Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Learning with Fun

Award Participants of GEMS NPS International School, Guwahati undertook an Adventurous Journey to Goreswar forest area. Goreswar is a town in Baksa district, situated on the north bank of river Brahmaputra, surrounded by Rangiya and Baihata in Assam. A report by Kannan T. (Award Leader).

We a group of 30 Award participants and 2 Leaders set on an adventurous trip on 24th of September 2017 to Goreshwar, in Assam. The planning for the trip was done one month in advance by making all the necessary arrangements for the trip and do the Preliminary Training and Preparation. On 23rd September one of the organisers of this trip Mriganka Sharma, from Assam Mountaineering Association briefed us about the trip, like what are the safety measures to be followed and what to be done in certain situations. One of his team members exhibited all the equipment which will be handled by the participants and he explained to us how to handle them. The school medical team explained us the procedure of first aid and how to use various items from the first aid box.

On 24th September we started from our school at 1.30 pm and reached the town of Goreshwar by 4.30 pm. From the town, we travelled another half an hour to reach the camping site which was located inside the forest. We were asked to set up the tents which we will be using for stay during this trip. After the tents were set up, we set up the bonfire. Some of us sat around the fire and played the guitar while others were involved in making and helping the cook in cooking.

Next morning after freshening up, we had our breakfast and went for trekking. The trekking was for 12 Km to a Buddha temple situated on the top of a mountain inside the forest. While trekking, the mentors explained about the terrain and the various flora and fauna available there. We returned to our campsite in the afternoon. After lunch, we went to a nearby area where the rappelling rope was fastened and kept ready. All of us did rappelling till evening and returned to our campsite.

Next day morning after breakfast we again went on a trekking for 3 Km. and reached Puthimari River. The mentors were already there ready with the rafts for us to do rafting. After a briefing, we wore our life jackets and helmets and in a group of 6 students each, we started the rafting. The rafting was for 6 Km and we had a thrilling experience. Till evening we were rafting and then we moved to our camp. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us where we experienced fun with learning. Click here for the pictures

Programme Manager's Visit

Programme Manager, Bivujit Mukhoty visited The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, Hyderabad on 24th October 2017. Bivuit Mukhoty met Skand Bali, Principal, The Hyderabad Public School, and handed over the National Operator Licence.

Bivujit Mukhoty also delivered an Orientation session to students and teachers of The Hyderabad Public School. The orientation was attended by over 250 students.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Ripples of change for a Cause

Award participants of Sat Paul Mittal School, Ludhiana took an initiative to support the specially-abled children. A brief report.

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy… 
I awoke and saw that life was service… 
I acted and behold, service was joy."

Rabindranath Tagore

It is rightly said, “Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living”. Abiding by this maxim and to support Aashrivad Schools Amba Project, the Satyans affiliated with the IAYP Programme have taken a step ahead to help pave the way from “Dependence to Independence” for specially-abled children. The Satyans have taken an altruistic initiative of promoting Indian handicraft and entrepreneurship. The Satyans put up stalls for the sale of beautiful garden planters and exquisitely designed biodegradable and eco-friendly diyas. The money collected from this initiative will be entirely spent for buying technology to further the endeavour in making the specially-abled children technologically adept for self-sufficiency. This initiative has provided the Satyans with an opportunity to rise by lifting others, and the power to bring about a change for good.

This initiative was undertaken by Satyans on September 27, 2017 and was duly acknowledged and appreciated by the parent fraternity. They encouraged the Satyans by contributing to the beneficent sale for a noble cause. Ms Bhupinder Gogia, Principal, Sat Paul Mittal School, also appreciated the efforts made by the Satyans of the IAYP Club and stated that Satyans should work consistently with the conviction for a humanitarian outreach and create ripples of change for a better society.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Story of Papiya Koley

“Slow, persistent and silent work does everything.” Swami Vivekananda

Papiya Koley is a living example of these words. Her father is a van puller by profession. Needless to say, it is an arduous task for him to procure sustenance for a family of six. But they have seen better days ever since Papiya was brought by her elder sister Ashalata Koley to Rasik Bhita to get involved with the Award Programme.

The remote village of Heradaha could not provide her opportunities for higher education, yet Papiya was not defeated. The orthodox villagers could not accept the progressive outlook of the two sisters and began to cast aspersions on them. But people who script success stories are seldom held back by such constraints. Battling against numerous odds, Papiya managed to put up a praiseworthy academic performance. By dint of sheer hard work and dedication, the sisters have achieved an notable feat.

Ashalata Koley is a Silver Awardee who works for Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. India, and Papiya is now a student of Sanskrit Honours in Srerampore Girls’ College and her results have been consistently good. She has scored 60% marks in Compulsory English. She is a proud winner of the IAYP Gold Award this year.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A Great Learning Experience

Dikshita Khullar, Gold Award Participant from Open Award Centre, is sharing her swimming achievements.

Accompanying my elder brother to the club swimming pool, for his swimming lessons, instilled in me a deep desire to be a swimmer too. At the age of 4, I found myself able to float. My happiness knew no bounds when I won my first individual Championship in Grade 5. My practice starts early at the school pool and then in the afternoon I take coaching lessons from my coach at the Kendriya Vidyalaya.

Soon after, I joined the IAYP and I started practising and participating at the annual club meets. I enjoy swimming; not only does it make me fit but it is also a good break from my studies. Thereafter I have been competing and winning medals at inter school, district and state levels. I have also represented Delhi for the 200 m Freestyle Relay at the 43rd Junior National Aquatic championship held in Bangalore, in 2016. Though our team stood 6th, it was a great learning experience to witness the competition at such a large scale. I hope to continue and improve my timing with each practice.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Cleanliness Drive - A Report

The Award participants of Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Atigre undertook the second phase of their cleanliness drive in the village of Hatkanangale (Maharashtra) in the Old Market Area on Saturday, September 9, 2017. All the 96 Bronze and 8 Silver participants were involved in this activity under the supervision of 15 mentors.

The purpose of the second phase of this cleanliness drive was to create more awareness among the villages regarding hygiene. The open drains which were cleaned during the last drive were not in a good condition, and the participants had a difficult task ahead of them as the drains were again filled with polythene bags and grass had sprouted around the drains. The Award participants convinced the villagers not to throw litter everywhere. They also discussed the negative impacts of poor hygiene on our health. The participants visited each home and shop of the area to spread awareness. It took nearly three hours to clean the drains. The work was appreciated by the villagers and the Sarpanch of the village. Click here for pictures

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshops

National Award Authority organised two Award Leader Training (YES) Workshops on September 8 - 9 and September 12 - 13, 2017.

The first workshop was organised at Vishwa Vidyapeeth Bengaluru on September 8 - 9, 2017. The workshop was attended by 18 participants from Mallya Aditi International School, Bengaluru; Oakridge Int. School, Bengaluru; Vishwa Vidyapeeth, Bengaluru; Karaumbiah's Academy for Learning & Sports, Gonikoppal, Coorg; BGS World School, Bengaluru and Sarala Birla Academy, Bengaluru. The workshop was led by Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), K S Birader (Member, National Training Panel); Teena Machaiah (Member, National Training Panel); and Priya Chengappa (Coorg Public School, Mysore).

The second workshop was organised on September 12 - 13, 2017 at Peevees Public School, Nilambur, Kerala. This workshop was attended by 8 participants from Peevees Public School Nilambur Kerala and Isha Home School, Velliangiri Foothills, Coimbatore. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director) and Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager).

The workshops started with a session on introduction and expectations. There were sessions on Framework and Philosophy of the Award, followed by the four pillars of the Award, Residential Project, Risk Management, Benefits of Award and Brand Pack and Web resources. After completion of the workshop participants were recognised with certificates.

Programme Manager's Review Visit to Chennai

Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) visited Award Units of Chennai from September 14 - 16, 2017 to meet and review the Award progress at the YES Centres in Chennai. The Programme Manager visited TI Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai; AMM Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kotturpura; Chennai; Lalaji Memorial Omega International School, Kolapakka, Chennai; Crescent School, Chennai and Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Chennai. The Programme Manager helped to resolve issues and clarify doubts of the Award Leaders, Award participants and other supporting staff of the YES Centres.

During the visit, the Programme Manager delivered an Award Orientation to Govt Higher Secondary School, Pennagar, Vellore and Vedavalli Vidyalaya Senior. Secondary School, Walajapet, Vellore. Bivujit Mukhoty was assisted by Sasikiran (Programme Officer) during his visit.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Save Paper, Save Plants Campaign

 The Award participants of DPS Megacity, Kolkata along with students of Eco Club took part in a campaign named “Save Paper Save Plants”. These are the initiatives taken by the participants to create a green environment:
  • The papers were reused to make bags and envelopes which were sold during our Annual Carnival, the proceeds of which go towards charity through the Interact club.
  • Economization of paper Both sides of the A4 size paper is used to prevent wastage. School circulars were also printed on the reverse side of used papers in order to economize the use of paper.
  • All unused papers in the exercise books were taken out and bound to form new exercise books. These exercise books were handed over to the Interact Club to be distributed to the less privileged students in the community.
  • Old exercise books of the students were collected by the participants and used to make pulp for handmade paper and then this pulp was mixed with water and spread on a piece of window screen to dry. On completion of drying this paper was painted by the students and used for board work in the classroom.
  • The Award participants recycled used papers, bottles, cans and made beautiful folders, pen stands, show pieces etc., which were also used as gifts for distinguished guests who visited our school.
In conclusion, it can be said that DPS Megacity has truly followed the mantra of REUSE AND RECYCLE for the conservation of plants and contributed immensely to our planet Earth in reducing global warming.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

A Success Story

My name is Priyanka Sarkar. I live in Chandannagar, Hooghly. My father serves tea at the station. With his meagre earning, we found it difficult to meet our daily needs. After my Higher Secondary Examination, I came to take admission at Sri Sarada Math Rasik Bhita with my aunt, for a basic computer course and Communicative English course. During this period of time, I came to know about the “International Award for Young People, India.” or the IAYP programme from Adrija Di in one of her classes. Then I enrolled myself into this programme and completed the Bronze and Silver awards. Now I am working for my Gold award. I could not complete my graduation due to my family's poor economic condition.

This spirit of IAYP took me to the Jadavpur University. There I went to pursue a diploma course in social work. I faced an interview for the admission. During the interview the interviewer asked me different questions about IAYP like, the reason for being a part of the programme, the functions of the programme, what I have gained from this programme and the changes which took place in my life while doing this programme, the reason of the skill section of IAYP etc. They also asked about Sri Sarada Math and Rasik Bhita; how Matajis help us, how do we perform the activities in the Math, what type of social work do they do etc. I also mentioned the regular activities of “Nibedita Bahini”, formed by a group of girls of Rasik Bhita, how it works, what type of work they do and so on. After this interview, I got the opportunity to begin the course there and after six months of I completed. Then I wanted to pursue MSW (Master in Social Work) but without a B.A degree it was not possible to do the course. Then I went to Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) for admission. There I gave an entrance examination and faced another interview session. There they also asked about my past, about Sri Sarada math, IAYP, diploma course in Jadavpur, Nibedita Bahini etc. Then I finally got the opportunity to study at TISS. They also granted to pay half of my course fee because of my poor economic background. Now I am studying “Child Protection” for three years. All these steps of success were not possible if I had not been a student of Rasik Bhita and an awardee of IAYP. I am truly grateful towards them.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Reminiscing about a Memorable Journey

Riddhi Jain, Gold Award holder from Delhi Public School, Gurugram is sharing her Award Journey experience, especially the Residential Project.

I was first introduced to the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award programme when I was in the 9th grade. When I was introduced to the International Award for Young People (IAYP), I was quite curious about the programme and how it would help me in my life. Deciding to join the Bronze Award was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has been an amazing experience ever since. I went on to complete the Silver and Gold Awards as well.

My journey with IAYP has been one with many challenges: from managing academics and extracurriculars to meeting deadlines. Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I think the most important skill I picked up from the IAYP is interpersonal and communication skills.

The Residential Project for the Gold Award was my personal favourite. It taught me how to work in a team. To step out of my comfort zone and go out in the open, meet new people, make new friends and most importantly, it taught me how to enjoy life outside home and away from my parents.

Living with strangers in a village, learning their lifestyle and language was a little scary, but at the same extremely thrilling. We visited the village head -- the Sarpanch, spoke to the Panchayat about the administration of the village, went to the village school and taught the students there, and danced with them. We interacted with them and told them about our school.

I learnt how to make round chapatis and had tea for the first time ever. The tractor ride was quite amusing. We also organised a cleanliness drive and took to the streets, after which we put up a street play on hygiene and sanitation and stressed on the importance of maintaining cleanliness.

On the third and fourth day, I went to the farm and saw a variety of vegetables that were grown. Later, we were taken to the brick kiln and made a few bricks there, which were, to be honest, quite distorted. The task was very tough and tiring, yet fun.

It is priceless memories like these that remind me of the joys of the Award. Completing the Award gives youth opportunities that one would not normally experience and moments that last a lifetime. Achieving the Awards was just as thrilling as completing the journey. Click here to see more pictures

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Opportunity to do Community Service

Shiksha Kendra, a philanthropic venture of Delhi Public School Gurgaon, Sector-45, is a school for remedial teaching for students from the ‘marginalised those at risk’ section of society. It is an afternoon school (1.30 pm - 5 pm) providing quality education to 1300+ students from classes 1-12. As it is a prerequisite that all students/members have to do community service, we at DPS Gurgaon want to extend a helping hand. We wish to invite all those children desirous of doing community service in the form of teaching to come and teach at the Shiksha Kendra run by the school.

The IAYP participants of all three levels can volunteer to take classes from standard 1 to 5 on weekdays from 3 pm to 5 pm. Besides teaching academic subjects they can also conduct classes for co-curricular activities and train students in Dance, Theatre, Art, Vocal Music, Spoken English, etc.

Students interested in teaching at Shiksha Kendra should write an email to Shubra Banerjee or Darshna Dahiya at least a week in advance, informing about the dates on which they would like to take classes so as to enable us to make suitable arrangements. Click to see some pictures at Shiksha Kendra

Wall Painting for Environment Protection Awareness

Award participants of The Aditya Birla Public School, Kotputli organised a campaign for environment awareness. A brief report from Jintendra Nath Tripathy, Award Leader.

The children of Aditya Birla Public School decided to organize an awareness campaign to inform people about the hazards of environment degradation and the importance of ecological conservation. With this aim in mind, a wall painting campaign on environment protection was organized at the school premises on August 2, 2017. All the IAYP students, along with other children, took part in this activity under the guidance of Mr Ravi Sharma, the Art and Craft teacher of the school. This programme was organized to spread awareness about the causes and effects of environmental degradation and the methods for conservation and protection. Mr Vinay Bhalerao, Unit Head of Ultratech Cement Ltd., graced the occasion along with Mrs Sangita Christopher, Principal, ABPS Kotputli.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Gold Award Ceremony 2017 - A brief note

This year's Gold Award Ceremony was organised on 20th July 2017 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The National Award Authority (NAA) took immense pride in felicitating the Gold Award Holders, Award Leaders and Volunteers. This Gold Award ceremony is dedicated to appreciating the milestones and the commitment of each participant. The day was dedicated to celebrate, enjoy and cherish their achievements with friends, family and the IAYP team.

This year the National Award Authority was privileged to invite Dr Vivek Raghavan, Chief Technology Officer, Team Indus as the Chief Guest and Sue Walker, Asia Pacific Regional Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, who graced the occasion with their presence.

The host and compere for the ceremony was Ranjana Rai, Award Leader and Member of the National Training Panel, who kept the audience engaged with her lively exchanges. She commenced the Gold Award Ceremony by welcoming the Chief Guest and all the Awardees, Award Leaders and Parents. Mr. Kapil Bhalla, National Director, had the privilege to welcome the Chief Guest Dr. Vivek Raghavan, Regional Director Asia Pacific Sue Walker, Himmat Kalsia (Chairman, APF), Dr. Sanat Kaul (Managing Trustee, APF), Vinay Sheel Oberoi (Member Trustee) and Vice Admiral SP Govil (Retd.) Former Trustee and National Chairman. This welcome address was followed by honouring the school principals who were there to grace the occasion. Mr Bhalla welcomed and congratulated Naina Lakhanpal, Principal, Him Academy, Vikas Nagar, Hamirpur; Dr R. D. Thakur, Principal, K.C. Public School, Jammu; Vivek Gautam, Principal, OP Jindal School, Raigarh; Skand Bali, Principal, G D Goenka World School, Gurugram; Major General TPS Waraich, Director, Yadavindra Public School, Mohali; Vikaram Singh, Bursar, Yadavindra Public School, Patiala; Jorawar Singh, Principal, Cambridge International School, Phagwara; Aditya Kumar Sharma, Principal, SYNA International School, Katni and Wing Cdr Ranjit Kumar Mandal for their invaluable support and contribution to the Award Programme, and presented them the Friendship Badge.

A variety of entertainment performances were presented by Award Participants, commencing with a group dance by Award participants of ISPG sponsored Special Project at Sri Sarada Math, Baladband, West Bengal. This was followed by a solo classical dance performance by Shubhangee Goel, Award Participant from Delhi Public School, NTPC Vidyut Nagar.

Sharing some of the memorable and life transforming moments from the diaries of Gold Awardees, which will inspire the Gold Award achievers, is another important event, and Pallavi Gill and Md Imran, both Gold Award Holders, who are representing India at the International Gold Event, 2017 to be held from 25th October – 30th October 2017 at Prague, Czech Republic shared their life transforming experiences with the house.

National Director Kapil Bhalla addressed the audience, sharing information of the progress of the Award. He outlined future plans that have been designed to spread the Award Programme to untouched areas of the country. Kapil Bhalla also highlighted the achievements of the Gender Diversity and Empowerment Project run by IAYP India under ISPG Grant.

The National Director's speech was followed by the Award Presentation Ceremony where the Chief Guest Dr Vivek Raghavan handed the Gold Certificates to the participants while Sue Walker honoured a select group of Award Leaders with Special and Voluntary Service Meritorious Certificates.

The Chief Guest, in his speech, congratulated all the Awardees and Award Leaders for their success. Sharing some life experiences, the story behind participating in Google Lunar X Prize, and other details about #harindiankamoonshot with the audience.

The Gold Award Holders of Sri Sarada Math presented Rakhi to the guests. These Rakhis were made by the participants under the Skill Development programme of ISPG sponsored Gender Diversity Empowerment Project at Sri Sarada Math, Baladband, West Bengal.

Himmat Kalsia, Chairman, APF proposed the Vote of Thanks at the end of the ceremony.

The IAYP thank the Chief Guest, Regional Director, Award Holders, Award Leaders, Principals, Parents, Guardians and our Trustees for being there to make this Gold Award Ceremony a success. For Gold Award Ceremony pictures, please click here.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

Award Training Centre, New Delhi

An Award Leader Training Workshop was organised on 11th - 12th August 2017 at the Award Training Centre, New Delhi. The workshop was attended by 17 participants from Renok Adventures LLP, New Delhi; Sree Vidyanikethan International School, Tirupati; Sapphire International School, Ranchi; Lancers International School, Gurugram; Chanderbala Modi Academy, Ankleshwar; Vidya Sanskar International School, Faridabad; Pathways World School, Gurugram; Indirapuram Public School, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad; INME Learning, Gurugram; Indian School of Management & Entrepreneurship, Mumbai; ITM Global School, Gwalior; The Ardee School, Gurugram; and J P International School, Greater Noida.

The workshop started with a session on introduction and expectations. There were sessions on Framework and Philosophy of the Award, followed by the four pillars of the Award, Residential Project, Risk Management, Benefits of Award and Brand Pack and Web resources. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Priyank Kumar Gupta (Head IT and ORB) and Pratibha Kumari Singh (Member, National Training Panel). After completion of the workshop participants were recognised with certificates. Mr. Jorawar Singh, Principal Cambridge International School, Phagwara graced the facilitation ceremony and honoured the Award Leaders. Click here for the pictures

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Happy Independence Day

On Independence Day, here’s wishing our dreams of a new tomorrow come true. Freedom in the Mind, Faith in the words, Pride in our Souls. Let’s salute the Nation… on Independence Day.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Cleanliness Drive

Sasi Krishnan (Award Leader), Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Atigre, Kolhapur, Maharashtra is sharing a report on Cleanliness Drive.

Award participants of Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Atigre have undertaken a project in the village of Hatkanangale in the Old Market Area on 29th July 2017. All the 96 Bronze and 8 Silver participants were involved in this activities, supported by 15 teachers. The project is towards the Service Section of the Award programme. 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 surrounded by tall grass. But with the cooperation of Mr Santhosh Redekar, one of the Ward Members of the Hatkanangale Gram Panchayat, the team managed to take up the drive and arranged sickles and baskets to clean the garbage.

Another problem that the team came across was finding a place to throw the garbage, as there was no bin kept for the garbage! Every house threw their 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 grown 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 got acquainted with the task and the villagers helped by providing tools like spades, water, sickles and sticks, etc. It took nearly three hours to clean the drains. It was a satisfying job to carry out the cleanliness drive regularly. The work was appreciated by the village folk and the elected Sarpanch of the village Mrs Anuradha Anil Kadam promised to lay out the sewerage line. Click here to check more pictures...

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Award has made me a completely new person

Pratiksha Bora from Maria's Public School, Assam received her Gold Award on 20th July 2017 at the Gold Award Ceremony 2017 at New Delhi. Pratiksha shared her Gold Journey experiences with us.

I can still remember the day I first enrolled for the International Award for Young People. I was really enthralled to receive the diary, though I never imagined that I'd be able to complete my gold level.

My prime reason for getting enrolled in the IAYP programme was to overcome my weaknesses. And today I can proudly claim that I've accomplished my aim.

The various aspects of the Award have unleashed the potential in me. Physical Recreation, as well as Skills sections, take the credit for the holistic development, and the Adventurous Journey has made me realise the value of being independent and an awareness of the hardships of life. The challenges posed at every step has helped me change my habit of complaining.

The Service section has taught me to be selfless and has imparted me the satisfaction of helping someone in need and, most importantly, helped me to overcome my weakness of being an introvert.

Another change that I've perceived in myself is that I've become more self-reliant, for which I shall always remain obliged to the Award programme. The various aspects of the programme have also taught me how to manage my time. Before enrolling for the Award I was not engaged in any Physical Recreation game as I was unable to do time management. But, thanks to IAYP I've learnt to manage my time for sports and academics, as well as skills.

In today's world where there is a need for being an all rounder, IAYP helps us to become one. From time management to holistic development, IAYP has made me a completely new person and, most importantly, has helped me overcome most of my weaknesses.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Congratulations and Thank You

A big round of applause to all Gold Award Achievers, Award Leaders and Volunteers. Our thanks to all stakeholders who made the Annual Gold Award Ceremony 2017 a huge success. Thank you, Dr. Vivek Ragahavn and Sue Walker for gracing the ceremony.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

IGE Rep - Md Imran

I belong to a middle class family that lives near a slum area in Kolkata, West Bengal. When I was at karate school, my friends urged me to get into the International Award for Young People. My friends advised me that the Award programme would give me an opportunity to engage with my community and my surroundings, and would help me to improve my community and society. I looked forward to acquiring a better knowledge of skills, social and physical activities; above all, I wanted to be a part of a programme that encouraged the youth. In the year 2004 I received my Bronze Award and in the year 2010, I received my Gold Award from the Vice President of India. I have thoroughly enjoyed completing all the sections during my Award journey. I also attended an Award Leader Training Workshop in Purukul, Dehradun in the year 2011. I have been a part of a video film made by a group of journalists who came from the International Award Foundation (IAF) in the UK to visit the Special Projects Units at Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys' Academy, Emmanuel Ministries and Sir Syed group of schools, Kolkata. I have participated in many camps organised for these Special Project Units and intellectually challenged Awardees and blind boys. During the six-year journey from Bronze to Gold my life and my vision have changed. The Award made me, and gave me knowledge, skill, and mental strength as well as broad-minded thinking. I think in this past year the Award educated me to live like a good human being, with all the powers in my hands and ability to perform skills, the humanity and compassion for doing service and an appropriate vision with good thoughts and ideas. The Award gives us the opportunity to grip the chance to continue life after Gold, but I have made my own choice: I love nature, mountains, mountain-hacking and mountain climbing so I started to give a professional shape to my mountaineering career. I have completed my basic, advanced and method of instructions course from one of the finest institutes, NIM with A grading. Still, I am continuing my support to the Award by mentoring for the Adventurous Journey organised by NAA for the Special Projects participants. In the year 2016 I become a member of the National Training Panel. I have the enthusiasm to be a part of the Award and continue my pursuit of excellence and service to this amazing Award programme.

IGE Rep - Pallavi Gill

My Award journey began when I was in standard 9. The thing that attracted me the most about this Award is that there is no competition. Achievements are usually recognized till the third position in most events. But, not in the Award. The Award recognizes an individual's improvement and hard work according to their capabilities. Due to the Award I began playing sports and soon I excelled in it. Academics was my weakness. I was constantly advised by my worried parents and teachers to work on my studies as my Board Examinations were coming up. That was until I excelled in my Board Examination too. I am presently studying in Delhi University and I have been scoring a First Division in all my papers. The Award teaches you qualities that are unmeasurable, such as perseverance, hard work, time management, confidence, etc. And, when these qualities are imbibed, they make us grow. The Award develops not only us but also the community. I have achieved the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award. But my journey doesn't end there, I began interning at the Award office in New Delhi, and soon became an Award Leader and now I am a member of the National Training Panel. Even after I completed my Gold Award, I still had many fears, such as my fear of speaking. At a National Training Workshop, I was suddenly asked to speak. A thousand excuses came into my head to walk away. Until a tiny voice in my head said, “Why don't you give it a try?” I stammered. I shivered. I was scared. But, that's what the Award teaches us, make a thousand mistakes if you have to, but never give up! And this is what the Award has taught me, to challenge my fears!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

Oakridge International School, Visakhapatnam

An Award Leader Training Workshop was organised on 07 - 08 July 2017. The workshop was attended by 13 participants from Oakridge International School, Visakhapatnam and Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Chennai. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director) and Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager). Click here for the pictures

Adventure Trek in Coorg

Award participants from Sarala Birla Academy, Bangalore took part in the Adventure Trek in Coorg area from 22nd to 25th June 2017. A report by K S Biradar (Award Leader).

A group of forty-six Award participants along with three mentors departed from Sarala Birla Academy in two buses for Kudraimukh on an early morning. With our high spirit and enthusiasm, we travelled for 8 long hours witnessing beautiful scenery and lush green areas, before reaching our destination at 3:30 PM. We explored the place and its flora and fauna.

Next morning after daily routine activities the group boarded their buses to take us to our trekking destination. It took an hour to reach our destination and begin our trek.

The weather was chilly and it was also drizzling. We walked on the tar road in the cool weather for 3 km and then we reached a spot where we started to enter the muddy rocky pathway, with one guide at the front and the other at the back and our teachers interspersing the students in the line. Before we started the trek instructions were given to us about the leeches and the precautions to be taken in a forest like taking care of slippery rocks and steep cliffs, etc.

As we walked we went deep into the lush green forest where the sunlight got thinner. It was a challenging trek with many big slippery and loose rocks to climb over, but at last, we reached an old fort after a tiring trek and realised that it was absolutely worth it. In the afternoon, we continued our trek to one of Karnataka’s highest peaks. It was one of the toughest treks we had ever witnessed and after completing it we felt very proud and were mesmerised by the view there. It seemed as if the clouds were all around us with tiny water droplets spraying our face.

We began our descent in the evening and finally boarded our buses and safely reached Nammamane ("my house"), where we were staying. As it was our last day we built a campfire with music around it and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves over there.

Next morning, we boarded the bus by 10:30 am for our return journey back to school. Overall this IAYP trek was very enriching and filled with a lot of learning aspects for the young participants. This has given us a lot of memories and also taught us a number of wonderful things.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

RBK Global School, Indralok, Bhayandar (E), Thane, Maharashtra

An Award Leader Training Workshop was organised on 30th June - 01 July 2017. The workshop was attended by ten participants from RBK School, Mira Road, Bhayandar, Maharashtra; RBK Global School, Indralok, Thane, Maharashtra; RBK International School, Bhayandar, Thane, Maharashtra; RBK International Academy, Chembur, Mumbai, Maharashtra; RBK Global School, Navsari, Gujarat; and Hanumant High School, Mahuva, Gujarat. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director); Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager) and Rahul Thakur (Member National Training Panel). Click here for the pictures

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

 at Award Training Centre, New Delhi

An Award Leader Training Workshop was organised on 27th - 28th June 2017. Twenty-two participants from Vidhyashram International School, Jodhpur; DPS International, Gurugram; G. D. Goenka Public School, Gurugram; Vidya Devi Jindal School, Hisar; Vivek High School, Mohali; Allenhouse Public School, Kanpur; Bodhi International School, Jodhpur; Partap World School, Pathankot; Red Bricks School, Ahmedabad; K C International School, Jammu; Fountainhead School, Surat and National Award Authority attended the workshop. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Priyank Kumar Gupta (Head IT and ORB) and Pratibha Kumari Singh (Member, National Training Panel). Click here for the pictures

Dr. Vivek Raghavan

Chief Guest at Gold Award Ceremony - 20th July 2017

We are pleased to share the profile of Dr. Vivek Raghavan, Chief Technology Officer, Team Indus, who has kindly consented to grace the occasion as the Chief Guest of the Annual Gold Award Ceremony to be held on 20th July 2017 at India International Center and felicitate Gold Awardees at the function.

Dr. Vivek Raghavan is at heart an out-of-the-box problem solver.

He serves as Chief Technology Officer and Board Member for Team Indus, India's entry to the Google Lunar X-Prize, which aims to land a spacecraft on the surface of the moon.

Vivek is also the Chief Product Manager and Biometric Architect at the Unique Identification Authority of India. He has been involved in the design, implementation and scale out of the technology platform for Aadhaar, the world’s largest identity program. He joined the Aadhaar project just before the first Aadhaar was issued, and was there when the billionth Aadhaar was generated.

Vivek is a full time volunteer, and is in the unique position of playing both these roles in a volunteer capacity.

Vivek spent 20 years in the field of Electronic Design Automation, successfully founding, running and selling two EDA startups and being responsible for the design and development of multiple market leading EDA products. He has held senior management positions at Magma Design Automation, Synopsys and Avant! Corporation. Vivek has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a B. Tech. from IIT Delhi.

What the educators says about Award Programme

Any child who is studying or getting an education in the school, is not only pursuing academics, but also on the path to self development to become successful in life. Because the world they will face in 10 years or 15 years is unknown - - neither they know, nor we know - - so we need to give them a firm foundation and build those capacities in the child that will enable them to face the world. So the world does pose a lot of challenges and we might not know what kind of challenges can be there. But to encounter them and face them we need to have some set of basic skills, which are called life skills. For building life skills we need to have a very structured formal setup or a programme which can ensure that those kinds of skills are definitely built in a child. Along with this, it is really necessary now that we need to have responsible citizens emerging out of a school. When they do a job or when they start their own work, they are not going to be limited to thinking about their own office or company or setup but in general contribute towards society, which takes care of their country as well, and that's how we think of responsible citizens and global citizens as well. So with these thoughts in mind, since I was aware of IAYP from quite of few years, I was very keen to initiate this programme, which is definitely going to address these issues and will certainly help in bringing about these qualities or skills in the school.

Mr. Prashant Muley 
Podar International School, Aurangabad (ICSE)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

How the Award transforms life - Improved educational attainment

Adrija Chatterjee, Award Leader from Sri Sarada Math, Rasik Bhita is sharing the life changing story of Prityi Das. Prityi Das has started her Award Journey under the Gender Diversity and Women Empowerment Project under aegis of ISPG.

Prityi Das, one of our Silver Award holder from Sri Sarada Math-Rasik Bhita scored 74% in the Higher Secondary Examination. Prityi comes from a socially and economically challenged background and she faces lots of hurdles daily. Her father does not stay with them and her mother is a maid servant who is also physically challenged. When Prityi started her education, there was no support. It was a dream for her to continue her studies. Prityi did not lose hope and tried to get financial assistance and scholarships. At the time of her Silver level Award Journey trek to Matha Hills, Prityi’s mother refused to let her participate as her final Higher Secondary Examinations were knocking at the door, but Prityi stood up against that and said that she could do anything and could face challenges because she had learnt this from the Award. At last, Prityi's mother relented and she did this camp successfully and also achieved a good result in her Higher Secondary Examination. She proved if you face challenges boldly you will get good results. The Award family congratulates Prityi and wishes her a good and successful future.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop at Podar International School, Aurangabad

An Award Leader Training Workshop was organised on 12th - 13th June, 2017 at Podar International School, Aurangabad. Twenty participants from Podar International School, Aurangabad and DSB International School, Mumbai attended the workshop. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director) and Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager). NAA wish to thank Mr. Prashant Muley, Principal, Podar International School, Aurangabad (ICSE) and his team for their support in organising this workshop. Click here for workshop pictures

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Adventurous Journey helps each one realise their own hidden potential

A report from Rashmi Bhargava, Award Leader, M.G.D Girls' School, Jaipur, on the Bronze and Silver Adventurous Journey.

Bronze and Silver Award participants from Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ School, Jaipur undertook an Adventurous Journey to Mashobra Hills, Shimla from 11th to 16th April 2017.
Though they had been briefed about the Journey during a preliminary training session, had understood the importance of safety and use of different equipment, the process of pitching tents, use of different types of rope knots, first aid and navigation techniques, the actual Adventurous Journey proved to be a personality changing experience for each one of them.

When they reached Mashobra, they were divided into four groups and the instructors appealed to their competitive and leadership instinct right from the very beginning.

"Each time, on time" was a clearly communicated motto. Each member of each team had to report right on time. There was always an ongoing competition between all teams regarding punctuality, keeping the tents clean, serving and eating meals in a disciplined and cordial manner, putting shoes and utensils in place... in short, in an effort to score over other teams, participants tried to imbibe the right values till it became a habit with them.

The day’s activities -- exercises, treks, adventurous games, leadership games, rappelling, zip-lining, etc., were organised in such a way that besides being challenging and entertaining, each team was back in time for hot, sumptuous meals and clean washrooms, full of enthusiastic anticipation for the next fun-filled activity! Participants and teachers both marvelled at the level of excellence in planning and execution of camp activities.

Digital detoxication was another wonder! The participants had no access to smartphones, television and other gadgets that have become an inseparable part of their lives, and they did not miss them. It was back to basics. With a clear star-lit sky, a bonfire in the centre and fellow participants around it, each narrating her experiences of the day, scaring others with ghost stories and imaginary incidents of the night trek, playing antakshari, celebrating birthdays and friendships, they enjoyed the human interaction which has been lost in the digital world.

It was amazing to see that even asthmatic participants undertook long treks, rappelling and zip-lining sessions, without difficulty. The air was truly invigorating!

Leadership games and cooking a meal after an uphill 14-km trek, saw the best of volunteering, taking responsibility and delegating it to fellow team-mates, recognition of individual talent and excellent coordination among participants even in such a short span of time!

The perfect weather and the scenic surroundings of Mashobra became secondary to the admirable transformation in these youngsters who came to realise their own potential after going on the IAYP Adventurous Journey. It is always going to be a memorable experience for all.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Steps towards Service

Sidhartha Sen Gupta from Miles Bronson Residential School (MBRS), Borjhar, Guwahati is sharing a report on the Service Section.

Award participants along with Award Leaders and Mentors from MBRS visited the Missionaries of Charity, Old Age Home in Khanamukh, Guwahati on 15th June 2016 as a part of their Service project. We all were very curious and excited to visit the people over there. We had a good interactive session with the residents of the Old Age Home. We were touched by the sensitive attitudes of these homeless older people, who shared their thoughts and feelings with all of us. Indeed, they poured their hearts out and we were all touched by their stories. They made us feel a kinship, as if we are also a part of their life! We have learned that it’s the adaptability to the environment that is one of the strongest characteristics of a human being. The people we visited there were the epitome of camaraderie, united although all were from different backgrounds, they were happy and ready to lead a better life.

We were amazed to see that through our interaction many hearts were rejuvenated! They treated us as their own children by forgetting their sorrows and worries. It was a fabulous experience to see how happy they all were and made us realise that grandparents and parents are gifts of God, which should be preserved with love and care.

We promised them to visit again and again on a regular basis. We are thankful to our school fraternity for their whole hearted support and guidance and also for bestowing us an opportunity to extend ourselves to others’ needs, to turn their ‘Tears into Smiles’.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Programme Creates Great Leaders

Pathways World School, Aravali organised a special IAYP assembly to honour and recognise the Bronze participants. Samanata Prashant and Mansi Agarwal, Bronze Award holders share the report with us.

The International Award for Young People, India (IAYP) delivering the The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award was introduced to the students of Grade 9 in November 2016. Sixty-five students enrolled for the Bronze Level of the Award – which is also the entry level. The programme requires successful completion of the four components of Skills, Adventurous Journey, Service and Physical Recreation. The Bronze Award journey culminated in our achievements not only being carried out but also diligently recorded and meticulously validated by our adult mentors and then approved by the IAYP office. The manifestation of this elaborate exercise was in the form of the IAYP Assembly, which was a special occasion to recognise our skills/achievements.

The room was filled with bliss and excitement as all the awardees walked proudly onto the stage with their Certificates and Badges. After receiving the certificates, there were performances by the students of Grade 9. Displaying great talent, a few of the Award recipients enlightened the crowd with their experience of this journey. The enthralling musical performances, mesmerising dance and mind blowing beatboxing left the crowd spell bound. The proud Award holders will soon continue to take a step forward to achieve the Silver Level. We were congratulated by our Director and Principal motivating us to further take forward this journey and achieve Silver and Gold in the coming years ahead.

This programme brings up great leaders and teaches them to train themselves into independent and balanced individuals. At the Bronze level, we completed 4 components, which required a lot of persistence, effort and willingness. Here at Pathways World School, we get different opportunities to complete all these aspects by unleashing the Adventurous side in us by being a part of the Annual Adventure Camps. As we have Physical education lessons, the students worked on their sport for their physical activity component. For the Service component, the student chooses various ways through which they could help the community and do good for their society. Some students helped keep the school building clean during the breaks, some taught the underprivileged, while others helped in the library and most of us also worked at the Eye camp. Nonetheless, all of them learned something new and it was a good exposure. For Skills, students choose their hobbies and the field they are interested in and worked on them.

We feel really blessed to be offered the Award Programme which has an international recognition and has instilled in us great leadership skills. This was a great platform to showcase our talent in the best way forward.