Jamnabai Narsee School, Mumbai; Sanjeewan Vidyalaya, Panchgani; Naz Foundation (India) Trust, Mumbai; Adventure Edu. Tours Mumbai Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai; and Lady Khatun Marium School, Panvel.
Over the span of two days, the participants were given in-depth knowledge regarding the four domains of the programme i.e. Skills, Service, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey and also the Residential Project. The participants were also introduced to the technical aspects of the programme, which included Risk Management, Brand Guide and Online Record Book (ORB). Other sessions included the Award Philosophy, Framework, Benefits of the Award and how a volunteer could play a crucial role in the Award programme.
The workshop was delivered by Kapil Bhalla (National Director) and Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager). The programme concluded with the presentation of participation certificates to the participants by Kapil Bhalla. Click for pictures