Wednesday 25 May 2016

Adventurous Journey Report from the Diary of a Silver Level Participant

Sanjib Chakraborty, Award Leader from Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata is sharing the Adventurous Journey report from the diary of a participant.
As a part of the IAYP Adventurous Journey section, Silver Level Award participants braved the Singalila ridge. The Journey started on 16th March when we left for New Jalpaiguri.
On 17th after a long bus ride full of optical delights - a treat from Mother Nature, we reached Manebhanjang, our base camp. On the way we passed through the town of Kurseong - the land of white orchids. We were duly treated to a narration of a ghost story, the haunting tale about Margaret's Hope, a tea estate, the facts about the old toy train running from Kurseong to Darjeeling and some more spine chilling facts about this notorious town by our accompanying teacher. We also had a short acclimatisation trek of about 3 kilometers. That evening we had a session on rope knot and track signals on mountains.
Next day we underwent the rigorous but fun trek to Tumling after a short warm up session. This is the only trek which provides a view of the tallest peaks like Mt Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Lhodhse all together in a panoramic view. The weather was predicted to be rainy. It was a daunting 12 km trek. We had three stops in between - Chitrey, Lamidura, and Meghma for about 7 hours straight. We saw shrines with Nepali engravings for the good fortune of the trekkers. We were at the India-Nepal border, standing with one foot in India and the other one in Nepal!
On 19th March at sunrise we went to the viewpoint to behold the scenic beauty of the Sleeping Buddha. It is so called because it resembles a sleeping person. The head is the Kumbhakarna, the torso is Kanchenjunga and the foot is Pandim. This view is famous since the mountaineers are not allowed to put their foot on the summit of Kanchenjunga as it is considered holy by Buddhist monks. On the left side of this we can see the view of Mt Everest, Makalu and Lhodhse. When the sunlight falls on the snow capped peaks, they appear to have taken the hue of alluring gold. Tumling, at a staggering height of 10,000 feet, also boasts of diverse flora and fauna. Rhododendrons both white and red, Magnolia, birds like Verditer Flycatcher and pheasants, animals like the Red Panda (native to Singalila) and Himalayan Black Bear abound. During our stay we had the chance to taste some authentic local Tibetan food. We made and served hot chocolate and paani puris to the residents and the students during the self cooking session.
On the evening of that day we had a fun campfire session. The participants conducted three events - Quiz, Antakshari and Charades.
While we were sad to go back from the cool weather of Tumling to the sultry scorching heat of Kolkata, we were back at home with lots of memories to cherish in the days to come.Click for Pictures

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Magnum Opus - Perspective of Journey

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

There is more in you than you think

a9d5fc9415aee95fe32f07c3518cb86c 400x400
Moving out of our comfort zone is important. But why and how? Here is what Secretary General, John May, shares in this article for the May edition of the World Student magazine about pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone.
Have you ever pushed yourself to your absolute limit? So far outside your comfort zone that you wondered if you’d ever be the same again? If you have, you’ll know how scary, exhilarating, rewarding, and, quite frankly, mind-blowing it can be.
Exactly what it is that takes you to that limit is different for everyone. For some people it might be climbing a mountain; for others it’s speaking to a room full of people from a stage; or taking up a new sport when you’ve always been the last one to be selected for the school team; or perhaps it’s the idea of volunteering to spend a couple of hours every week down at a local care home for the elderly. Every one of us can identify situations in which we’re uncomfortable.
But the rewards for deliberately making ourselves uncomfortable, for pushing ourselves that little bit further, can be enormous. Because it’s only when you challenge yourself to go to places that you’ve never been before that you really learn what you’re made of. Click to read full story.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Adventurous Journey Report

Bronze Award participants from Sat Paul Mittal School, Ludhiana completed their Adventurous Journey at Neen (Kufri) in Himachal Pradesh from 14th to 18th April, 2016. Ms. Premjeet and Mr. Kuber, two mentors from the school, share a report about their Award journey with us.

Adventure sports are being enjoyed by people from all walks of life in a big way. The reason for this is that there are new sports being conceived every now and then, which are a thrilling and exciting experience. While people these days are so caught up in their social world, tirelessly busy to maintain their digital profiles, there seems to be no time for them to enjoy the marvels of nature and to have fun outdoors. It is these adventure sports that provide an addictive adrenaline rush, which is refreshing and rejuvenates people from the monotonies of daily life. To give young people a feel of excitement and thrill and with the aim of experiencing learning outside the classroom, this camp was organised for Bronze level participants to Neen (Kufri) in Himachal Pradesh.

On 14th April, 36 Award participants escorted by two mentors left the school premises of Sat Paul Mittal School at 5:30 am and reached Chandigarh at around 7:30 am. After breakfast at Chandigarh, the students moved ahead for Neen (Kufri). It took them approximately 7 hours to reach there.

The camp in Neen is situated at an altitude of 2250 meters above sea level on the Kufri-Chail road. This is a veritable paradise endowed with great natural beauty surrounded by lofty snow capped peaks and dense forests of deodar and oaks. The accommodation with Swiss tents, in the forests of Deodar and Oaks was indeed very blissful. Within a span of 4 days the participants enjoyed a new found independence away from home and beyond regular text books. It taught them how to survive without technology and the responsibility that comes with freedom and independence.

The participants were taken for mountain trekking approximately 2200 ft above the sea level. They were briefed about various adventure activities, rope courses, the usage of various equipment for tent pitching and trekking. The trainers also demonstrated tent pitching and tied various kinds of knots that are used during mountain trekking. This Adventure camp helped participants realize the importance of certain life skills like teamwork, compassion, gratitude and individual goal setting.

The participants also performed a number of thrilling activities like Burma Bridge crossing, Bamboo Bridge crossing, Commando Bridge Bush craft, Rope Valley crossing, night trekking and campfire. Every activity was performed by the participants with great enthusiasm and zeal. The participants were taken to a local school for a visit. There, they taught the children poems, rhymes and some music, and danced and played cricket with them. The children of that school were given gifts by the participants of Sat Paul Mittal School. Also, Award participants went on a cleanliness drive to a nearby jungle and village near the school campus. In short, this camp turned out to be one of the most memorable and transforming experiences of their life. Thanks to the adventure section of the Award. Thanks to IAYP. Click here for pictures

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Award Leader Training (YES) Workshop

The International Award for Young People India organized a two-day Award Leader training workshop on 29th and 30th of April 2016 at the Award Training Centre, New Delhi for 19 participants from various Institutions including Birla Public School, Pilani; Delhi Public School, Bareilly; Delhi Public School, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow; Delhi Public School, Saharanpur; EuroSchool, Airoli, Mumbai; Jaspal Kaur Public School, New Delhi; Mata Jai Kaur Public School, New Delhi; Maxton Strong School, Banbasa; NAZ Foundation, Delhi; Sushila Birla Girls' School, Kolkata and Vikas Bharti School, Gorakhpur.

The workshop was started with an Ice breaking session where the participants introduced themselves with the group and share their experiences. Rubina and Seema (Sushila Birla Girls' School, Kolkata) briefed about the changes they found in the Award Participants after completing their journey, while Atul (Delhi Public School, Luknow) shared his experience about working with economically challenged youth in their locality. Clifton (Maxton Strong School, Banbasa) shared the economical and social challenges which they are dealing with in remote area of Uttarakhand. After the formal introduction the workshop was led by Kapil Bhalla where he introduced the Award Programme to the participants.

In this experience sharing workshop, over the span of two days, the participants were given in-depth knowledge regarding the four domains of the programme i.e. Skills, Service, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey and also the Residential Project for the Gold Award Programme. The participants were also introduced to the technical aspects of the programme, which included Risk Management and Brand Pack.

The workshop was delivered by Kapil Bhalla (National Director), Bivujit Mukhoty (Programme Manager), Priyank Kumar Gupta (Head IT & ORB), Ranjana Rai (Member, National Training Panel) and Vivek Gaur (Member, National Training Panel). The programme concluded with the presentation of participation certificates to the participants by Kapil Bhalla. Click for pictures

Gold Award Ceremony 2016 - July 14th

Achieving a Gold Award is one of the biggest mile stones of your life. 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 learn from what the future has to offer. Therefore, it is imperative that you celebrate your this achievement with others and The Gold Award Ceremony is designed to celebrate this achievement of yours.

We are happy to announce that Mr. Abbas Ali Baig, former Indian Cricketer, has consented to grace the occasion as Chief Guest and present the Gold Awards to all the successful participants at the Annual Gold Award Ceremony on July 14, 2016 at India International Centre, New Delhi.

We cordially invite you to join this celebration and soon you would receive an invite to GAC 2016. It goes without saying that your presence will make this event memorable and successful.

Please note that the last date for Record Book submission is 5th June 2016.