By Avi Bhargava, Bronze Awardee,
Ansal Institute of Technology, Gurgaon
“There is no satisfaction that can compare with looking back across the years and finding you’ve grown in self-control, judgment, generosity, and unselfishness.”
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox
This is something what I also felt after completing the International Award for Young People, better known as IAYP. It was a moment of pride for me when I received the award from the university’s Honourable vice chancellor, Dr. Raj Singh.
Journey of this award has been exciting and at the same time a great learning experience as well. It started off as a dream, had never thought that I’ll be able to complete it successfully.
Looking back through the journey, I remember the day when I filled the form for the same. I had never thought of doing this award. I had loads of things going in my mind when I was asked to be a part of the award journey. I was inspired by the presentation of this award delivered to us in our college by National Director, IAYP. It came to me as a surprise when Pratibha ma’am gave me the form with my name already filled in it, implying she put all her belief in me that I would be able to complete the award journey. This sweet gesture of belief acted as a spark and lit the way through this award.
I still cherish the first service I rendered as a volunteer on 28 of December 2011, at the ASOP workshop. It was a briefing and training workshop for the award participants. As a volunteer, my job was to make them acquainted with their award journey, about which we all were puzzled. So through this workshop many of our queries regarding the award were clarified. We played many team building games and took part in various activities. By the end of the day the faith in completion of the award became more concrete. The next day I got to know that I was appointed as the award head for our center and then I could see a leader in me. It took me immense pleasure to share what I learnt in the workshop with my batch mates and also to guide them how they could complete their award.
It took me pride to convince others that they can also be a part of this award. The IAYP team at AIT took loads of efforts to make others realise that they had the potential of achieving something and I was happy being one of the team mates.
As it’s rightly said that the service begins at home. Similarly mine began with my college library. Earlier, in the library we kept on searching for books and sometimes it became a tedious job locating them. Now, after managing the library we are equipped enough to help others in locating the books.
Another experience which I would like to share is the waste paper management wherein I along with fellow award participants helped the teachers to get rid of the waste papers and to manage their written materials. It was so much fun, managing these things. It involved a lot may jobs like taking paper piles from one room to other, handing over the waste pages to the recycler, depositing the one side printed papers in the library and a lot more. The work was also rewarded with the blessings of our teachers and sweet smiles on their faces. Later, our mobile phones beeped with the thank you notes. Similarly it was a great learning experience at the Rapid Walk 2012 and at the National Conference held in the college.
All this that has been mentioned above, I did as a part of the service section. Moving on to the skill section I chose cooking. This took me to the world of flavours and mouth watering smell of various dishes. I learnt how to prepare a variety of cuisines and even perfected a couple of them. It feels great when I make people taste the food that I cooked and then when they praise me, I feel even more elated.
Another section is the physical recreation wherein I chose to dance. It was a great experience too. I learnt many new moves and also choreographed many songs.
The section closest to my heart is the adventure trip to Rishikesh. Before I went for the trip I just knew a few people in college and only a few were there who knew me. But, after the trip every corner of the college had some or the other familiar face to exchange smile with. This is what I will cherish the most as a part of the award. On the trip we faced many challenges from choosing tents to all sorts of activities like rafting, rock climbing rappelling, trekking and many more. But each of these made us bold and strong enough to face the real challenges in life. At the start of the trip, I promised one thing to myself that I won’t say no to anything over a period of those two days and I was successful in a way that I was among the first few to try each of the activity. Another incident worth mentioning is, when I slipped in the water trek. Though, I was very upset that I could not enjoy, but when I saw all the people around, who were strangers a couple of days back, worried about me and taking helping me to recover well, consequently it took me no time to cheer for and smile with them. Whenever I think of this trip, I am refreshed with the beautiful memories along with a crystal clear view of Rishikesh so much so that I feel that I am there again. The scenic beauty of the place was panoramic –the vibrant flora and lush green hills are worthy of praises. It felt as if I was in the world of my dreams. The sound of the Ganges water so clear still rings my ears sometimes. Seriously it was an amazing, learning and fun filled experience.
With this award I have learnt a lot and have emerged as a good leader, a cook and even a dancer and it wouldn’t be wrong even if I would say I have discovered myself.
“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”
– Aldous Huxley