Subrat Sharma, Gold Awardee from Jodhamal Public School, Jammu shares his Award Journey from scratch to finish.
“Don’t live life as it is meant to be lived; instead, change its course to harsh and the mildest of condition and then you will see the wonders of life. I remember my thoughts about the Award were limited when I first heard about it. But believing that it would take me to this height was something beyond my imagination. Now as I write about it, I’d try to create the same magic IAYP created in my life."
I still recall that winter morning when I heard the good news that my school had become the first YES Centre in the State. You might think that there was nothing so happening about it, but being the representative of the school I believed that each thing would count. The people would notice my being a part of something big and life changing, though certainly with time they might forget about it but those who would be inspired by what I earn and learn out of it would enroll and benefit by the Award and would always remember.
After that day I thought twice about enrolling myself in the Award programme. I still remember next morning when my dad read the news of my school's becoming a YES Centre and adding a feather in its cap, he turned to me and asked me to be a part of it. His idea was that it would enhance his son's personality making him a good citizen of the country. And the International Award for Young People team and the school boards had already envisioned something that my dad had thought of.
My journey for the Silver Award had begun long before I filled up my book with my life transforming experiences. I took different activities in each section of the Award like skill, service, adventurous journey and physical recreation and it was difficult for me to understand at that time that I was leading myself to a better future. I got my Silver Award successfully after completing all the sections and now I have mastered them but the confidence those learnings created in me is something everlasting and indelible. All the institutions need to realize the fact that if they want their children to shine one day then they should shape their future in a manner when their children leave the school they should attain the highest level of confidence and skill set which becomes an asset to the society.
The day I started my Silver Award journey I realized that it would help me to inculcate all those values that a leader needs to have. And the Gold Award journey helped me to master those skills further. The service I did was like a job for me and the physical recreation activity had that passion which teamwork teaches. I chose football and got an opportunity to be a part of two CBSE clusters and many inter house and inter school matches. I not just learned some brilliant skills but also inculcated certain qualities that shaped my personality for lifelong victory. A different thing which I also mastered during my Residential Project, was how one should handle problems in society. The school had already adopted a village named Ismailpur Khothe in Bishna, Jammu. There I spent a day less than a week and learned how to milk a cow, played cricket with the people, shared with them how science is a leading subject, taught them a few languages, their basics and encouraged them to learn English. Also being in outskirts for that time period, learning things, taking decisions on my own made me a responsible child. There were several adventures which removed my fear and also helped me in developing a sense of team work, kindness, being helpful to others. I have now learned that the Duke of Edinburgh Award has been the best source of learning values, knowing how to be fearless, gaining maturity and adding countless valuable experiences for every youth who has enrolled for it from all around the world. I personally believe that parents should not have a second thought about enrolling their child in the Award. Board members of different institutions should benefit their students with these kinds of activities for wholesome development of their institution and certainly one day the students would be thankful to them for it is something that turns one into an altogether better version of themselves.
The day was special when I received my Gold Award although I was anxious and was flooded with many thoughts. How changed was I in terms of all that I had inculcated? Was I the same? Or had I still to grow and learn more within? Finding answers to these questions I lead my way to the hall, stepping onto the stairs, looking at the stage where I would be standing in a while receiving my award; that feeling was something I can’t put into words though I’m sure it’s something everyone would want to be a part of.
It was a memorable day for me when I received my Gold Award from Raja Randhir Singh Ji, former Olympic-level trap and skeet shooter and now the sports administrator. He is currently the sole representative of India in the International Olympic Committee. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1979.
IAYP has sharpened my personality and my skills way beyond my own imagination. I am thankful to IAYP and would want to be a part of it all my life.