Wednesday, 26 September 2018

This Journey Fostered Persistence and the Importance of Challenging Ourselves

Fifteen Bronze Award Participants, including eight girls and seven boys of The Ardee School, Gurugram and NFC, Delhi completed their Adventurous Journey on 14th - 15th September 2018 under the supervision of Seema Chugh (Award Leader) and Atul Kumar Dhuria (Sports teacher). Parveen Bhatia (Award Leader) is sharing this report, a collective response by the Award Participants and the mentors about the Adventurous Journey that the participants undertook to Camp Wild, Dhauj. Both the Participants and their Leaders had much to share on how this journey became a landmark in the Award journey of the participants.

This Adventurous Journey has truly been the highlight of our Award journey. The first day saw us engaging in myriad activities like flying fox, rock climbing, rappelling, dealing with army obstacles, cooking and trekking at night. The day commenced with some fun team building activities, which were then followed by other more thrilling activities. Initially, fear and anxiety had gripped us and we were paid back in wounds and bruises for our physical labour. But eventually, we did overcome the challenges and accomplish the tasks. The second day of the journey unfolded with a 5-kilometre trek to Aravalli Hills. Being able to complete this too, our hearts were filled with the exhilaration of victory. The day and the journey both concluded with a tree plantation activity.

The joy of persistent attempts leading to accomplishments has been overwhelming for us in this journey. While we were doing our tasks, the grips of many of us loosened. A lot of us tripped and fell too. But what kept us going was the will to finish what we had begun. In activities like rock climbing and trekking, we could feel surges of adrenaline in our bodies that filled us with a sense of adventure. These tasks not only aided us in overcoming our fears but also in discovering parts of ourselves that we never knew had existed before. Detaching ourselves from books and gadgets, which had always been a strenuous task, seemed accomplishable in the journey. 
However, one of the most enlightening aspects of the journey has been the tree plantation activity that we undertook as a mechanism to create awareness among the locals about the environment.

When we look back at the time that we spent at the camp, we feel elated. This journey has been one of the most enthralling experiences of our lives, offering us countless opportunities of self-realization. We’ve started looking at obstacles and hurdles as stepping stones. We have not only learned but grown too, both individually and collectively. The moments that we spent with ourselves and with each other in the journey and the life skills that we imbibed with every passing moment will forever remain etched in our memories. Click here for more pictures

This report was prepared on the basis of the reflections received from Inika Sharma, Pushkar, Vaanya Ranade, Yahub, Krisha Agarwal, Priyanshu and Ananya Sharma (Award Participants).

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

A Stride Towards Excellence

The Journey of IAYP Participants of JP International School, Noida

Embarking upon a journey is utter bliss. Even though your path is laden with countless pebbles in the form of challenges, the journey never fails to astound you with how much you can potentially grow. Something very similar has been experienced by us. Deciding to participate in the Award Programme has been a major turning point in our lives.

The Award Programme, being divided into the broad categories of Service, Physical Recreation, Skill, and Adventurous Journey, provided us a host of options to explore. We could choose from a pool of comprehensive choices. As part of the Service segment of the programme, we engaged in fund raising, charity work, teaching underprivileged students at the primary level, participation in health camps and blood donation camps, visits to NGOs and orphanages and involvement in cleanliness programmes as part of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. Such activities have not only made us more conscious citizens of society, but have also aided us in developing a broader understanding of the world. The Physical Recreation segment of the programme is meant to strengthen the body which, in turn, strengthens the mind. We engaged in myriad activities like jogging, running, cycling, playing volleyball and dancing. The Skill segment aims at providing young people opportunities to develop finesse in various fields, and develop a number of skills. We gained hands on experience in activities like playing chess and producing hand-made craft items. We also undertook other interesting activities included painting, calligraphy, playing the tabla and the guitar, learning kathak, which is a classical dance form, and photography.

The interplay of these segments made our Award journey a truly indelible one. We have not only learnt but flourished too. The Award Programme has been an effective way to channelize the potential of young people like us towards something worthwhile. Simultaneously, it offered us a prism through which we could look at the world and encouraged us to contribute our bit in bettering that world. We are proud that our achievements could become valuable components of the many success stories of JP International School, Noida. And now we look forward to our Adventurous Journey, and achieving the Award. Click for more pictures

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Award changed the way I perceived nature and helped me connect with it better

Saumya Rai, Bronze Award participant from Uttam School for Girls, Ghaziabad, participated in her first ever Adventurous Journey for the Bronze Level. Saumya is sharing her experience here.

Childhood, more than being about education, is a wholesome period, laden with opportunities to enhance the good in oneself. The aim of the Award Programme is to inspire young people; charging them with energy and the motivation to grow and bring about advancements in society. As part of the Award Programme, young people perform Voluntary Service, develop Skills, commit themselves to a particular Physical Recreation activity and undertake an Adventurous Journey. All these, collectively, rouse their concealed potential.

This year I participated in the Bronze Level of the Programme. As part of the Adventurous Journey, I travelled to Camp Hornbill, Jim Corbett Park. Away from the murky environment of the cities, I got the chance to explore the fairy-like land of Camp Hornbill. Right from the crack of dawn, I was pumped up with energy and positivity. What was overwhelming, though, was the thought of learning something new with every passing day. Losing my inhibitions and vanquishing my fears, I took part in many adventurous activities like ladder climbing, zip lining, body surfing, bird watching, painting and trekking. However, the cherry on the cake was the fascinating stories about the relations between nature and humans that I got to hear on many nights.

This was a learning experience for me. It changed the way I perceived nature and helped me connect with it better than I ever could. Interacting with the people of Kyari village and spending time on the banks of Khichadi River was utter bliss. However, this experience would remain incomplete if I don’t acknowledge the contribution of my school, teachers and IAYP, who guided me in not only exploring the world but myself too.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Bettering the Lives of Young Rural People

Award participants of Bawa Lalvani Public School are doing their Service at a government elementary school in Phulewal, Kapurthala. The report has been submitted by Ms Ekta Dhawan, Principal, Bawa Lalvani Public School, Kapurthala.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

The aim of the ongoing programme is to bring about small but significant changes in the lives of rural people, such as helping them to develop skills, to realize and cherish the joy of learning and to broaden their horizons by making contacts, thereby motivating them to improve the quality of life of others.

As part of the IAYP Programme, the Award participants engaged in community service at a government elementary school in Phulewal village, Kartar Road, Kapurthala. The participants delivered a ‘Three Aspect’ routine, i.e., teaching a morning prayer, a group song titled 'Jaha Dal Par Sone Ki Chidya Karti Hai Basera' and mathematics. These were in the form of a classroom addressal to an audience comprising 39 rural students within the age group of 5 to 14 years. The participants also enacted a demonstration that involved explaining the importance of proper hand wash post the use of washrooms and prior to consuming food. Students were advised and encouraged to refrain from defecating in open spaces. The rural student audience responded actively and participated keenly in what was being discussed, making the hygiene awareness programme a success.

Although government schools in villages are making efforts to bring young rural people at par with their urban counterparts, there still persists a long gap that needs to be bridged. However, the Award participants have pledged to commit themselves fully to such community service activities to contribute their bit in bettering the lives of young rural people. Click here for more pictures

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Award Orientation Workshop

"If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary."Jim Rohn

On the 6th of August, 2018, GD Goenka World School, Sohna organized an orientation workshop to create awareness of the award Programme (IAYP). The workshop was conducted by the Programme Manager, Bivujit Mukhoty, for grades 9th and 11th students.

The school’s Director-Principal, Dr Neeta Bali, briefed the students about the Programme, highlighted its benefits and encouraged the students to register for it. She introduced Mr Bivujit Mukhoty, who explained the Award Programme to them in detail. He elaborated on the inception of the Programme and delivered key insights on it. He also narrated his journey of running the Award Programme in the country and shared experiences of young people who have already completed all levels of the Award Programme.

Bivujit emphasized the Award Programme as a prominent platform for young people to gain a variety of experiences, while also showcasing their hidden talents through various aspects of the Programme. He described the Programme as following a holistic approach to learning, while covering domains of skill development, physical recreation, social service and adventure.

The session concluded with Bivujit Mukhoty awarding Anish Gurung a Bronze Award on his successful completion of the Bronze level of the Award Programme.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

‘Say No to Drugs’

Award participants from Bawa Lalvani Public School, Kapurthala, performed street plays on drug abuse, highlighting the need to vanquish it. Following is a report from Ms Ekta Dhawan, Principal, Bawa Lalvani Public School, Kapurthala.

“What is an addiction, really? It is a sign, a signal, a symptom of distress. It is a language that tells us about a plight that must be understood.” - Alice Miller

The drama has been used as an effective measure to evoke emotions in response to the informational content being delivered. The combination of emotion and information works to promote individuals to become more involved in family and community-based prevention activities. This study demonstrates the efficacy of drama as a mechanism to inform, educate and motivate.

The Bronze Award participants have been engaged in an effective social service programme titled ‘Say No to Drugs’. Through this programme, they have been reaching out to those members of the general public who are victims of drug abuse or have succumbed to use of drugs as addicts. The students performed street plays for audiences at Jallowkhana Railway Station, Bus Stand and Shalimar Bagh, exploring the grave issue of prescription drug and heroin abuse which is deeply affecting the town.

There are countless intense stories about how drugs have ruined families and lives, causing innumerable injuries and even deaths. The plays showed how easily teens can be pressured by their peers and lured into taking drugs. Educators believe that for most students, it is easier to act out the issues than to talk about them with their parents. The plays’ goal, therefore, was to enlighten teens and adults, providing them with tools to protect young people from venturing into the extremely dangerous path of drug abuse.

In the coming months, the Award participants will offer customized performances of the play to different schools and community groups. “If anybody, unfortunately, happens to be in one of these situations, it will help them know what to do,” said the Award participants. 
Watching the plays increased the knowledge base of participants regarding substance abuse as a potential disease. They voiced their opinion that parental involvement in teen life was important. The plays seemingly increased their inclination to participate in substance abuse prevention activities at home and in the community.  Click for more pictures

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Award has helped me reach new heights of success

Manika Sharma from Jodhamal Public School, Jammu, received her Gold Award in 2014 at New Delhi. Manika shared her life transforming Award Journey with us.

My journey of achieving the Gold Award completed in 2014 when I was in Jodhamal Public School, Jammu. This Award added an extra dimension to my personality. After becoming a Gold Award Holder, I have been able to develop greater levels of confidence and self-esteem. My beliefs have strengthened and I have become more persuasive. I have learnt how to voice my concerns and contribute my bit in bringing about positive changes in society. I have learnt all this through community service and the residential project. These projects have made me flexible, enabling me to adjust in every situation. As part of the Residential Project, I lived the life of the residents of small villages, interacted with their culture and organized a literacy campaign. Doing this, I’m overwhelmed that I have been a productive part of society.

IAYP has enlightened me about the productive use of my leisure time to acquire new skills. The ‘adventure’ aspect of my journey has helped me cultivate abilities like cooperation and leadership. It has helped me measure my physical strength through various adventurous tasks. This Award has given young people like me the phenomenal gifts of exuberance and the ability to choose among skills, physical recreation, etc. This 18-month long journey has been a marvellous experience that has offered me a lot to learn at every step.

Nostalgia has overcome me as I write this article. The Award has been a major life changer in boosting my self-confidence, teaching me life skills and enhancing my personality.

I must thank my school for introducing me to IAYP, my Award leader for guiding me throughout my journey and my family for being a pillar of support and encouragement.

Thank you IAYP

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Programme Manager's Visit to Dehra Dun

Programme Manager Bivujit Mukhoty and Priyank Kumar Gupta, Head IT & ORB, visited schools of Dehra Dun on 28th July and 30 July 2018. A brief report of this visit follows.

The visit to the Dehra Dun schools started on 28th July 2018 with a meeting with the Award supporting team at Selaqui International School, where Bivujit Mukhoty discussed the progress of the Award Programme in this centre with the Award Leader - Devvrat Badoni. The team visited Sajeev Dixit - Award Leader, The Asian School, Dehra Dun. Later, the NAA team visited Selaqui International School again to deliver an orientation to the students. The session was attended by 120 students.

On 30th July the team met with Hari Om Tripathi - Award Leader, Welham Boys School, Dehra Dun. Next, the NAA team visited the Purkal Youth Development Society, Dehra Dun. The team was welcomed by the Award Leader - Shalini Gupta. NAA team had a detailed discussed and meeting with the core team of PYDS including G.K Swamy – Founder & CEO; Harwant Singh - Principal, Anand Krishna Swami - Dean of STEM, Manish Chandel - Office Manager, Sarika Nandrjog - Dean of Operations and Shalini Gupta. The team did an analysis of the success of the Award Programme and discussed the measures to deliver the programme to all eligible students. Bivujit Mukhoty delivered an orientation to 100 students of PYDS. After the orientation, GK Swamy - Chairman and CEO, handed over 6 Bronze and 3 Silver certificates and badges to the participants who had completed their Award Journey.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The best experiences of my life

Silver Award holder Angelina Freda Smith from Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ School, Jaipur, completed her Silver Award Journey, a few months ago. Angelina is sharing her life-changing experiences with us.

IAYP has turned out to be one of the most fruitful experiences of my life. What started out as an endeavour to strengthen my college application has turned into something that has taught me the beauty of taking out time to do things we usually do not do.

I was diagnosed with asthma in my childhood and never dreamed of doing things which required much physical exertion. So the idea of going on an Adventurous Journey was daunting for me. Our school chose Mashobra Hills as the location and upon reaching the serene destination, I forgot all about my fears. There was nothing connecting us to the outside world (the best part was no cell phones) and it was just us and the serenity of nature. It turned out to be a life-changing experience in the end as I discovered shocking things about my own limits and how willing I was to push them. Despite several attacks during the whole trip, I kept going and ended up winning the award for the best camper.

The most profound experience, though, was the night trek where we walked on narrow paths and didn’t even realize it until the next morning when we had to cross the same place in daylight. It taught me that fear is all about perception.

Another highlight was laying down on the ground in the freezing cold and staring at the stars as I had never seen them as clearly ever before in my life. It brought friends closer together, especially after living in the same tent together, and it showed us how to rely on each other.

So, after returning I decided to challenge my asthma further and joined yoga classes for my Physical Recreation activity. I thought it’d be tiring to go there every evening as I’d be drained out from school – but the opposite started happening. The workout started making me feel more energized and I looked forward to going to class. In the end, I picked up the valuable skills of meditation and breathing exercises which help me keep my asthma under control.

I have always loved music, but never actually tried to partake in an activity related to it. So I found IAYP to be a good excuse to pick up a guitar. I soon learnt that the steel strings weren’t for me, but I kept picking up the basic skills such as switching chords quickly, learning the beats, analyzing music and playing finger style. But at the end of the six months, I left the guitar and ended up applying the knowledge that I gained from the classes and picked up a ukulele (which is a 4-stringed instrument) which I’ve become quite proficient at playing. So it taught me that not everything that you try to pursue is a success, but it always ends up teaching you some kind of skills which come in handy in some sphere of your life. Failure is an important part of success.

The thing I am most thankful to IAYP about is the Community Service. I have loved animals ever since I can remember and I always wanted to do something for the street dogs I used to come across, but I never thought of anything apart from feeding them food. So the instant I looked at the requisites of Community Service, I knew I wanted to volunteer at an animal shelter. The one I chose is called ‘Help in Suffering.’

The process began with some mandatory injections for me – which included rabies and tetanus, following which began my training under my supervisor. We began with the foster room, which included only small animals like little puppies, kittens, baby pigeons, etc. I learnt how to feed puppies and kittens milk, how to pick up a bird and check if its wing is injured and how to check for a fracture. Then we moved on to the bird cages where I learnt how to change the newspapers and replace food without making the birds feel threatened by my movements. I was taught how to make a temporary splint and how to pick up an injured and scared puppy without getting bit.

Over the course of the year, I did a lot of things like mix food for cows, bring dogs to the dispensary, groom and bathe the animals and hand feed dogs, but a few experiences stand out for me.

One would be the day they had a baby squirrel about the size of my thumb come in with a fractured leg – it sat in my palm as I fed it milk with a cotton bud.

Another experience was seeing a puppy around Diwali time come in with a burnt mouth as someone had lit crackers inside its mouth. All this made me realize we spend so much time worrying about the plight of fellow humans, we sometimes forget about the ones that cannot seek help, but desperately need it. Therefore, I have been using social media and my school as a platform to try to raise awareness about these little issues and how we need to be more sensitive about them.

In conclusion, I’d like to thank IAYP for giving me a reason to undertake activities that I otherwise would not have, but have always wanted to do. This is much more than an Award, this is a platform for the overall development of a person.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Ladakhi Voyage

Bronze Award participant Bhaswati Basumatry from Miles Bronson Residential School, Guwahati, completed her Adventurous Journey. Bhaswati is sharing her journey experience with us.

We twenty-five Bronsonians were sprouting with excitement when our IAYP Adventurous Journey trip destination was finally revealed. We were more than happy to travel to the land of the mountains, i.e., Ladakh. We were all thrilled when we boarded the Guwahati flight for Delhi on 10th of June, 2018. We stayed at Guwahati for a night and took the next morning flight to Leh.

Landing at Leh was a whole new experience! We and our two teacher escorts were in awe by the high altitude and knew that our adventure had actually begun. Our trip was in association with an organization called Thrillophilia, who let us stay at their premises for a day. We were strictly instructed to keep drinking water and rest for a whole day so that our body could adjust to the new environment and increased altitude. The next morning all were geared up to move towards Khardungla pass. Although we had to go through a lot of difficulties, we stayed strong and crossed the highest motorable road in the world. After Khardungla pass, we set off for Shey, where we had our lunch. It was an amazing experience while interacting with a new culture. We spent the night in a camp, under the organization Bikamp. The camping experience was great as it was set in a beautiful natural location. The next day, we had to go to Kargil. We went to the zero point and also visited the Kargil War memorial. We also visited the very peaceful Land Yuru. The overnight stay in Kargil was followed by our next morning trip to Srinagar. We had to travel the whole day. On finally reaching Srinagar, we spent the night on a houseboat in the Dal Lake. Staying in a boathouse was really intriguing as all the transports had to be done by boats. The beauty of the Dal Lake was too mesmerizing! The next day, we all went for a shikara ride, the main attraction of Srinagar. That very day, we had our flight to Delhi at around 3 p.m. We were very upset as we did not want to leave. We were all so attached to the beautiful land of Ladakh that when we boarded the Delhi flight, all went mum!

This trip made us realise that life is not easy. Hardships come, but surviving it depends on us, whether we want to run away or face it. Travelling to a height of 18000 feet above sea level was not easy, but we faced it. The IAYP trip has empowered us with a lot of learning lessons. Meeting new people and knowing their culture has given us a sense of satisfaction. Although we had to leave, the Ladakh memories will be forever cherished in our hearts.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Gold Award Ceremony 2018 - A Report

The annual Gold Award Ceremony was organised on 10th July 2018 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The National Award Authority (NAA) took immense pride in felicitating the Gold Award Achivers, Award Leaders and Volunteers. Eighty-two Award participants were selected for the recognition at this ceremony, and fifty-eight participants attended the ceremony to receive their Gold Award. 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.

We were privileged to have His Excellency Honourable Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, United Kingdom’s High Commissioner, to grace the occasion as the Chief Guest and felicitate the Gold Awardees and Award Leaders.

Mr Kapil Bhalla, National Director, welcomed the Chief Guest His Excellency Honourable Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, Mr Himmat Sher Singh Kalsia - Trustee Chairman, Award Programme Foundation, and Dr Sanat Kaul, Managing Trustee, Award Programme Foundation. The Principals and Directors of different YES Centres were also welcomed and honoured by the National Award Authority.

A variety of entertainment performances were presented by Award participants. The first was a dance performance by the participants from Sri Sarada Math, Baladband, West Bengal, based on a song written by Rabindra Nath Tagore - Aguner Poroshmoni. This was followed by a group western dance performance by the participants of Khaitan Public School, Sahibabad. A dance recital, Shakuntalam, was performed by the students of Indirapuram Public School, Ghaziabad.

National Director Kapil Bhalla addressed the audience, sharing information about 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 His Excellency Honourable Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG handed the Gold Certificates to the Gold Award achievers. In addition, thirty-six Award Leaders and Volunteers were recognised with the Outstanding, Voluntary and Special Service Meritorious Certificates.

The Chief Guest congratulated all the Awardees and Award Leaders for their success. He also shared his life experiences with the audience and welcomed the Gold Award Holders to the United Kingdom for their higher education and promised support for this on behalf of the British High Commission, India.

Himmat Kalsia, Trustee Chairman, Award Programme Foundation proposed the vote of thanks at the end of the ceremony.

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

Congratulations and Thank You

Congratulations for your fantastic achievement! Your dedication, enthusiasm and insight are really inspiring. A big round of applause for all Gold Award Achievers, Award Leaders and Volunteers. Our thanks to all stakeholders who made the Annual Gold Award Ceremony 2018 a huge success. Thank you, Honourable Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG for gracing the ceremony.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

How Service Helped us Become Better Human Beings

Community Service is an essential part of the Award Programme, and the Award Participants from Euroschool Airoli kept themselves deeply involved with the community. Deepali Bhagwate (Award Leader) is sharing the viewpoints of two Bronze Participants, Neel Vinchi and Shravya Kanungo, on their Service section.

Neel Vinchi (Bronze Participant) says: 
The International Award for Young People Programme has developed many abilities in us, one of them being the ability to make some time for the people in need of our help. I feel very proud to say that I have managed to set aside time every week to do my community Service. I started my Service with a Christmas party for the underprivileged children of Mulund, Mumbai. I learnt that there are a lot of people in this world who live so close to us, and yet so far. I had volunteered to help the Rotaract Association of Mulund in organizing the party. My visit to Prem Daan, Airoli, Navi Mumbai completely changed my perspective. The people living there were very poor; indeed, Prem Daan was there only saviour. I was very moved by this and thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them and helping them in their work. I had also gone to a kindergarten where I was transported back to my childhood. Such was the joy I gained in meeting those little children! When I went to an institute for the blind I loved interacting with the people and also read to them. That was when I realized that I am indeed lucky to have my body functioning properly and that the ones who don't are facing a ton of difficulties in life. Therefore, through the IAYP Service, I have learnt to be happy with the little things in life!

Shravya Kanungo (Bronze Participant) says: 
When I enrolled myself in the IAYP programme, I had no idea that it would make such an impact in my life as a young teenager. It has probably been the most important educative tool that my school has given me, wherein I learnt things, not just by reading and writing, but by doing them practically. The IAYP programme has not only helped me develop my survival skills and make my connection with nature but most importantly, it’s Service section has made me aware of my duty and responsibility as a human being towards the underprivileged sections of our society. As a part of these programmes, my school had organized a visit to Good Shepherd School in Navi Mumbai, where we taught the junior students about the solar system through origami. We also visited a remote area of Maharashtra called Shahpur, where we conducted various activities and study sessions for the primary, middle and senior school students. The awareness brought in by these kind of programmes has made me a better human being. Such activities have become a part of my life now. I have started visiting orphanages and elderly institutions and spend time there by doing whatever best I can in my capacity as a student.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

One Day Award Leader Training Workshop

8th June 2018 at O.P. Jindal School, Raigarh

National Award Authority organised a one-day Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop at O.P.Jindal School, Raigarh on 8th June 2018. Capt Shweta Singh (Award Leader) is sharing a report on the workshop.

The International Award For Young People (IAYP) promotes the Award, provides young people with the Award programme and preserves the quality of the Award. It brings together practical experiences and skills to create committed global citizens and equips young people for life. The vision of IAYP is to engage young people from diverse backgrounds; equip them with life skills; empower them to succeed in life, and reward their achievements.

Keeping the above aspects in view, a training workshop for Award Leaders was conducted on 8th June 2018. Bivujit Mukhoti, Programme Manager, IAYP, who was very enthusiastic and high spirited, has facilitated 22 Award leaders of four different schools, i.e. O.P. Jindal School, Raigarh; O.P. Jindal School, Nalwa; O.P. Jindal School, Kunjemura; and O.P. Jindal School, Savitri Nagar.

The workshop was based on the introduction of Award, Philosophy of Award, Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and Residential Project for Gold level. Under each session, the Award Leaders under training performed a few activities that made use of their imagination, skill and initiative. The day ended with the vote of thanks given by Capt. Shweta Singh, Sr. Mistress. Overall, it was an innovative and creative learning experience.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Introduction to the Award - Who We Are

The Award is known in many different ways, by many different people around the world. And it's important that we all talk about the Award in ways which resonate within our own countries.

We are The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, a global non-formal education framework which challenges young people to discover their potential and find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

We operate in more than 130 countries and territories, helping to inspire young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world. In India, the Award is run in the name of the International Award for Young People under the supervision of the Award Programme Foundation, a non-profitable, charitable trust. 

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award offers an international currency and credibility across the world; an Award stands for something and showcases success. 

We're not limited by boundaries. There are 1.3 million young people currently completing their own unique programme, via hundreds of thousands of youth-focused partners and operators, including schools, youth organisations, examination boards and youth offender institutions. 

We've got more than 60 years of experience and we're just getting started. Our ambition is to make the Award accessible to every 14-24 year old around the world, regardless of ability, experience or culture.

We Believe ...

  • That today's young people are the most important resource - and championing their growth and development should be a top priority
  • That not all learning happens in the classroom - some of life's biggest lessons can happen in the least likely locations
  • That every young person has the potential to do something extraordinary
  • That exciting things happen when you step outside your comfort zone
  • That the development of character and skills such as confidence, communication, problem-solving and resilience is crucial if young people are to be ready for the world = a world which is changing at a phenomenal rate
  • That the Award helps young people to find their purpose, passion and place in the world
  • That the Award can positively impact, inspire and empower all those involved - including volunteers and supporters

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award challenges young people to develop the character, skills and confidence they need to improve themselves and their communities, by encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone and build positive habits, that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.

With the support of adult mentors, the Award helps young people to unleash their passions and believe in the power of their own potential. 

Through the Award, young people can be empowered - and not just to confidence, but the desire to create meaningful changes; to find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

Please subscribe to our e-weekly The Award Weekly to know more about the Award Programme in India

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Welcoming Pallavi - Programme Officer

We welcome Pallavi Gill, who has joined us as Programme Officer, as a part of the Programme Team. Pallavi has represented India at International Gold Event 2017 at Prague, Czech Republic. She has achieved the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, an active Award Leader for Open Award Centre Participants and also the member of the National Training Panel. After completing her Gold Award, Pallavi volunteered with National Award Authority. We are sure that Pallavi’s in-depth knowledge will help us to spread the Awards Ethos in the more effective way. Pallavi can be contacted at

The Story of Geeta and Amrita

Twenty-year-old Geeta and Amrita were born and brought up in Tughlakabad village in Delhi and have been best friends since their school days. Both the girls are full of life and have a thirst for learning more and more. Currently, they are in their second year of graduation in the BA programme from the School of Open Learning, DU.

Amrita has 5 members in her family -- her father, mother and two elder brothers. Her father works in a fiber company and earns Rs.8000-10,000 per month. Her mother is a homemaker and supports Amrita's dream of flying high. One of her bothers works in Vodafone and can make up to 15,000 per month, the other has recently started working and earns up to 8000 per month. Including Amrita's internship stipend, the family income comes up to approximately Rs. 35,000 per month.

Geeta, on the other hand, has 5 siblings: The two eldest sisters are married, one sister works as a teacher, one brother is in school and the other one is working and earns up to Rs. 10,000 per month. Her mother works in an export house and makes Rs.5000/-. Her father passed away due to a heart attack. The total family income, including her internship stipend, is approximately 20,000 per month.

They joined The Naz Foundation (India) Trust in 2015 as participants of the YPI programme. YPI uses sport and life skills education to transform the lives of adolescent girls. They showcased their leadership skills as participants and started interning in Naz India as Community Sports coaches from August 2016.

Naz India gave them a lot of opportunities to make them better and more confident leaders. After 8-10 months of their internship, they were introduced to the programme called the International Award for Young People, which is a Youth Empowerment programme and helps in their holistic development. They both enrolled themselves at the Bronze Level and are keen to do the Silver Level as well.

Under the Skills Section, Geeta and Amrita took up the Beauty and Make-up course for a year from the NGO Sarva Saman in Tughlakabad. They received a Diploma certificate after successfully completing the course.

They got an opportunity to run a beautician centre in the NGO Deepshikha, which is supported by the Church they go to. The church in-charge gave them the space for the centre and also the products initially. The students are charged Rs.150 per month, which is utilised for buying the material required. The course is of six months and teaches basic skills like waxing, threading, etc. They get the certificate which is recognized by other salons. The centre is solely run and managed by Geeta and Amrita, for which they get Rs.1000 each per month. Till now they have trained 25 women, out of which 3 have started working in some salons, 8 have successfully completed the course and the rest are in the process of completing it.

Geeta and Amrita say “Agar hum Naz main nahi hote to kabhi bhi hame Award Programme karne ka mauka nahi milta. Hum bohot khush hain ki hame Award Programme karne ka mauka mila, jisse humne aisi skill seekhi jo hamare paise kamane ka jariya bhi ban sakta hai.” (We are very happy that we are part of Naz India as it gave us an opportunity to be a part of the Award Programme. Through IAYP, we learnt a skill that can be a medium of our earnings too.)

They both said that they have become financially independent as they get Rs. 3500/- as a stipend for interning with Naz India and Rs.1000 from the Beautician Centre. As learnt in Naz India, they know how to manage their money well, they make a budget first and spend and save accordingly.

Both Geeta and Amrita aspire to open a Dance Academy together. They both are very passionate about it and are working hard towards it. They also have a Plan B as they are running a beautician centre of their own. In the near future, they want to expand that too.

Their families are proud of them as they both can take care of their own expenses. Not only this, they also contribute to the daily household expenses if needed. Click here to see some more pictures

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Award Ceremony at Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital

An Award ceremony was held at Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital on 26 May, 2018 with enthusiasm. Parivesh Pandey, Award Leader shares a brief report here.

The aim of this Programme is truly reflected among our young volunteers, which is that young people don't just enjoy an excellent academic education, but are able to develop for themselves the skills, behaviour and attitude that are needed to be a great global citizen.

It was a very prestigious moment for our school to announce that 15 students registered themselves in 2017 for the Award Programme and all of them brought laurels for our school by achieving 7 Silver Awards and 8 Bronze Awards.

Being an Award Leader, I salute the undaunted spirit of our Award participants and hope that they will continue their commendable efforts for serving society.

Thanks to the National Award Authority, especially Bivuji Mukhoty (Programme Manager). I would also like to thank R. S. Pant, Asha M'am and above all, Principal A K Sharma for providing this opportunity to our participants to prove themselves and for showing his belief in us.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Award teaches patience, tolerance and compassion

Bronze Award participants of Pathways School, Noida, adopted different activities to improve their skills, to serve society and to keep fit. Rohini Rode, Award Leader, is presenting a brief about their work.

Creating awareness on Entrepreneurship. Spreading awareness on suicide and depression. Learning classical vocal music. Improving debating skills to take part in World Scholar’s Cup and Model United Nations. These are some of the areas Award participants of Pathways School Noida decided to choose for the Bronze Award Journey.

The participants set goals for themselves and decided to persevere in order to achieve them. Nehal took up painting to develop her skills. She worked on her creativity and practical skills. She presented her work at three different exhibitions and won the praise of many. Prachi worked on her debating skills. First, she had to brush up her research. She went to Yale to take part in debates. This opened her mind and she understood from a practical point of view what is required for her to win. Harveen practised the piano regularly and also worked on theory.

Unnati participates actively by doing community service in JP labour camp by compassionate teaching and helping other children. She improved her own leadership skills as well. Reading about ways of preventing suicide, researching about different disorders, staying awake at nights to understand insomnia: These are all events that Snigdha experienced before writing a book to create awareness about suicide and depression. Chitrali taught young children the English alphabet. Manushree expressed her love and care towards dogs in an animal shelter. The participants, thus, understood that the service section fills them with a sense of worth from having given service and help to others and their community.

The participants were able to learn patience, tolerance and compassion. They increased their self-confidence by setting a goal and achieving it. They worked on their physical fitness. IAYP Silver is their next target and they are determined to achieve it.

Walk Around Mauritius -- 3rd edition

The Gold Award Holders Association of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, Mauritius, invites you to Walk Around Mauritius (WAM). Walk Around Mauritius is a concept that gathers people of all ages and helps them discover the island and the Award Programme in a very friendly and fun way. There is also a cause behind it: In each WAM, a particular theme is selected for sensitization.

To promote the spirit of friendship, teamwork, social and community work, as well as interaction and involvement as we walk around the island using the skills and talents of our Gold Award Holders, Award participants and our youth from all walks of life in engaging in one common activity (The Walk for a Cause) at a national level and also promote and make others (youth, parents, families and friends around the island including Rodrigues) discover the Award Programme.

Walk Around Mauritius (WAM) 2018, will be held from the 20 - 28 July 2018. If interested, get in touch with

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

‘OOTOPIA’ at the Ooty Lake

Students of Ooty get together to cherish Ooty Lake on World Water Day

On the 22nd of March, 2018 the Award participants of Good Shepherd International School, in liaison with the Citizen Voluntary Group Make Ooty Beautiful, celebrated the World Water Day at the Ooty Lake as ‘Ootopia’: a dream for an eco-friendly and culturally sensitive Ooty.

Attracting almost 3 Lakh tourists in 2017 alone, Ooty Lake has proved to be invaluable in securing Ooty’s current economic state. Yet, with the vast influx of sewage water, waste, and muck into the lake, its name has become almost synonymous, among the local citizens, with that of a cesspool. Thus, the Award participants of Good Shepherd International School found it thoroughly imperative for some form of ownership to be inculcated within the primary stakeholders for the condition of the lake: the citizens themselves.

To further strengthen their initiative, they collaborated with 18 other schools of the town, each school putting up a performance for ten minutes, with regard to water sanitation. To also broaden the expanse of the students’ creativity, the schools produced on canvas their interpretations of ‘Ootopia’, how the town could be the true epitome of ecological stability while also basking in the splendour of its cultural significance.  Click here for more pictures

ORB Next Generation

We welcome Vivek High School, Mohali and The Sagar School, Alwar to New Online Record Book Next Generation.

Online Record Book (ORB) Next Generation is simpler, faster and more accessible and has some great new improvements. Once registered, this new version can be accessed anytime, anywhere through the Mobile Apps designed for Participants and Award Leaders.

If you are interested, please get in touch with the Programme Team for more details.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

@ Dyal Singh Public School, Karnal

An Award Leader Training Workshop was organised on 4th - 5th May, 2018 at Dyal Singh Public School, Karnal. The workshop was attended by 21 participants from Dyal Singh Public School, Dyal Singh Colony, Karnal; Dyal Singh Public School, Jagadhri; Dyal Singh Public School, Sec 13-17, Huda, Panipat; Dyal Singh Public School, Sector 7, Karnal and Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Gwalior.

The workshop started with a session on introduction and expectations. There were sessions on the Framework and Philosophy of the Award, followed by the four pillars of the Award, Residential Project, Risk Management and ORB Next Generation. The workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Priyank Kumar Gupta (Head IT and ORB) and Ranjana Rai (Member, National Training Panel). Bivujit Mukhoty also delivered an Orientation session to the students of Dyal Singh Public School, Dyal Singh Colony, Karnal, which was attended by 150 students.

NAA would like to thank Mrs Ramesh Lather (Principal), Mrs Shushma Devgaun (Head Mistress), Mr Ashok Sethi (Administrative Officer) and the staff of Dyal Singh Public School, Karnal for their support in conducting this workshop. Click for the pictures of the workshop

Greening the Desert – Build a Greenhouse

Eighth Gold Level Adventurous Journey and Residential Project for Gold Participants: 8th - 23rd June, 2018, Spiti, Northern Himalayas, India

Gold Award participants from around the globe are welcome to apply for the two-weeks Solar Conservation Project at Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, organised by Ecosphere in collaboration with IAYP India. The project is one of its kind, combining an Adventurous Journey and Gold Residential Project exclusively for Gold Award participants.

During this journey, the Award participants will be travelling through Spiti and will spend 5 days assisting the local community in the construction of a Greenhouse enabling a local farmer or a Monastery/Nunnery to have access to green vegetables throughout the year. You will participate in the actual construction of a greenhouse and will be assisted by a dedicated team comprising a qualified mason and trained person from Ecosphere. The activity will entail physical work. The trip is a mix of work and pleasure. During this trip participants will be visiting some of the highest villages in the world, going on a high-altitude trek, visiting some ancient monasteries dating back to over a 1000 years, and taking a yak/horse safari and mountain bike -- if interested. Traditional homestays further enrich the experience by giving one an authentic understanding of the life and culture in a Spitian home.

Detailed information and application form can be obtained from here. The last date for registration is 20th May 2018.

Gold Award Ceremony 2018 - July 10th

The time has come to celebrate YOUR achievement: The Gold Award. Achieving a Gold Award is one of the biggest milestones of your Award Journey. It shows that you have the ability, focus and determination to achieve your set goals and pursue them with passion and perseverance. It shows that you have done your share to achieve all-round development and at the same time are open to learning from what the future has to offer. Therefore, it is imperative that you celebrate this achievement with others and The Gold Award Ceremony is designed to celebrate this achievement of yours.

We are happy to announce that the Annual Gold Award Ceremony 2018 will be organised on July 10, 2018, at India International Centre, New Delhi.

We cordially invite you to join this celebration and you will soon receive an invite to GAC 2018. It goes without saying that your presence will make this event memorable and successful.

The last date for submitting Record Books is 10th June 2018.