Wednesday 3 July 2013


Punit Agrawal from Sarala Birla Academy, Banglore sharing his Award experiences

Rome was not built in a day! Neither was my Award journey from Bronze to Gold! I started my Award journey when I was in grade 8, and today when I am about to complete the 12th, I have attained the Gold Award.

I was initiated into the Award by chance - thanks to the teachers who introduced me to it. My school was taking a group of students for an adventure trip. I have always had a passion for adventure, and just because of that I enrolled for the trip. And two days prior to the trip, I was given a 'Record Book' and a 'Diary'. At that time, I didn't have a clue about the IAYP Programme and what it involved. My teachers explained the process and the benefits of the Award, and I found myself very attracted to the Programme. What really grabbed my attention was that it's not a competitive award! With a full sense of responsibility and an aim to develop myself and turn into a person of substance, I set off on my Award journey. 

To start the Bronze Award, the first thing I did was to go on my Adventurous Journey. I went to Shivpuri, Uttarakhand, where I did trekking and swimming in the Ganges (which the locals called, "Ganga Panga"!). Once I returned to school, I realized the Award demanded daily work, but all I did in mind was to turn myself from nothing to something. For my Service section, I worked for the school magazine, to serve the school. During that time, I had just picked up a new sport, Skating, which became my daily Physical Recreation. I was hesitant to speak in public, so I took the opportunity to overcome my fear, develop my Skill and gain confidence. From April to October, I gradually improved in all fields. And it was at the end of October, that I received my Bronze Award from the IAYP National Director.

I started with my Silver Award as soon as I turned 15. This time also, it was adventure that I started with. But this Adventurous Journey gave me many more experiences than the previous one. The trip this time involved a special training course at NIM, Uttarkashi. This time I thought of changing my Service and Skill. From school level to now I wanted to help people who actually required help. I joined the Cheshire Home, where over a period of a year, I went once a week to help the differently-abled people. It was then I actually went out of my comfort zone to help. At first it was like a nightmare - I couldn't sleep the night I saw them for the first time. But gradually I overcame that fear and very soon they became my new friends. For my Skill section, I did movie-making, my second passion. During that time, I participated in an international film festival, where my movie stood fourth. I continued with Skating, and participated in the State level competition. It was March 29th, 2012, when I received my Silver Award from Mr. John May, Secretary General, International Award Foundation.

Now, it was the Gold Award to be achieved, with another year of hard work! I changed my school during that time, but the efforts that I had already put in toward my Gold didn't get wasted. As soon as I came to the new school, I started working for my Gold on the very first day. I changed all my activities: from skating my Physical Recreation became hockey; Service this time was to clean the campus and protect the environment; and I took my passion for public speaking to a new level, with MUN. And for Adventure, I was the student leader! My only concern was the Residential Project. My father came as my saviour, he wanted me to completely experience the world I had never even given a thought to. I was sent to a place near my hometown, Lalitpur, where I stayed and worked with labourers to build a kindergarten school. 

IAYP has changed me into a completely different human being. I have actually achieved all my targets. IAYP has given me a platform to develop my passions, and made me excel at it.

Click for pictures 
Punit Agrawal

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