Friday 28 July 2023

The Award In Action—PYDS Learning Academy


On July 16th, the enthusiastic and eco-conscious Award participants of PYDS Learning Academy embarked on a meaningful journey to participate in a plantation drive organized by 'Punaha Aranya.' This noble initiative aimed to revive and rejuvenate the lush greenery in the vicinity. The venue for this inspiring event was Thano Range, situated on the Dehradun-Rishikesh Highway.

The plantation drive was perfectly timed to coincide with the revered Uttarakhand festival called Harela, also known as The Day of Green. This festival holds special significance as it celebrates the essence of greenery, peace, prosperity, and environmental conservation in Uttarakhand.

The day commenced at 09:30 am with the young people motivated and ready for action. Together, they planted a remarkable total of 119 samplings, which included vibrant Hibiscus, the delicate Hummingbird Bush, the majestic Trumpet Bush, and the magnificent Magnolia Grandiflora. As they immersed themselves in this hands-on experience, they also raised catchy slogans on environment conservation, further fueling the enthusiasm and energy of the event.

The successful completion of the plantation drive marked the beginning of more engaging activities. Young people wholeheartedly participated in a story-making competition, where their imaginations soared to create tales of nature's beauty and the importance of preserving it. Additionally, they engaged in an informative quiz on environment protection, testing their knowledge and fostering a deeper understanding of ecological matters.

Overall, the day was a resounding success, leaving a lasting impact on the young minds of the Award participants. They are now passionate advocates for green living, dedicated to raising awareness about preserving nature for generations to come!

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Friday 21 July 2023

The Award In Action—Gold Award Holder Sunil Pawar

Report by Sunil Pawar, Gold Award Holder (OAC Participant)

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My journey with The International Award for Young People, India has been an unparalleled experience that has enriched my life in countless ways. The programme has allowed me to challenge myself in ways I never thought possible and has helped me grow into a more confident and well-rounded individual. The diverse range of activities and tasks included in The Award Programme, from voluntary service and physical recreation to developing new skills and exploring new environments, has given me endless opportunities to explore my interests and passions.

One of the most valuable aspects of this Award Programme has been the support and guidance of my leaders. Their unwavering encouragement and belief in me have helped me overcome obstacles and achieve personal milestones. The sense of community I have experienced with my peers has been truly inspiring and has taught me the importance of teamwork and collaboration.
The memories I have gained through this programme are truly unforgettable, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to embark on this life-changing adventure. Whether it was pushing myself to complete a challenging city expedition or volunteering at an NGO, each activity has provided me with new perspectives and valuable life skills.

Sunil receiving the Gold Award at the National Award Office from Mr. Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager, The International Award for Young People, India) and his Award Leader, Ms. Ankita Gera (Programme Officer - North, The International Award for Young People, India)

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Friday 14 July 2023

The Award In Action—Billabong High International School, Bhopal

Report by Arayna Saxena, Billabong High International School, Bhopal


Laughter, Lessons and Memories

Bronze Award Participants from Billabong High International School, Bhopal

Walking down the stairs of the Rani Kamlapati Railway Station, I saw the platform covered with the colour purple with a myriad of students dressed in our school’s purple jackets. Having navigated our way through the station, we stood there eagerly welcoming the memories we were to make together with palpable excitement which highlighted the uncertainty and opportunity our journey had in store for us! After the roll call, the trail left by the wheels of our suitcases, which we had spent hours packing perfectly to use the small space to fit in everything that could guarantee us a convivial time, led to the train. In our hands was our ticket which we glanced at multiple times, nervously checking to see if it pointed to a seat somewhere closer to our friends. The journey was long, but time seemed to fly, with UNO cards and all kinds of snacks taking up more space than we did, and the sound of uncontrollable, infectious laughter ringing perpetually in our ears. The breath-taking scenery, the never-dull moments with friends and the enthralling stories marked the perfect beginning to the coming days.

Upon arriving, we were taken to our tents for an unprecedented experience offering a perfect getaway to rejuvenate amidst the serenity of nature. Nestled in lush green foliage, the city had a mesmerising spectacle. Scrumptious meals that catered to every palate, panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, and thrilling team-building activities made the Adventure Journey even more unforgettable.
Our next day began with a wild and turbulent ride through the river rapids and currents and ended in the warm, golden glow cast by the flickering flames of a bonfire. River rafting was an adrenaline-fueled adventure as we put to use our skills, teamwork and strength to navigate through the propelling currents. It was truly an exhilarating experience as it demanded a level of courage and tenacity, making it a test of one’s patience and abilities. As the rafting journey progressed, we were treated to breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape, with lush greenery, rugged terrain, and towering cliffs. We were intrigued by the fact that each rapid had a unique and interesting name. The shared experience of navigating through the rapids created a sense of bonding which stayed with us till long after the adventure ended.

The next day was packed with obstacle courses and adventurous activities including the giant swing and the reverse bungee which put our agility and endurance to the test. While the reverse bungee involved being shot upwards at a breakneck speed, the giant swing created a sense of freefalling with the wind rushing through one's hair and the force of gravity tugging at one's body creating a thrilling and surreal sensation. We then proceeded to attend the Ganga Aarti which had a spiritual and serene atmosphere, and we were enthralled by the beauty and the energy of the aarti. We ended the day with the leaping and dancing flames of the bonfire, sending sparks flying into the night sky, casting an ethereal light over the surrounding area. As we all sat around the fire, we sang our favourite songs and ended the day on a soothing note.

On the final day, we embarked early in the morning on a trekking expedition. Our senses were engulfed by the beautiful sights and sounds – the rustling of the leaves, the chirping of the birds and the crisp air created an intriguing experience. As we ascended the steep slopes and rugged terrains of our track we finally reached a breath-taking waterfall. The beauty of the waterfall took away the initial feeling of fatigue.

We then left for Nizamuddin Railway Station as our Adventure Journey had now come to an end. We returned to the RKMP Railway Station knowing that we had returned with precious memories, but more importantly, proof that we had tried new things, rejoiced amongst nature, learnt to enjoy the little things that made our days and built an increased confidence in embracing an independent and responsible attitude. Just like the storage of our cameras, our minds too were filled with contentment, knowing very well that we had learnt lessons we would embrace for the rest of our lives!

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Friday 7 July 2023

The Award In Action—Maha Devi Birla World School, Kolkata



This week, let's find out the experience of our Award Leader, Mr. Atindra Choudhary from Maha Devi Birla World School, Kolkata with The Award Programme!

Q. What do you think is inspiring about the International Award for Young People in your experience?
A. When young people participate in The Award Programme, they have the opportunity to experience things that they may not have otherwise. They get to explore new places, meet new people, and develop a sense of community that can be truly life-changing.

Q. How have you seen The Award Programme impact your students' personal development and growth?
A. One of the things I’m most proud of is how IAYP helps young people in developing important life skills. We see it happen all the time - as they navigate new situations and overcome challenges, they gain confidence in themselves and their abilities, and become more self-reliant and adaptable.

Q. Can you highlight a particularly memorable moment from a student's journey towards achieving The Award?
A. One of our favourite memories from a recent trip was watching a group of Award participants who were working towards their Bronze and Gold Awards. They completed all of the required tasks, including visiting an old age home, volunteering in their community, and providing food to underprivileged children. It was amazing to see their hard work pay off, and to see them make a real impact in the lives of others.

Q. How do you see The Award helping young people to be ready for college and their future?
A. A student's development can be fully realized by going through each of the four stages in the Award Programme. By acknowledging their skill and collaborating with the community, they are capable of tackling everyday problems and being able to adjust your approach according to varying situations is an important requirement for success both now and when attending college.