Monday, 31 March 2014


As we always say, the International Award for Young People programme is not only effective during the course of the programme but it also leaves a lasting impact on each one of our participants – an impact that will continue to prove fruitful as they continue on the journey called life. Here is the story of selfless attributes and courage shown by Urmi Sanghavi (Silver Award holder) from The Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society School. 

During a road trip to my friend's house, I witnessed an accident, where an old lady looking to cross the road was hit by a speeding motor bike. This resulted in the poor lady been thrown off the road and into a quagmire. Our first thought was to actually pass by the accident spot and leave the old lady in our rear view mirror, but the thought of us being equally responsible for anything happening to the victim made us stop our car. The only reason we didn't wish to stop was the harassment of police and court cases that we would inevitably have to face in the aftermath of the accident. It was our moral and inner-conscience that made us realise that the happiness of saving the old lady's life is bigger than any other harassment that we would have to face. So we jumped out of the car and rushed to assist the lady who was moaning in pain, the only positive sign being that she wasn't bleeding much. Then while trying to help her out of the marsh I realized that during the course of the accident, she had broken her arm, which was her major source of pain. Thanks to the First Aid training that I had during my Silver Award IAYP Programme, I was able to administer first aid, and I managed to put a splint under her injured limb to provide proper support to the broken bone. After that we carefully lifted her out of the mud and while providing a proper cushion to her broken arm, we were able to put her in the back of our car. After reaching the closest hospital, she was able to get proper medical support and was kept under observation. 

To our surprise, rather than being harassed by the local authorities, we were applauded for our courage and our service in providing comfort to the old lady when everyone else was turning their back, which in itself was an achievement which needed no award. After two weeks I got a call from an unknown number where I was greeted by the very same old lady who couldn't stop thanking me for what we had done. I felt elated and felt grateful to the IAYP India Award programme that I did two years ago in the school. The programme taught me how to give service to the society, as we are part of society and undertake the responsibility to take care of it.

Let us end with the beautiful quote by English writer John Bunyan, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


26th - 30th January 2014: A Residential Project undertaken by the Gold Award Participants of Singapore International School, Mumbai

The International Award for Young People (IAYP) not only serves to be a life-changing experience for the participants but also for everyone who comes in contact with this Programme. One such instance was underscored through the initiative undertaken by the students of Singapore

International School (SIS), Mumbai. During the course of their Residential Project some students from the school helped install community and residential solar lighting systems at Irshalwadi, a small village in Maharashtra. Irshalwadi is a picturesque village, 3700 feet above sea level and 67 kilometres from the bustling financial capital of India, Mumbai.

As it is clear from its location, basic amenities like transportation, electricity and water are of major concern in the village comprising 40 houses. For four nights and five days, the Awardees were determined to bring about a sustainable change in the village and make life simpler by providing one of the basic resources -- electricity. At the end of the project, the Awardees were successful in installing many solar panels, thus lighting the local village school, ensuring a platform for students to receive education and connect to the outside world.

Along with installation of solar panels, the Awardees were also involved in the cleaning of the water body in the village, and the construction of embankments. This is also not the first time that SIS Awardees have helped transform a village -- last year they helped set up the water supply pipeline in Khonda village, reducing everyday hardship that the villagers used to face for a long time until then.

While installation of solar panels and improving water supply were the tangible changes in the village, during the course of activities like cooking, cleaning, and most importantly interacting with the local people engaging in cultural exchange, the project evidently had a valuable and lasting impact on the Awardees themselves. These activities helped them in their overall development which empowers them for future.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski once said, "Technology should be an important ingredient. It may be and should be a tool for social development." SIS participants of IAYP celebrate this view and work towards creating committed citizens of the world.  Click for pictures

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


14th - 15th March 2014 at Award Training Centre, New Delhi 

The International Award for Young People India organized a two-day Award Leader training workshop at the Award Training Centre, New Delhi for 14 participants from various schools including Khaitan Public School, Sahibabad; St. Mary's School, Dwarka; Lawrence School, Lovedale; Mata Jaswant Kaur Memorial School, Badal and institutions like Raphael Ryder Cheshire, Dehradun. In order to help the interns working at IAYP India gain a deep insight of the programme, some of the interns also participated in the training workshop.

Rather than calling it a learning workshop, Programme Manager Bivujit Mukhoty preferred calling it an experience sharing workshop. 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 for the Gold Award Programme. Other than that the participants were also introduced to the technical aspect of the programme, which included Risk Management and Branding. 

The Interns at IAYP India were happy to share their experiences. Pallavi Gill, Gold Award holder said, "The workshop was a mixture of fun and knowledge. Through the workshop we interacted with various people of various ages and occupations. Together we completed the workshop with smiles, new bonds of friendship and a step towards spreading the International Award for Young People across India." While for Arantxa Talukdar, Bronze Award holder it was a workshop to consolidate her knowledge of IAYP, "The two-day workshop helped me regain the lost knowledge and gain another perspective of IAYP. The workshop has been enriching, encouraging and a learning experience. I am grateful to have been a participant as it made a lot of difference in the way I used to see IAYP before and how I see it now." Another IAYP intern Tarini Puri (current Gold Award participant) understood how the programme helps students to achieve an identity: "Since childhood I've had this fear of public speaking. But when I had to do the same at the workshop, I had no choice but to gather up some courage and speak in front of other participants. I now believe, with more and more of these opportunities, I'm pretty sure I'll get over it."

The workshop was delivered by National Award Authority (NAA) India National Director Kapil Bhalla, Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) & Vivek Gaur (Sports Development Manager for Australian Sports Outreach Program at Naz Foundation India). The programme concluded with the presentation of participation certificates to the participants by Kapil Bhalla.  Click for pictures

The Day HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh came to visit staff at Award House

HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh recently visited staff at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation to learn more about how the Award continues to transform the lives of individuals and their communities.
Administrator for the Europe, Mediterranean and Arab States (EMAS), Dorothea Gorman, talks about meeting the special guests and her unexpected chat with The Duke about her own Award experience.
Dorothea Gorman, Administrator for EMAS at The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation.
Dorothea Gorman, Administrator for EMAS at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.
“When I heard that HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh were going to visit our new offices and officially open them I was excited, very excited. At that point I just thought that they would be in the same building, I would see them unveil a plaque and it would be an interesting day. This did all happen, but we were very fortunate that they also took time to meet with all Award staff. As a result I had the chance to talk to HRH, our Founder and Patron, and feel thoroughly inspired as a result.
“The Duke asked me questions about doing my Silver Award. I completed the Award at school over 15 years ago now but the answers came readily to my mind. I think that really sums up the benefits of the Award for me – it leaves you with lifelong memories, skills and experiences.
“For example, The Duke asked what I had done for my Service section. My friend and I visited an elderly lady who lived on our estate for an hour every week after school. Ostensibly the role was ‘Assisting with housework’, polishing silverware or dusting the skirting boards, but when we were finished each week we would also have a drink and a chat with her. She lived alone, her family did not live nearby and she told us she was grateful for the company. My friend and I thought that we were just grateful for getting our Service section signed off, but actually we were learning valuable skills such as being reliable and how to talk to people who were different to ourselves. These days my friend is GP, which involves a lot of talking/listening to people and I continue to volunteer with the elderly, as I realise that a few hours out of my busy life can be invaluable to someone else.
“I don’t think that I would have undertaken this activity without The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, the same for the Adventurous Journey section, and although I would still have done Physical Recreation and learnt a variety of Skills at school, it is the combination of them all, the effort working towards an ultimate goal, the chance to undertake new activities, to work in a team with peers, to challenge yourself and all of the other great benefits of the Award that enables you to find, what HRH himself has referred to as, ‘an added purpose and pleasure’ in life.
“In my role at the International Award Foundation, as Administrator for the Europe, Mediterranean and Arab States (EMAS) regional team, I get to support National Operators and Independent Award Centres across the region to offer this opportunity to young people and today I will do so with an added spring in my step thanks to the memories of the day HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited the International Award Office.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is delivered in more than 140 countries and territories around the world, overseen by The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and its staff in the four regions of EMAS, Africa, Americas and Asia Pacific. Find out more about the Award and how it’s empowering young people across the globe.
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Wednesday, 12 March 2014


11th March 2014 : A report by Gyanendra Tewatia (YES Centre Manager)

One day orientation workshop for Award mentors was held for twenty teachers from Vidya Sanskar International School. Vasudha Neel Mani, Principal, Vidya Sanskar International School welcomed National Award Authority (NAA) India National Director Kapil Bhalla by talking about the excitement among the school students who are part of The International Award for Young People (IAYP) programme and also talked about the overall development she has witnessed among the students taking IAYP programme. Mr. Bhalla also talked about the positivity that is induced into the students who are able to achieve the goals that are set by the participants themselves.

The one day workshop helped the Award Leaders to understand how the program operates and they were also made to understand their importance when the student of their school gets involved in IAYP programme. Through various activities the programme involved lively interaction between the mentors and the trainers. The workshop was divided into four sections based upon the pillars of the Award i.e. Skills, Service, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey and was delivered by Kapil Bhalla, Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) & Vijayashree Pahal (Member, National Training Panel). The programme concluded with the presentation of participation certificates to the participants by Deepti Mahlotra, Vice principal. Click for pictures


National Award Authority is happy to welcome Srijan Sumeet Choudhary as new Communications Manager and wish him every success.

Srijan is a Sports Management Graduate from Loughborough University and Electronics & Communication Engineer from Sikkim Manipal University. His work background talks about the progression he has made from being a Technological Analyst with Wells Fargo India Solution to working as an Online Content Manager for Indian Premier League' franchise Delhi Daredevils. Srijan can be contacted at

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


2nd February 2014: A report from Harshit Kaushik, Doon International School, Dehra Dun

Do not go where the path may lead, go indeed where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keeping the same spirit high this time, we the Award aspirants of Doon International School, Dehra Dun conquered Bhadraj peak - 9000 feet. Walking into the lap of nature with her beauty at its best, all the students gave a good account of stamina and self motivation.

The lap was a part of our Award journey for the Gold and Silver Awards, with 41 participants. After having a technical session of Do's and Don'ts by our escort teacher Ravi Dutt, we all proceeded towards a village, a distance of two hours. After reaching there, we started our trek for Bhadraj peak with a lot of spirit and enthusiasm. The journey was of 21 km on one side and therefore tiring but we  were determined to reach the summit. We had to take a circuitous route in which we had to take care of ourselves and our team members at every step.   Someone rightly said "never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top of a mountain, then you will see how low it was". Keeping the same thing in mind we all kept ascending and finally after the adventurous journey, we reached at the top at 1600 hrs.  After having a long relaxation period at the peak we started our descent back to the village. On the way we faced many difficulties but we didn't lose hope. Finally we came down to the village at 2300hrs.

It was overall a wonderful lifetime experience for all of us. After coming down we had the satisfaction of knowing that we had conquered a peak situated at 9000 ft because now we believe that the greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.  Click for pictures