Wednesday 25 December 2013


5th - 8th December 2013

An ASOP Adventure Camp for ASOP participants was organised at Khandala, Lonavala District, Pune, Maharashtra.  The camp was organised by ICNL Kolkata (IAYP Official Service Partner) under the supervision of Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager, IAYP) from 5th to 8th December 2013. There were 35 participants at the camp -- 13 participants from NAZ Foundation (12 girls and 1 boy) and 22 participants from Magic Bus Foundation, Delhi (13 girls and 9 boys). The participants performed various camp activities under the ICNL supervision, such as extreme Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Fixing Rope, Burma Bridge formation & Single Rope Bridge formation, and fixing Tyrolean Traverse for River Crossing. Apart from this the participants also learnt different Team Building Games like Spider Net. The participants ventured to climb different hills of the area, including the famous Kokenkara Hill. Of the 35 participants, 24 completed their Gold level, 4 completed Silver Level and 7 completed Bronze level Adventurous Journey.  The participants enjoyed their last evening with a grand Camp Fire where they participated in dance and music performances. The Award Programme Foundation wishes to thank the instructors from ICNL, Kolkata for their support and training.  Our Special thanks to Ms. Bhagashree, Award Leader, NAZ Foundation who took real care of the Girls during the Camp.   click for pictures


23rd November 2013 - Ecole Globale International Girls' School, Dehradun

The Bronze aspirants of Ecole Globale International Girls' School, ventured on a fifteen kilometer trek that led them deep into the heart of the village Horrawala - a place amply endowed with greenery and scenic beauty. 

The month of November it was, but in the Garhwal Hills, the sun was shining bright. One after the other you could see girls shedding their extra baggage - their cardigans and jackets! 

To the first-timers, the walk was long and tedious, for the veterans, very energizing! Tall, stately sal trees contributed to the picturesque landscape and there were monkeys in droves! It was great to see them swinging on the branches, some with their little babies clinging to them as they moved like trapeze artists in a circus. As we reached into our bags, we were warned by the instructor not to feed the monkeys.

Suddenly, we stood transfixed! What was that strange creature standing poised before us? A huge iguana, its scaly back gleaming in the sunlight, looked curiously at the lot of us. We looked on in wonder. It was our very first encounter with this giant lizard -- like beauty that is a native of these parts. Once it had inspected each one of us properly, the iguana lost interest, and disappeared into the bushes. Whew! That was amazing.

We moved on squealing in excitement to see the many other such beings of the wild. A mongoose here, a wild fowl there. What an adventure!

The most looked-forward-to part about the trek was, of course, the mid-way-snack that was prepared by the girls themselves. Sandwiches were wolfed down followed by refreshing glassfulls of fruit juice and the girls were already running high on adrenalin, waiting to hit the track again. 

On our way back, we visited a local dairy farm and were sure amused by the moos of hundreds of perfectly spotted Holstein Friesian cows that were around! To see how the milking process was carried out was informative and interesting. We look forward to more such treks.  Click for pictures

Wednesday 18 December 2013


10th July 2013, Vivek High School, Chandigarh

Sixteen students and six adults from RS schools in eight different countries assembled in New Delhi in early July. In the short time available to us in Delhi, excursions were arranged to landmarks such as India Gate and a little last minute shopping was done at Khan Market and Connaught Place. Very early on the morning of July 10, the group left Indira Gandhi International Airport on the Jet Airways flight to Leh. We spent one night in the Hotel Omasila and two nights in the Ladakh Residency, the establishment owned by Tsering Wangchuk, the founder of Snow Leopard Trails. During this acclimatization period, we walked the colorful streets of the town, hiked up to a spectacular Stupa and took a daylong car trip west, along the Indus, to Likir Monastery and the Zanskar River. Following this brief and luxurious interlude, we headed east to our new home, the village of Thiksey. Our campsite lay in the shadow of the 1000 year old Gompa and the sounds and activities of the monastery were with us day and night for the duration of our stay. Our camp was simple but comfortable. The highlight was the cooking of our culinary magician, Sonam. The lowlight for many was the visit to the 'Thunderbox'! Washing from a bucket with cold water was both bracing and refreshing after a long hot day of work.

The work of the project took place at the Lamdon Model School, close by our camp. We developed a love hate relationship with the thousands of eleven kilogram bricks of sun dried Indus River mud as we carted them around the building site. We mixed and transported thousands of kilograms of mud. We decorated the main hallway of the student hostel with creative and cheerful murals and re-painted the entrance sign. We also spent some time in the school classrooms engaging with the students. We worked alongside local men and women who did much of the skilled work and kept our spirits up with banter and work songs. At the end of our time, they paid us the enormous compliment of saying that we had worked harder than any other group they had ever seen! In the middle of the project, we took a day to visit the famously beautiful Pangong Lake on the Chinese border.

Following a farewell performance and feast organized by the school, we set off on our five-day trek. This was a stern physical challenge for many as we ascended to passes that were well over 5000 meters. Our camps were idyllic and the display of stars at night was a revelation for many. Returning to Leh, we spent our last nights together at the Ladakh Residency before returning to Delhi where we said goodbye to the Indian students and adults. The rest of the group made a lightning trip to the colorful city of Agra where we visited the Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal before returning to Delhi and our flights home.  click for pictures


A report from Dolly Arora (Award Leader), Dikshant International School, Zirakpur

Award participants of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur have undertaken a project in the village of Nagla on the Old Kalka-Ambala highway. The project is towards their Service Section. The main aim was to undertake a cleanliness drive to clean the open drains and thereby prevent the spread of various communicable diseases. Initially, the team found the task difficult, because the drains had never been cleaned after they were made. They were stinking and choked with polythene and tall grass was growing all around. But with the co-operation of Mandeep Singh, one of the villagers, the team managed to take up the drive and arranged sickles and baskets to throw the garbage. Another problem that the team came across was to find a place to throw the garbage, as there was no bin kept to throw the garbage! Every house threw the garbage in the open space outside their house. The IAYP team first tried to convince people not to throw litter everywhere. The next problem was pulling up grass roots inside the drains--this procedure was quite a challenge because the filth from the drain came out along with the grass; so the team got masks and gloves for the job. Once the team started doing it they warmed to the task and the villagers helped by providing baskets, sickles and sticks etc. It took nearly two months to clean the drains. It was a satisfying job to carry out the cleanliness drive every day. The work was appreciated by the village folk and the elected sarpanch of the village promised to lay out the sewerage line.  Click for Pictures

Wednesday 11 December 2013


Saumya, Aishwarya, Abhinav & Tushar of G D Goenka World School, Gurgaon sharing their learning 

Early in the morning of 25th October 2013, a group of 80 Award participants (17 Silver & 63 Bronze) reached Camp Wild, Dhauj. We barely has time to settle into our cottages/tents when we were divided into groups to start with the activities. First was the obstacle course followed by lunch and then we did rock climbing, rappelling and valley crossing, followed by a session of the obstacle course. The obstacle course was a fun task to teach us the distinctive ways in which the army trains. This involved: the jungle leap, Tarzan swing, commando net, Bermuda Bridge and much more.

However, with all this fun we also had some serious activities to teach us vital survival skills like knot tying and tent pitching. It took a lot of effort and teamwork, since it was first time for most students, but we still managed to pitch a tent. The students learnt the different and vital ways to tie knots with a rope. This was the base for everything, even for putting up the tent.  To us, learning the skill of tent pitching was the biggest take away from the camp. Tents are one of the most important camping materials, and without them, explorers would have to sleep without shelter on long treks. Pitching a tent is rather simple and can be done in 5 minutes.

Step 1: Find a good camping spot; flat ground is essential as the tent may not stay up on uneven ground. Also sleeping on a slope is rather uncomfortable.
Step 2: Lay down the ground sheet; this sheet protects the tent from the soil, rocks and also makes it more comfortable to sleep on.
Step 3: Set up the ridge pole; this pole slides into a hook at the top of the tent, it eventually will become the backbone of the tent.
Step 4: Attach the pegs to the main tent structure; they should not be too tight or loose, just enough to keep it upright.
Step 5: Pull the ridge pole up so that you can attach the two dollies; these two rods attach to the frame on both sides of the tent and help keep it upright.
Step 6: Now attach the pegs to the upright tent structure to make sure it does not fly away
Step 7: Attach the flysheet to the tent; the flysheet is a waterproof cover for the tent to protect it from rain and/or snow
Step 8: The guy ropes can now be attached. These ropes hold the flysheet steady and attach it to the main tent; they also steady the Dollies. 

There are many different kinds of tents but they all are set up more or less the same way. I know that with this skill in hand I can now travel on long expeditions and not have to worry about where I am going to sleep. 

Some key facts that we learnt:
  1. Tents cannot be heated by anything electric or by fire as they are made out of nylon and that is very combustible, the only thing that can heat it is body heat.
  2. The two most commonly used tents are dome and A shaped; Dome shaped is used for long expeditions and A shaped for shorter ones.
  3. Tents were widely used by the Roman army -- which needed a place to stay for all its troops that was light and portable. The answer was the tent.
  4. People living in warm places usually live in tents made out of woven goat hair as nylon can catch fire in the extreme heat.
  5. Some camping tents are large enough to keep 10 people, extra camping gear and family pets; there is also room for 6 extra people! However this is nothing compared to the Khan Shatyr; this 150 by 200 meters tent is larger than 10 football fields and is an urban scale internal park.

This is our learning for life! Click for pictures


Bhanu Tanwar (Law Student at NLU, Delhi) sharing his Residential Journey

After attaining the Bronze Award in 2008, I decided to continue my Award Journey to accomplish a Gold Award. As part of my Residential Project, I decided to do something which would connect me to new people and unique surroundings. I heard about Thandge Gatsal Thangka Studio and School and was very keen to join it during my summer vacations. Thandge Gatsal painting studio and trust is located in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, and is a registered trust with Government of India. Thandge Gatsal strives to preserve the Himalayan Buddhist traditional art of Thangka Painting. The objective of the training provided at Thandge Gatsal is to support Thangka Painters through the preservation and dissemination of knowledge about Himalayan Buddhist cultural traditions. Thangka Painting is a unique Himalayan Art that originated in India and has attained classical levels in the Tibetan tradition. Being a part of our history and rich heritage, it must be preserved and promoted worldwide. Thandge Gatsal has been conducting training programmes to help develop an understanding about the iconography, methods and techniques involved in the process of creation of Thangka Art. A Thangka is more than a work of art; it is an object of devotion, an aid to spiritual practice, and a source of blessings to those who meditate upon it.

I started my training at Thandge Gatsal from the 17th of June 2013. My training included an understanding of the drawings, iconography and the grids which are involved in the Himalayan Buddhist Art of Thangka Painting. Our classes started at 9 am in the morning and ended at 5 pm in the evening. Weekends were free. During the entire day all the students spent time practicing grids which were taught to us by Master Locho who is the founder of Thandge Gatsal Studio and School as well as a Master Thangka Painter. The students were taught in detail about the origin of this incredible Buddhist art during the evening classes. The theory classes as well as classes to clarify doubts were taken by Sarika Ma'am who is also a Master Thangka Painter. Ma'am ensured that all our doubts were clarified and that we practiced enough to reach perfection. It is unbelievable how everyone would enjoy every bit of time spend at the studio, sketching, learning grids and meditating upon the beautiful Buddhist chants.

The evening time was usually free when the students of Thandge were allowed to go and explore the surroundings. Thandge Gatsal is situated in a small village, 4 kilometers away from the main city of Dharamshala. The evening walks included adventure walks in the dense forests, visiting some nearby villages, exploring the chilled streams and spending time with the co-students of Thandge Gatsal who came from diverse cultures and places. The painters at Thangde Gatsal were always very helpful and told us real life stories about Tibet and the life of TIbetan refugees in Dharamshala. I got to learn so much about Buddhism, Tibet and India's political relations, Buddhist Art and the life and work of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

On weekends we visited some of the most important places in Dharamshala. Among them was Norbulinga Institute of Tibetan Culture, which is even today keeping the Tibetan culture and values alive. I even visited the Dalai Lama's temple on various occasions. The whole idea of these outings was to understand the Buddhist culture and get a glimpse of the various Thangka Paintings in and around Mc Leod Ganj as well as those in the monasteries.

Four weeks of my training finally ended on 14th July 2013. This included not only the grids related to thangka but we were also taught how to make canvas. Making canvas was the most amazing process.

This surely was the experience I will always treasure. I would never forget the small little things that I learnt from this training program. There surely are many things that I would miss, this includes washing my own utensils after all my meals, seeing snakes almost once a week, the bright stars shining in the sky, fireflies, huge spiders, the peace of Himalayas and the rich talented crowd around. I thank everyone at Thandge Gatsal for such a wonderful experience and the beautiful memories and IAYP for providing me with a platform for exploring new things.

Wednesday 4 December 2013


10th -- 12th November 2013 at Banglore

Mrityunjoy Purkait, Gouranga Das, Bijjoy Purkait and Bamandipta Pal (all Gold Awardees) along with Santu Naskar, Buddhadev Jana and Asit Mondol (all Bronze Awardees) from RKM Blind Boys Academy represented the West Bengal State in the 13th National Para-Olympic Swimming Championship held at Bangalore from 10th to 12th November 2013. The participants secures 6 Gold, 8 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. Two of the awardees, Mrityunjoy Purkait and Bijoy Purkait also became the Champions in their respective groups. These awardees shared their experience after their victory.

"Award builds my life smooth because I am becoming tough contender against every challenge in my life. I am a Champion in my senior group and I must say that Award made me champion" - Mrityunjoy Purkait (Gold Awardee)

"I got 3 gold medals and I achieved this success due to regular brush up on swimming under physical recreation segment of Award. Besides my swimming coach I find that Award is my inspiration because Award channelised my ability towards success." - Bijoy Purkait (Gold Awardee)

"My strong self-belief which I got from Award leads me to success in 13th National Para-Olympics." - Gouranga Das (Gold Awardee)

"Award made me strong mentally. I did not even think about my co-competitor. I took out my 100% skill and physical ability in right time which is the reflection of the benefits of the Award." - Bamandipta Pal

"Award turned our visually challenged awardees from stone to gold. Award proved its great impact on our awardee in each sector of their life, result in Para-Olympic shows that. I believe without Award Program this miracle could not be done." - Rupanjan Goswami (Award Leader)

The score card of the participants is as follows:

1. Mrityunjoy Purkait
(Senior Group - Gold Awardee)
- 50mtr Free Style - Gold Medal
- 50mtr Back Stroke - Gold Medal

2. Santu Naskar
(Senior Group - Bronze Awardee)
- 50mtr Free Style - Silver Medal
- 50mtr Butterfly - Bronze Medal

3. Gournga Das
(Senior Group - Gold awardee)
- 50mtr Breast Stroke - Gold Medal
- 50mtr Back Stroke - Silver Medal

4. Bijoy Purkait
(Junior Group - Gold Awardee)
- 50mtr Free Style - Gold Medal
- 50mtr Breast Stroke - Gold Medal
- 50mtr Butterfly - Gold Medal

5. Bamandipta Pal
(Junior Group - Gold Awardee)
- 50mtr Free Style - Silver Medal
- 50mtr Back Stroke - Silver Medal
- 50mtr Breast Stroke - Bronze Medal
- 50mtr Butterfly - Silver Medal

6. Buddhadev Jana
(Sub-Junior Group - Bronze Awardee)
- 50mtr Free Style - Silver Medal
- 50mtr Back Stoke - Bronze Medal
- 50mtr Breast Stroke - Bronze Medal

7. Asit Mondol
(Sub-Junior Group - Bronze Awardee)
- 50mtr Back Stroke - Silver Medal


8th - 10th November 2013 - A report by Aparna Khanikar (Award Leader, Maria's Public School, Guwahati)

"The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask." - Nancy Wynne Newhall

With the quest to unreveal the wilderness as Nancy Wynne Newhall has quoted, the 2nd batch of the Bronze and the Silver aspirants from Maria's Public School, Birkuchi, Narengi, with their two Award Leaders and a nature anchor from Eco Concept, set forth to unfold the mysteries of the wild in Mawlynnong, Meghalaya. A village that got its name "Mawlynnong" from the bowl shaped stones that surround the village and in which the villagers harvested rainwater. Interesting indeed!!

The anticipation of the camp, the bonfire and the meals to be self-cooked and served, had already ignited the spirit of the 35 young Award aspirants who were about to spend the next two nights and three days in the wild...

Every aspirant was excited about the camp and the trek which were to follow over the next two days. The enchanting beauty of the Cherrapunjee hills welcomed us the very first day on our way to Mawlynnong. The adventure for the day started with the aspirants challenging themselves at the zip line at which every aspirant completed with absolute delight. Later on our trek continued to the most exotic and enchanting caves of Mawsmai.

Exploring the caves from one end to the other with minds alert for the wild call of the bat, the eyes in constant look-out for the sharp tips of the calcite formations and wading through the pools of water creeping out of the crevices - the whole experience was mind blowing.

Later that day disembarking from the vehicles we were welcomed by the enchanting beauty of the quiet village. After the participants settled down in their camps and the allotted cottages, the evening beckoned the night trail for 4 km with a little quiz set by our nature anchor which aroused the participants' interest and curiosity. The quiz was designed for the participants to be observant and alert about their surroundings. With many answers revealed, the participants' happiness knew no bounds and they eagerly awaited the trek for the next morning.

The second day trek was challenging with firewood collections to be done by the students on their trail for the fire to cook the morning meal. This inspired the aspirants to be vigilant and observant throughout the trek and also helped them to develop a sound team spirit. After trudging and trailing the path for 10 km, a dip in the gurgling stream of the waterfalls was quite relaxing.

The hike uphill to the base camp later was tough but it did not discourage the young minds and the night went well with gleeful singing and dancing around the campfire.

The third day trek was to the living root bridge; this was one among the many living root bridges that the community of Mawlynnong treasure. Walking downhill for 8 km, the sight of the living root bridge mesmerized us. The root bridge was formed by the rubber plants being planted by the villagers on both sides of the stream and the roots of both the trees weaved together to form the bridge which helped them commute with ease. The Award aspirants were awestruck to find human beings at such remote area of our country living in so much harmony with nature. The living root bridge symbolised a living example of sustainable development. 

As it is rightly said that every good thing comes to an end, our wonderful trek also came to an end, but it left our minds and cameras brimming with wonderful memories. This opportunity given to us by our school can never be forgotten. My heartiest thanks to the Managing trustee and the principal of Maria's Public school for introducing IAYP (International Award for Young People) into the school curriculum and giving the students the privilege to explore themselves. I also thank the IAYP Award Foundation for the opportunities being provided to the young minds to become better citizens of the country. My sincere thanks to the president of Eco Concept for enlightening the Award aspirants on every aspect in this Adventurous Journey and for making this event a successful one to cherish lifelong. click for pictures


22nd - 23rd November 2013 - A report by Anwesha Ghosh (Gold Award holder)

A National Training Workshop, organized by NAA was held in La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata, with 26 Award leaders from schools across Kolkata and two Award leaders from Mumbai. NAA was represented by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Chai Eng Dutta and Henry Simons (members, NTP). 

The NTW started with a session on partnership where the participants were familiarized with the various IAYP India partner organizations. We next went onto a session about the Introduction of the Award. Mr Bhalla drew our attention again to the facts that there is no anarchy within the Award Programme. He stressed on the fact that the Award is non-competitive in nature.

We went on to prepare the Award Shield. The shield includes messages from the Award leaders and is grouped as:
  1. What do you expect from the Award?
  2. What do you expect from the other NTW participants?
  3. What Award experience do you have?

Some of the participants highlighted their views. Mr Rupanjan Goswami from Blind Boys Academy said he wishes to enrich himself as a potential Award leader. Sudipta Bhaumik said her motto is to 'make global citizens of my students.'

Mr Mukhoty went on to further explain the philosophy. He said our job is not to say 'no' to the Awardees, instead we should say 'this is the way to go about doing the work.' Md. Zeeshan and Rohit Mallick from Emmanuel Ministries shared their experiences about how they overcame many challenges in life and are now standing tall and proud in front of us with assistance from the Award.

We went on to speak about involvement with the Award. 'It's a marathon.'' The Award is for personal development. The focus or target should be to progress in life. There should be some focused achievement. Mr Mukhoty said that we need to support the Bronze Awardees, encourage them. At Silver level we should let them take initiative and work. At Gold, we should give them full responsibility and treat them as adults.

Mr Mukhoty then conducted a session on 'Framework of the Award'. He explained the work each Awardee is expected to do in the four sessions- Physical Recreation, Skills, Service and Adventurous journey. He explained the nature of the Registration Form and use of the barcode. He also explained how each Awardee is to write the Diary for the sections. He said "Only positive remarks should be written in the Record Book.''

Some of the questions asked by the participants after the session are as follows:

1. Can the participant change the activity for any sessions?
Ans: Yes. They can. Change of activity is permitted only once.

2. How does the Award leader assess the activity for a participant?
Ans: Use your discretion. This is where the need for training comes in.

3. Is there any minimum time within which the activity for a session can be changed?
Ans: No

4. Will the work before change of the activity be considered?
Ans: Yes. Since the Awardee has put in sincere effort, the work will be considered.

5. Is break within the work allowed?
Ans: Yes. The Award is flexible. Awardees are allowed to take break during exams etc and continue working again beyond that.

6. Can the number of hours be counted instead of month?
Ans: No. Since we are focusing on progress, they have to work for the given time.
Consistency is important.

Session on Service- conducted by Chai Eng Dutta, member NTP
Activity: make groups of two. Blind-fold one member. The other member is now the escort. Let the escort lead the 'challenged person' through a specific route. On reaching a certain destination, reverse the role of the members. Let the new escort lead the other person back to the conference room. Now, share the experience of the 'blind-folded and open-eyed members.'

Some of the feelings as expressed by the participants included:

1. Sense of achievement
2. Accept our fears
3. Do the work and feel relieved
4. Learn to trust etc...

Next, the participants were arranged in groups and were asked to 'record one month's work in the skill section' and 'feel like an assessor and fill up the skill page in the Record book.' Each group was asked to present the Diary and Record book page. Mr Mukhoty clarified that the work should be recorded as 'I did this...'' in the diary. One cannot use 'we,' it is individual work. He also said that the diary should clearly show the work done by the Awardee- be specific about the work. Other advice given were:

1. Don't decorate the diary- it is not a project work.
2. Content is what is important. Fancy words and language is not needed.
3. Mention time of work like 'from 5pm-7pm' and not as 2 hours
4. Use 'work' not 'visit' like I worked at the old age home and not I visited the old age home.

Session on skills- Bivujit Mukhoty
Activity- take 5 mins and make anything you want out of the materials provided. 
The record book and diary was explained. The activity about writing the diary and record book was repeated for this session as well.

Session on Physical Recreation- Henry Simons
Activity: Make two groups of 12 each. Make a circle and hold hands. On whistle, move to your right in a circle. On whistle, move to your left in a circle. On whistle, form two lines and pass one ball to the person facing you. Keep passing the ball to and fro in the line.
The activity energized the participants. Some of the questions discussed were:

1. Why do we have to have physical recreation?
Ans: to stay fit, to have a health mind etc.

2. Why is it important to stay fit?
Ans: healthy mind, healthy body etc

Some of the feelings shared by the participants included 'had fun, bonded, positive energy, movement of body etc'

Henry said, 'when you have confidence, you can achieve anything. A heart of a volunteer can achieve much more than you can anticipate.'

The session with the Diary and Record book writing was repeated. 

Questions discussed included:

1. Can yoga be considered as a skill?
Ans: If it is performed to build up your muscles and physical stamina, it is physical recreation. If it is used to do medication, then it is skill.

S- specialization
K- knowledge
L- learning
L- livelihood

Mr Mukhoty advised to keep these points in mind while deciding for an activity in the skill section.

Adventurous Journey: Bivujit Mukhoty
The participants played 'Simon says.' Through the game, we understood that no one can force you to do anything, you have to take the initiative yourself. We also understood that it is important to have fun. Award is not a punishment.

The participants highlighted that through the Adventurous Journey, we achieve:
1. Independence
2. Discipline
3. Manners
4. Presence of mind.

All this together gives us a chance to 'know myself.'

Mr Mukhoty discussed the basic requirements of adventure. 
1. Food
2. Fire
3. Shelter

He explained that the practice journey can span out over different sets of time. But one has to take a qualifying journey same as that of practice. You cannot practice for exploration and go on an expedition as a qualifying journey.

Various other aspects like expedition planning, area choosing etc were also discussed. 

Day 2:

The second day was more about technical things. 

The sessions included brand packing, risk management, residential project etc.

We also discussed benefits of the Award, role of volunteer etc. 

Mr Bhalla then asked the participants to get organized within groups. He then discussed with them the qualities of an Award leader. The qualities highlighted included:

1. Available
2. Motivating
3. Open minded
4. Helpful etc

The workshop ended with handing over certificates and badges to the participants. Handbooks and presentation CDs were also given out. The Principal of La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata and the Vice- Principal were also present for this event. Mr Bhalla extended a vote of thanks to the participants for their eagerness. The workshop was successful. All the participants felt that they are now at least more than 90% sure of their role as Award leaders and are now better trained.  click for pictures

Saturday 30 November 2013


27th December 2013 - 1st January 2014

IAYP India in association with Coorg Public School, Mysore is organising an All India Gold Residential Camp at the school in Mysore from 27th December 2013 to 1st January 2014.  This is a unique project exclusively for Gold Award participants. During the projects the participants will have the opportunity of visiting the Nagarahole Elephant Camp and trek to the Rajeev Gandhi National Park to study the flora and fauna in the deciduous forest.  They will also get a chance to trek in the Brahmagiri hills and visit the Irpu waterfalls.  The participants will perform their adventurous activities at Coorg Adventure Club and will also participate in a group discussion and watch a snake show and a cultural programme.  The last date for submission of applications is 31st October 2013.  Click for programme details    Click to download application form


10th - 14th February, 2014 at DoubleTree by Hilton, New Delhi

Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group (SDP IWG) Secretariat, hosted by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), has nominated Magic Bus to host the Next Step 2014 Conference. This international conference is the fifth in the series. Like previous events, this conference will bring together a range of stakeholders who push forward the global Sport for Development agenda. This particular conference will highlight the ways in which sports programmes can deliver on core development outcomes relating to safeguarding, peace and inclusion, youth development, and mitigating the looming threat of non-communicable diseases. The Next Step 2014 Conference is being supported by the Government of India and the Australian Sports Commission. 

IAYP India request Gold and Silver Award holders to participate in the conference to represent the Award in India. Please visit for more details.


11th - 15th November 2013

The National Award Authority & Audacious Dreams Foundation (YES Centre) organized a 2-day Vernacular Award Leader training programme in Gudiyattam & Vellore, Tamil Nadu, held at St John's Matric Hr Sec. School Gudiyattam on 13th November 2013 and Don Bosco Matric Hr Sec School GandhiNagar, Katpadi on 14th November 2013.

At the beginning of the Programme the Chief Guest, Sis. Jayakodi, Principal of St John's Matric Hr. Sec. School, expressed her appreciation that Gudiyattam was honoured with the training workshop. The trainers detailed the philosophy and essence of the Award and explained the four pillars of the Award through different practical activities. Additionally, the trainers explained about the License policy and starting an Award unit in their respective institutions and society. There were 31 participants from 5 different organisations including schools, Engineering Colleges and NGOs participated in the workshop.
The second day of the training programme was organised at Don Bosco Hr Sec. School, Gandhi Nagar, Katapadi, Vellore District where 21 participants from 5 different organisations including schools, colleges, NGOs and the Rotary Club participated. Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Dinesh Gajendran (Member NTP and Gold Award Holder) and K S Biradar (Member NTP) along with Kapil Bhalla (National Director) led the workshops. The Guest Trainer Malhardeen Mohamed, Award Leader from Sri Lanka National Youth Award Authority also shared his experience in these workshops.
As these workshops focused to build up participation in rural areas of Tamil Nadu, Dinesh Gajendran and Malhardeen Mohamed interpreted the training sessions in Tamil.  click for pictures


22nd and 23rd November 2013 at La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata

The National Award Authority organised a National Training Workshop at La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata on 22nd and 23rd November 2013. The workshop was attended by 27 participants from DPS Megacity, DPS Newtown, All Bengal Women's Union, Gems School, RK Mission BBA, Sushila Birla High School, Sri Sarada Math, Christ Church School (Mumbai), Akshar, Heritage School, Bhawanipur Edu. Society, Emmanuel Ministries, Mahadevi Birla World Academy and Calcutta International School participated in the workshop. The training was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Chai Eng Dutt (Member NTP) and Henry Simon (Member NTP). In the Ice breaking session Kapil Bhalla (National Director) briefed the participants about the Award in India and its prospects. The trainers detailed the Award Philosophy and Framework through the interactive presentations. The four pillars of the Award were explained through presentations and also through different activities. The trainers also explained the brand guidelines and the role of volunteers. There was a session on the new licensing policy and new visual identity which help participants to understand the upcoming changes in the Award branding. The workshop was enriched with practical exercises and visual presentations about the Award in India. Anwesha Ghosh (Gold Award Holder) shared her experience on Life after Gold with the participants. The workshop concluded with the presentation ceremony in which National Director awarded certificates to the participants. Click to view pictures

Wednesday 20 November 2013


8th November 2013 at JCB Sponsored Government Senior Secondary School, Jharsaintly Village, Haryana

The NAA team organised a one-day Adventure Orientation Programme for the Award participants of JCB Sponsored Government Senior Secondary Schools at Jharsaintly Village, Haryana. The orientation programme was conducted under the supervision of trained instructors from ICNL Calcutta. Bivujit Mukhoty and Priyank Kumar Gupta from the NAA Team mentored the programme. The orientation started with a theoretical session by Bivujit Mukhoty where he explained the need of the Adventurous Journey and the different activities that fall under this section. Next, the instructors demonstrated the use of different equipment essential for any adventurous journey. The participants practiced activities like crossing Single Rope Bridge, Jummering, Monkey Crawling and Tent Pitching. Around 140 participants from the 4 JCB Sponsored Government Schools participated in the orientation programme.   Click to view pictures


10th - 14th November 2013 : A report from Anwesha Ghosh (Gold Award Holder), IAF representative

The Commonwealth Youth Forum was organized as a start-up event for CHOGM (Commonwealth Head of the Government Meeting.) The forum took place in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. Hambantota is a beautiful upcoming city in the southern-most tip of Sri Lanka. The conference saw participation from many of the commonwealth countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, United Kingdom, Australia to name a few. The aim of the conference was to install a commonwealth executive council and to adopt a constitution to be followed by the council.

The conference was attended by 50 young people from all over the world. It saw a perfect mix of nations, cultures and ideas. It was a four-day conference - from 10th Nov, 2013 to 14th Nov, 2013. During these four days, we all sat together and discussed our views on several aspects that concern the youth and the world at large.

The sessions included topics such as entrepreneurship, quality employment, sex and reproductive health, drug addiction among others. We exchanged ideas on the topics and learnt about the problems faced by young people in different countries. We then came up with practical solutions to these problems.

These solutions were drafted in the form of policies, which were passed by the delegation; these have been adopted as a policy that should be followed. We hope these policies will benefit the youth from all across the world.

Next came the elections. This conference saw the formal election and installation of the Commonwealth Youth Council. Ahmed Amudu from Nigeria was elected as the Chair of the commonwealth executive council. Others were elected for the post of regional representatives and vice-chairman.

The commonwealth countries combined have a youth population of around 1.2 billion people. We all come from different cultures. But oddly enough, most of us face similar problems in life. By putting together our ideas and understanding, we managed to come up with solutions. It wasn't easy. Some days we worked up to 2 am in the morning. But the time didn't concern us. We were burdened with a huge responsibility. We were the voice of the 1.2 billion young people who deserve to be heard.

The conference was not only work but fun too. We had a gala opening event. We were welcomed in a very warm and grand manner. The young people from Sri Lanka gave us a taste of their very rich and diverse culture. Over the following days, we enjoyed beach parties, casual chats, African music and dance, cultural nights, tree planting ceremonies, Sanctuary and National Park visits. We also enjoyed meeting with several dignitaries including the President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Sri Rajapaksha. Also we enjoyed the company of the Youth Minister of Sri Lanka. We met other dignitaries like the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of PNG, Ghana and other countries.

It was a great experience. I made several new friends from all over the world. I learnt a great deal in the conference. The experience was both professionally and personally enriching. I would like to thank the International Award Authorities for giving me the excellent opportunity to represent the Award in the Commonwealth Youth Conference.  click for pictures

Friday 15 November 2013


11th - 15th November 2013

The NAA team of Kapil Bhalla & Bivujit Mukhoty visited Bangalore and Chennai from November 11th to 15th. The team visited Podar International School, Bangalore and made a presentation to Narayana Josia (Principal) on the implementation and benefits of the Award Programme. The team also visited Chennai and made presentations at four schools of AMM Foundation, where they interacted with over 500 students. They met with the teams led by R Mahalakshi (Principal), AMM Matriculation School, Kottupuram; S Sundar (Principal), Velayan Chettiar Higher Secondary School, Thiruvottiyur; Sheela Raghavan (Principal) TI Matriculation School, Ambattur and R Sundaramvedivelu (Adviser) Sir Ramasamy Mudaliar Higher Secondary School, Ambattur.

There was a lively discussion on the benefits of the Award, the various methods and activities of the four pillars of Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey, Service & Skill, and how these would a be a perfect fit into the existing co-curriculum of the school. Click to view pictures


9th November 2013 at Award Training Centre, New Delhi

The National Award Authority organised the first Adventure Orientation Programme for Adventure Operators.  This one-day programme targeted to deliver the theme and essence of the Adventurous Journey section to Adventure Operators.  The focus was on explaining the Award's requirements with respect to this section and updating the adventure operators about the new developments in the Award. Eight participants from 7 different organisations participated in the programme and discussed the various issues related to organising the Award Adventurous Journey. Kapil Bhalla (National Director) started with an ice-breaking session and introduced the philosophy of the Award.  Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) continued the session with an interactive presentation on the Expedition and Exploration Manual, in which he discussed the Technical and Integrated Skills.  He also described the basic requirements in respect to the Award at each level.  There was a Q&A session where the Operators and the NAA team discussed and resolved the various issues. The programme concluded with the presentation of certificates to participants. click for pictures


8th November 2013

Mr Pramod Sharma, Director

Kapil Bhalla (National Director) along with Gold Award holder Dhanurdhar visited Genesis Global School, Noida on 8th November 2013. They had a detailed and interesting interaction with the Pramod Sharma (Director), A N Dar (Chief Mentor) and Seema Hanvey (Head IB programme). 
The National Director met and had lunch with the students and discussed the benefits available through participation in the IAYP programme. Dhanurdhar shared his experience of participation in the programme and the fun he had and the benefits he gained while pursuing the programme.