Thursday 1 August 2019

IAYP Conducts Training Workshop at Sanjay Ghodawat International School

On 26 and 27 July, 2019, a training workshop was conducted at Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Kolhapur. Kapil Bhalla - National Director, Bivujit Mukhoty - Programme Manager, and Pallavi Gill - Programme Officer, team members of IAYP conducted the workshop.
The workshop witnessed the participation of 30 aspiring Award Leaders. It aimed to highlight the philosophy, structure and benefits of the Award; strengthening the knowledge base of the Award Leaders about the ideology of the Award and acquainting them with their roles and responsibilities as guiding forces for the Award participants. The highlight of the event, however, was the conferral of the Principal of SGI School with the 'Top 20 Award Unit Voluntary Service Awards’. It was a proud moment for both, the school as well as the IAYP, who has joined hands with the school to take its students to greater heights of self-awareness and wellness of the communities around them.

“Ensuring harmony between teaching and learning approaches can bring about success”

Award Leader Ms. Ranjana Pradhan Rai pens down her beautiful experience of being part of the IAYP family as she departs from Darjeeling, Siliguri which she refers to as her ‘dearest land’. Iterating her experience of being an educator, she highlights approaches that are helpful in the success of students in their desired areas.
A flock of geese inspires us in following the legacy of leadership to a great extent. Being part of this moving experience of interacting with young minds, I can conclude that I have met one of the most dynamic groups of visionaries in education from Darjeeling, Siliguri, especially the students who are raring to fly high with 21st-century life-skills.
Having taught students from the CBSE, ISC, ICSE, and IB curriculum for over 18 years on and off, there was only one strategy that worked in bringing about the success of students in whatever they desired – focusing on the approach towards teaching and learning and making sure they harmonize. In my observation, if they are confident in planning effectively through the measured syllabus, lesson plans and tallying with the academic calendar, spending at least two hours per week as per school timetable, the success rate will be much higher. Hence, teachers need to be motivated for the demonstration of effective implementation methods that can be mined, to begin with, in the process.
There are some loose ends in sharing the best practices in education this time. However, fragments of the school culture at Westminster, Harrow, Eton, Boston, Doon, St. Paul's and North Point are worth discussing with both stakeholders at schools as well as with the students. Weekly assemblies are also significant in adding value to school life for young people as they are vulnerable and are in need of proper direction.
At the threshold of many new beginnings, "Schooling is like a marathon, and not a sprint." Thus, the entire struggle is all about the mind battling with the forces in nature. "The harder you want to give up, just remember why you started at all." If you cannot do justice to what you started, you would be nothing but an unusual vagabond. Thus, mean what you say, do what is right.
"There is never a wrong time for the right thing." And in my tryst with destiny, time made our collaboration possible. The weather, the rain, the time crisis and the academic commitments, all brought us together to initiate the ‘wind of change’. I wish to thank all the school directors, principals, faculty, and students for their warm welcome and hospitality; I am really touched.

“We developed life-saving skills; something that we would not have gained in our classrooms”

Akanksh Sanctis, a Silver Award participant, narrates his and his fellow participants' experience of an Adventurous Journey to Ramnagara, Karnataka, where they not only engaged in activities for personal growth but also became aware of life at a different place, outside their comfort zone.
On June 14, the participants of IAYP Silver Award left the campus of Sarala Birla Academy at the crack of dawn for a hidden campsite in Ramnagara, Karnataka. On reaching the ten-acre, huge campsite, we were instructed to divide ourselves into three groups that would continue to function in almost every activity that we undertook at the site. We engaged in activities like Burma bridge crossing, zip lining, rope climbing, pipelining, forming human pyramids and hitting the bull’s eye using a ring and tennis ball. Having pushed ourselves rigorously in these activities, we retired for the day in the tents that we had pitched near the site.
We commenced our next day pretty early as we were supposed to leave for a 16-kilometer trek. We had a wholesome breakfast, filled our water bottles, put on our caps along with protective clothes and started on a soon-to-be-tiring trek. During the trek, we passed through dense canopies of trees and thorny bushes that we really had to keep a look out for. We also passed a pristine lake and experienced an opportune moment of witnessing a wild hare hop downhill. After reaching the summit of the enormous hill, we relaxed for a while and continued our trek back to the campsite. The view atop the hill mesmerized almost all of us. Some of us even meditated in the calm and serene environment that it offered. The trek, though tiring, gave us amazing new experiences, such as witnessing the wild flora and fauna of the vicinity and also helped us learn life-saving skills that we would not have gained in our classrooms. Having drunk water that tasted rusty through a pump at a nearby village, we delved into understanding life in a village and how it differs from what we experience in towns and cities. That is when the vital importance of water conservation really dawned on us.
On the final day, we were taken to a nearby village where we were able to witness routine life in a rural area. We had the opportunity to visit a village member’s house and observe the way people lived in their relatively cool houses made of stones and mud. Seeing a deified ox was yet another interesting part of our visit. We also visited a silk producing establishment where we received an enthralling hands-on experience in the silk manufacturing process. After visiting the village, we headed back to the camp and prepared lunch together. We then boarded the bus to our school.
The experience taught us how to function in team-oriented environments and cultivating dependability. We developed new skills such as agility, concentration, efficiency and innovation. Primarily, it taught us to cherish the satisfaction that followed the efforts we put in various activities that were directed towards making us stronger, both physically and mentally.

The Annual Gold Award Ceremony, 2019

The annual Gold Award Ceremony was organised on July 9, 2019, at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The National Award Authority (NAA) took huge pride in congratulating the Gold Award Achievers, Award Leaders, and Volunteers. Ninety-three Award members were chosen for the acknowledgment at this function, and receive their Gold Award. The Gold Award Ceremony is committed to valuing the achievements and the responsibility of every member. The day was devoted to celebrate, appreciate and esteem their accomplishments with their companions, family and the IAYP group.
We were privileged to have Justice (Retd) Madan B Lokur, to grace the occasion as the Chief Guest and felicitate the Gold Awardees and Award Leaders. Mr Kapil Bhalla, National Director, honoured the Chief Guest Justice (Retd) Madan B Lokur, Mr Himmat Sher Singh Kalsia - Trustee Chairman, Award Programme Foundation, and Dr Sanat Kaul, Managing Trustee, Award Program Foundation. The Principals and Directors of various YES Centres were invited by the National Award Authority to attend the function.
The ceremony began with an Bharatnatyam dance performance by Award participants from Uttam School for Girls, Ghaziabad, which was mesmerizing and memorable. National Director Mr. Kapil Bhalla addressed the audience, sharing information about the progress of the Award. He outlined the importance and significance of the Award with its salient features that develop the young participants to be "World Ready". The National Director's speech was followed by the Award Presentation Ceremony where the Chief Guest Justice (Retd) Madan B Lokur handed the Gold Certificates to the Gold Award achievers. Thirty-two Award Leaders and Volunteers were recognized with the Outstanding, Valuable and Special Service Meritorious Certificates. In addition, Nineteen YES Centres were recognized for their outstanding contribution towards Voluntary Service. The Chief Guest congratulated all the Awardees and Award Leaders for their success. He also shared how important it was to volunteer for community service, to learn and develop valuable lessons acquired through life for dedicating yourself to your work. The event was compered by Ms Ranjana Rai.
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 triumph.

Student Orientation G.D. Goenka, Naukuchiatal

In its stride to provide opportunities for the youth as well as the growth of a community and to charge young minds with passion, a student orientation workshop was conducted by Bivujit Mukhoty, Programme Manager, at GD Goenka International School, Naukuchiatal, on March 5, 2019 and Indus International School, Bangalore on June 29, 2019. The objective was to interact with students, introduce the Award Programme to the new participants and highlight its ideology and benefits.
The orientations commenced with a Q&A session where students shared their view about their future goals. The Programme Manager explained how the Award Programme helps them to achieve their goals. This session was followed by an introduction to the Award Programme. The team threw light on the philosophy of the Award, its journey and its framework. They elaborated upon its various facets that includes Voluntary Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and the Gold Residential Project for the Gold level of the Programme. The orientations concluded with discussions on the benefits of the Award Programme and its power to bring about a difference in the lives of young people.

Felicitation Ceremony at Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital

A felicitation ceremony was organised at Birla Vidya Mandir, Nainital, to acknowledge the endless and selfless endeavours of the Award participants who, through their commendable work, did IAYP and their school proud. The occasion was attended by Bivujit Mukhoty, Programme Manager, International Award for Young People. The Principal of Birla Vidya Mandir, Mr. Anil Sharma welcomed Mr. Mukhoty.
Thirty students of Birla Vidya Mandir had enrolled themselves in the Award Programme. They completed their respective Awards and bagged medals and certificates in different categories with sheer hard work and indomitable courage; weathering storms and constantly pushing themselves. Mr. Sharma was exhilarated at looking at the achievements of his students and blessed them, while Mr. Mukhoty wished for them to succeed at their future endeavours. The ceremony did celebrate the achievements of the participants but much more than that, it commended their undying passion and will to make a mark for themselves in this ever-evolving world.

Treading Towards Success: The Endeavours of Ivy World School, Jalandhar

The International Award for Young People has been an outstanding guide in the contemporary social realm where it caters to the life of young individuals with a platform to reach the zenith of their innate abilities, develop skills and work towards a better community. The fruits of this endeavour are sweeter than our expectations. Ivy World School, Jalandhar, has always worked upon the thought of nurturing global citizens. The approach that we sought, which proudly involves IAYP, has facilitated us on this path through easy learning.
The activities that participants engaged in opened doors for them to look beyond the domains of education. They opted for numerous projects in distinct categories under the Skills section - carpentry, painting, art and designing, fabric painting, dancing, gardening, basketball, lawn tennis, and cricket under the Physical Recreation section. In each activity, a ‘step by step learning approach’ has taught them about the tools, techniques, and strategies required to achieve their set goals, thus expanding their knowledge base. The participants followed a set action plan to ensure steady and smooth progress.
This expedition has been a very enriching experience. Being educators, it has been challenging for us to sow the seeds of community, recreational and skill development in the participants in view of rapidly increasing technological advancements. However, the combined efforts of teachers and participants reaped the best possible results. The participants worked hard to bring out their best possible versions whilst participating in diligently in various activities. Their rigorous and continuous efforts seemed to highlight a different approach towards the development of these young minds.

The expedition enlightened a new approach towards our perspective on life.

Twenty-two Award participants, together with three Award Leaders of Hopetown Girls' School, Dehradun, visited Har Ki Doon, a valley situated at approximately 12,000 feet in the Himalayas from 25 to 29 April as part of the Gold Award. It was a moderately difficult trek and the participants showed remarkable grit and determination by trekking for approximately 60 kilometres with their rucksacks over four days. They pitched their tents each night, cooked food and washed their own dishes. During the visit, the group slept in tents with the sound of the river flowing, gazed at infinite stars each night and woke up to witness the breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains. They also saw different hues of the rhododendron, the blue pine and walnut trees that added to the exoticism of the location.
The experience was a major turning point in the lives of the participants; something that has left unforgettable impressions on their lives. The participants showed undaunted courage and crossed two glaciers. Backed by remarkable leadership, teamwork, resilience, communication, and positive attitude to survive, they experienced being in the lap of nature with minimum resources available to them. This helped to develop great camaraderie between their peers and teachers and gave them a bag full of memories to cherish for a lifetime. For most of them, it marked a new approach to looking at life. Inhibitions and anxieties about taking up challenges were replaced by confidence, leading to a sense of achievement. It made them discover their hidden potential and transcend boundaries of their comfort zones willingly to know the unknown. Loaded with memories, the participants found the experience almost magical.

A Merry Journey of Self-Discovery

In yet another significant breakthrough in the adventure trail of Vidya Devi Jindal School, Hisar 25 Award participants accompanied by three teachers undertook a trekking expedition from 13 to 18 May to Solang Valley as part of the adventurous journey section of the Award Programme. The valley is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular and impressive valleys of Himachal Pradesh. The team enthusiastically trekked 42 kilometres to and fro in 4 days including 9 kilometres of snow trekking. They braved extreme weather conditions with the night temperatures at the campsite dipping to -9° Celsius. Even rain and mild hail couldn't dampen the spirit of the participants as they unfurled the school flag at Bakkar Thatch, the starting point of Beas Kund located at an altitude of 3400 metres. In addition to trekking, the participants engaged in rock climbing, rappelling, ziplining and river crossing. They even enjoyed a day of leisure at Manali’s Mall Road.
The entire delegation worked beautifully as a team, motivating and strengthening each other. They returned with deep appreciation for the sheer geographic diversity – from the verdant, forested valleys to the flowered meadows carpeted with wildflowers. From cooking meals together to enjoying the view of myriad snow-capped peaks such as Mt. Hanuman Tibba (5928M), Mt. Friendship (5289M), Mt.Shitidhar (5294M) & Mt. Ladakhi (5342M), the participants seemed to have been bitten by the bug of adventure. However, the most striking aspect of their journey was how they explored the inexhaustible reserves of inner strength which they were unaware that they possessed. But they are raring for a bigger challenge very soon under IAYP Bronze and Silver category. This discovery has emboldened them; preparing them for challenges under the Bronze and Silver Award

Motivated Not Thwarted by Challenges

A note by Akash Biradar, Programme Officer (South India), The International Award for Young People.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This famous saying stands true when I think of my own journey. I am Akash Biradar and I am currently pursuing Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering at RV College of Engineering, Bangalore. I completed my tutoring at Sarala Birla Academy, Bangalore.
When I was growing up, my father used to play hockey and I used to sit by the field and watch him play. One day he taught me how to hold the stick and dribble the ball. A life-changing moment for me -- from that point onward, I loved playing hockey. Alongside, I took up squash and athletics out of interest. Since I was exposed to a residential environment, I had the opportunity to explore myself in various fields of sport because of which I represented my school at several state and national tournaments in hockey and athletics. I had taken up art and photography as part of my extracurricular activities and am still passionate about photography.
In view of all the activities that I wanted to pursue, time management became a major challenge. However, with primary focus on studies, I coped with this issue by following an exact time table which helped me fulfill my objectives and accomplish my goals, something that the Award has taught me..
I was introduced to International Award for Young People at my school and enrolled for the Silver level of the Award. Subsequently, charged with ardour, I completed my Gold Award in 2015. I am thankful for how much I have learnt in school, especially through coping with the challenges that came my way.

IAYP Team Conducts Award Leader Training Workshop in Delhi

On 8th and 9th May, 2019, a team from NAA, IAYP comprising Mr. Kapil Bhalla - the National Director, Mr. Bivujit Mukhoty – the Programme Manager and Ms. Pallavi Gill – the Programme Ofiicer conducted an Award Leader Training Workshop at ATC, International Award for Young People, Shahpur Jat (Delhi). A total of 17 Award Leaders from institutions such as Kings College (Rohtak), Amity International School (Saket), Tula’s International School (Dehradun), The Mann School (Delhi), Pathfinder Global School (Pataudi), Doon International School (Dehradun), St. Mary’s School (Safdarjung), Ryan Global School (Mumbai) and organisations such as Infinite Journeys Pvt. Ltd., CASP Delhi and NAA were present. The purpose of the workshop was, essentially to welcome the Award Leaders into the journey of the Award Programme and to remind them of the important role that they, as guides and motivators, play in shaping the future of young adults pursuing the Award.
The workshop commenced with an ice breaking session followed by an introduction about the Award Programme. The team threw light on the philosophy of the Award, its journey and its framework. They went on to explain its various facets that include Service, Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventure. They also elaborated upon risk management, stressed the benefits of the Programme and touched upon the Residential Project for the Gold level of the Programme. What followed next was a review session and discussion about the levels of the Award Programme. The session concluded with a film highlighting the Award’s achievements and its impact.
Such workshops are stepping stones in IAYP’s stride to build aware and able young people who can make productive use of their capabilities.

“This episode of my life was an unforgettable experience”

Gurleen Kaur, a Gold Award participant from Cambridge International School, Phagwara, visited Chail, Himachal Pradesh, for a Residential Project, together with other participants. She narrates her experience and shares insights on what she gained from each aspect of the project.
My experience as a member of the Award Programme was equally enlightening and adventurous. I see my journey as a flight of stairs; beginning with the Bronze Award and ending with the Residential Project for the Gold Award. I opted for the Bronze Award in 2016, keeping the motto ‘service before self’ in mind. We Award participants of Cambridge International School, Phagwara, served senior citizens and kids in an orphanage, to begin with. The earning of the Silver Award gave us a similar experience and filled us with excitement and encouragement to move further for the Gold Award, for which did a Residential Project.
I have always had a fascination for mountains, clear blue skies, vast green meadows and dense forests, all of which I experienced during the Residential Project in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Lasting for 5 days and 4 nights, the residential camp was at a snow valley. The aim of the camp was to repaint a government school built a few years ago and to make the classroom environment lively through experiential learning. The day began with morning exercises, followed by trekking to reach school and then working on the project. Blue, green and brown were the most used pastel colors of my childhood; little did I know that these colours would forever leave their imprint on my life. Work at the project site was done in groups; each group was allotted the required tools such as paintbrushes and paint, gloves, head-covers etc. Three groups were formed that were asked to paint the washrooms, paint blackboards and the staircase and paint the pillars and the roof of the school, respectively. The groups completed their task within the given time. All the members might have worked in groups to carry out the work, but the team was one. On the last day of the project, all participants worked on the huge wall at the back of the school with a spirit of team work and mutual cooperation. Towards the end, we organized a small learning class and distributed the charts to kindergarten students; some of the charts depicted moral values, while some were related to academics.
I really like interacting with people. Through my interaction with the school students, it dawned upon me that we are so engrossed in our own world that we have lost our capability to look beyond ourselves. We learnt that only when we are exposed to rough terrains wherein we are cut off from civilization and see local people living in harmony and complete submission with nature, do we ponder about life’s hardships.
The day was then followed by adventurous activities such as a full day trek which taught us how to survive in a forest, the zip lining activity which gave me courage and confidence, and the hangman educated me about weights and directions. The lesson that I would take home from these activities is to face fears with strength rather than escaping them. The night treks were equally amusing; the full moon night and clear sky with glittering stars seemed to describe the beauty and serenity of nature. The bonfires at night were symbols of quality time spent.
This episode of my life was unforgettable; the thrill and the enlightenment has transformed me and given me memories that I will recall with a smile on my face throughout my life.

Finding Native Roots

As part of their ongoing Award Programme, 30 Award participants of Good Shepherd International School, Ooty partnered with the NGO 'Clean Coonoor Team' to initiate the 'Wetland Restoration Programme' on March 22, 2019, i.e., World Water Day. Sriniketh Krishnan, a Gold Award aspirant narrates the experience of the participants, throwing light on aspects of the environment that we often miss out.
In the vast green lands that encompass the commercial town of Coonoor, one can hardly find anything amiss. Yet, beyond this superficially flourishing ecology, there lurks a dark truth unknown to the inhabitants of the town, that cripples not only the present ecology of the district but blurs future prospects of environmental prosperity. The evasive truth is that all the plants in the ecosystem mentioned above, while seemingly glamorous, are invasive species - aliens - colonising this land and driving out the ecologically more contributory, native species from the district. This truth was what we, along with ‘Clean Conoor Team’, a local citizen voluntary group, set out seeking.
On 22nd March, the Green Team of Good Shepherd International School proceeded to the Yedapalli Marshlands where they were to meet the ‘Clean Coonoor’ team and learn about the importance of marshlands and native species. Initially, upon arrival, the students were veritably puzzled as to how learning about native species had a significance with World Water Day, the two seeming thoroughly unconnected. However, all our doubts were soon dispelled by Clean Coonoor volunteer, Dr. Panchavarnam Vasanthan. Dr. Vasantham explained that the marshland is a key component of the district ecosystem, retaining water, which in turn supports various forms of life that thrive there. This property of water retention is most instrumentally sustained by the presence of native Shola grass which restricts surface runoff and allows for soil penetration. However, with the intrusion of invasive species like Lantana, which do not have soil-fortifying roots, the rate of surface runoff and soil erosion increases, diminishing the very essence of marshlands. Both appalled and intrigued by this, the participants began a short excursion across the marshland with Dr. Vasanthan, identifying the various species (both invasive and native) inhabiting the region and noting the visible depreciation of the marshland.
Soon after this exercise, the students commenced their planned course of action: planting native Shola grass saplings in the marshlands in replacement of uprooted invasive species. Without a moment of hesitation, the students put on their gloves and boots and immersed themselves in the service, relishing taking part in an activity that was both exciting and constructive. They planted over a 1,000 Shola grass pods, contributing to the marshland’s much awaited process of recuperation.
Having completed the task, the participants returned with a profound sense of enlightenment and invigoration, gaining knowledge that not only supplements their curricular study but empowers them and others to be more sensitive about the environment in which they live. Meaningful activities like these have a powerful impact on the youth, stimulating them to take ownership for the problems that abound our world today and preparing them for a sustainable world of tomorrow.

IAYP Team visits Chennai for Award Leader Training and Student Orientation Workshops

On 26th and 27th April, 2019, a team from NAA, IAYP, comprising Mr. Kapil Bhalla - the National Director, Mr. Bivujit Mukhoty – the Programme Manager and Ms. Pallavi Gill – the Programme Ofiicer visited Chennai for an Award Leader Training workshop. The workshop was held at APL Global School where a total of 10 Award Leaders were present. The purpose of the workshop was, essentially, to welcome the Award Leaders into the journey of the Award Programme and to remind them of the important role that they, as guides and motivators, play in shaping the future of young adults pursuing the Award.
The workshop commenced with an ice-breaking session, followed by an introduction about the Award Programme. The team threw light on the philosophy of the Award and its framework. They then went on to explain its various facets that includes Voluntary Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, and the Adventurous Journey. They also elaborated upon risk management, stressed the benefits of the Programme and touched upon the residential project for the Gold level of the Programme. What followed next was a review session and discussion about the levels of the Award Programme. The session concluded with a film highlighting the Award’s achievements and its impact.
In addition to the workshop, Mr. Kapil Bhalla met with K.C. High, Chennai to discuss the prospects of the Award Programme being offered at the school. Apart from that, Ms. Pallavi Gill conducted the orientation of the students at APL Global School to acquaint them with the ideology and structure of the Award Programme. Such workshops are stepping stones in IAYP’s stride to build aware and able young people who can make productive use of their capabilities.

Award Holders from Center Point Schools, Nagpur share their Award Experience

“The Adventurous Journey as part of IAYP has completely transformed me. It has prepared me for any challenges that may come my way and has made me courageous. It broke the monotony of my life and infused some freshness into it. After the journey, I have become mentally stronger. The Journey helped me overcome my fears and has increased my tolerance level. The Adventurous Journey introduced an extra dimension in my life and has helped me discover a different side of myself. The journey was one of self-discovery.”
~ Shazil Jalil
Bronze and Silver Award Holder
Gold Level Participant
“Physical Recreation was my favorite section of the Award. Physical Recreation ensures that every young person has a healthy body and spirit. I chose badminton as my activity under this section. It was great fun to learn new exercises, various strokes, and strategies. Playing a sport daily is very beneficial as it helps us gain stamina, maintain our body, and helps keep us active! I also developed various skills such as team spirit and coordination.”
~ Tanisha Sangtani
Bronze Award Holder
“The vision of the International Award for Young People is to engage people from diverse backgrounds and equip them for life. IAYP empowers us to succeed in life and rewards us for our achievements. I opted for Art in Skills. Art has been a wonderful medium for me to explore and express myself and the boundless beauty of the universe. As for Voluntary Service, I had opted for Awareness Campaign. Voluntary Service allowed me to educate myself on the various topics like water conservation and methods to save plants. It allowed me to express myself while talking to people about these issues. Voluntary Service sensitized me to various environmental issues and allowed me to make my contribution as an individual towards a Greener Earth. I would like to thank the IAYP organization for giving me such a wonderful opportunity!”
~ Sneha Tuteja
Bronze Award Holder
“When I decided to participate in IAYP, I had no idea what to expect, but once I started, I completely transformed to a better version of myself. As a part of Voluntary Service, I volunteered at a home for differently-abled children. My experience has been phenomenal! Voluntary Service has transformed me into a more empathetic and sensitive person. I was exposed to a completely new experience and has taught me to make my contribution in society.”
~ Radhika Agarwal
Bronze Award Holder


The team of Centre Point School Katol Road aeromodellers consisted of Zaosh Khambata, Akshat Vishwakarma, Aaryan Vasu, and Chaitanya Patil.
The team was declared First Runners Up in the finals of the Boeing National Aeromodelling Competition held in IIT Delhi on 20th April ’19. From among 978 aeromodellers from all over India, 12 teams were declared finalists after qualifying in the Zonal Round held on Dec’18 in IIT Powai. The team from CPS Katol Road was the youngest team among the 12 finalist teams!
After qualifying for the Finals the team of four geared up, designed and fabricated a fixed Wing Aircraft System that could perform any task commanded to it. In the finals, they demonstrated their Aircraft before a panel of judges in IIT Delhi and were declared First Runners Up. During the prize distribution ceremony held in IIT Delhi they received a cash reward of 50,000/- and Certificates of Excellence from Mr. Sahil Gupte, President, Boeing India.
The young Aeromodellers are presently active participants in the Award.
IAYP India would like to wish the young participants the heartiest congratulations and all the very best for their future endeavors.

The Stride to Keep Indian Heritage Alive

The Award participants of Bawa Lalvani visited the Moorish Mosque and the State Gurudwara in Kapurthala as part of the Service section of the Award Programme. This project helped them strengthen their knowledge of two important cultural sites whilst making them more aware and committed young adults.
The vastness and vibrancy of the Indian heritage sites is unparalleled. In view of that, preserving their grandeur is of utmost importance. No matter how far we reach in terms of progress, it is imperative that we keep them alive in our memory and strengthen their hold as an inseparable part of our larger culture.
For a better understanding of the heritage sites and for imbibing values to preserve them, the Award participants of Bawa Lalvani School visited the Moorish Mosque and State Gurudwara in Kapurthala in April 2019 as part of the Service section of the Award Programme. Situated in Kapurthala, the Moorish Mosque was built by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh in 1927 and possesses the unique feature of a tall tower and the absence of external domes. This important site symbolizes social integration. The striking red sandstone building (now painted white) of the State Gurudwara was consecrated in 1915. Having adopted an Indo-Saracenic style, it has vast expanses of marble, enveloped by the feet of the hundreds of devotees.
The participants thoroughly studied the rich architecture and history of these two important sites but more importantly, they were engulfed in the feeling of oneness. They performed the ritual of praying at both the sites and learned the omnipresence of the Almighty. The participants also engaged in service at both the sites by cleaning the area, making it more sanctified. Moreover, to spread awareness on the need for a green environment, they watered the plants and launched a campaign to plant more trees in the vicinity. Activities like these are not merely landmarks in the participants’ journey of personal growth; they are important factors that contribute towards bringing about a change in how they see their environment and the larger world around them.

Okhrey-Barsey Expedition by the Participants of DPS Megacity

The Award participants of DPS Megacity, Kolkata visited the Okhrey village in Sikkim for their Adventurous Journey section of the Award Programme. Mr. Atanu Chatterjee shares insights on the journey of the participants and narrates how it enlightened them.
The Award participants of DPS Megacity, Kolkata set off for Okhrey village in West Sikkim for a 5-day long expedition from 11th to 16th March 2019. Considered to be the base camp for one who is keen to visit the wonderful Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Okhrey is situated at about 7200 feet and offers a great opportunity to witness the splendid diversity of nature.
We boarded the NJP Shatabdi Express from Howrah station and reached Siliguri on 11th March. After a night’s stay at Siliguri, we started for our destination and reached Okhrey via Jorethang by lunch time. After an hour's rest, we started the first day’s acclimatization trek to Okhrey Government School, and the trek became more strenuous with increasing altitude. The next morning saw the participants waking up at 6 a.m. for a warm up session and then being taken to Hiley - the entry point of Barsey Wildlife Sanctuary. The journey to Guras Kunj, which was 5 km away, started with a briefing session where the instructors explained the concept and importance of safety and helped the participants comprehend different equipment. The students saw different varieties of rhododendron and numerous chirping birds during the trek through the thick jungle trail and finally reached Guras Kunj. The temperature was around 2 degree Centigrade and everyone was enraptured by the breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga. Having had lunch in Guras Kunj, the participants headed towards Hiley, where they engaged in a session, learning about rope knots and camp craft in the evening. Next morning, after warm up and early breakfast, the participants began their third day’s trek to a very old monastery in Okhrey. They also visited the Okhrey Government School for a cultural exchange programme, where they put up some lovely performances. The participants also experienced a thoroughly challenging yet blissful session of rappelling and had a lot of fun during the campfire in the evening. Next day after breakfast, we began our retreat journey to Siliguri and boarded the Howrah Shatabdi Express.
This Adventurous Journey was a thrilling experience for the participants; one that helped them build their confidence by exposing them to a different environment altogether. It helped them mould themselves according to the needs of the environment and then push themselves to excel in that very environment. Through intense and mild activities, the participants tested themselves, building themselves into stronger and more self-assured individuals.


Sulagna Sarkar is a Gold Award participant of Sri Sri Academy, who sees her Award journey as a metamorphosis. Having gathered life-changing experiences, she recalls her journey, sharing insights on how personal growth came about for her.
The concept of the Award Programme is essentially that of individual challenge; giving young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves and service to their community. In this almost magical process of self-discovery, you encounter failures numerous times. The story of my Gold Award, too, is strewn with failures. However, it is through these failures that I have emerged successful. My failures attempted to hold me at the Bronze level but my desire to achieve the Gold Award kept me pushing through.
As part of the Adventurous Journey section of the Bronze level of the Award, I undertook an adventure trek with Juniper Wings to Panchalingeshwar, Odisha. Back then, the scorching heat and the barren lands made the trek to ShikharMinar seemed as harrowing as crossing the Sahara. While rappelling, I faced a crucial challenge when my shoes came off and socks tore midway up the rock but nonetheless, I managed to climb to the top barefoot. For my Service that year, we visited an old age home and interacted with its residents. Through my interaction with them in Bangla, my mother tongue, which I happen to be proficient in, I felt some latent treasures inside me being unearthed.
Signing up for the Silver level, even though most of my contemporaries were not, was challenging but totally worth the ride. So there I was, in Tumling, Nepal, with Juniper Wings again. The trek this time was actually much tougher than we could ever have envisaged. It was 12 kilometers from Manebhanjang and was situated at an altitude of 12000 ft. This time, we had some luck while bird watching in the Singalila National Park and on our trek to Tonglu. As part of the Service section that year, I took part in various cleanliness drives, anti-plastic campaigns, visited old age homes, taught underprivileged children near my community and helped spread awareness about waste segregation on a domestic level.
Making it to the Gold level of the Award Programme was like a far-fetched dream that miraculously came true. I had to undertake harder challenges and engage in doing service activities for a longer time while keeping track of my skills and activities. The final trip was to Uttarakhand with Trailblazers and was undebatably the best trip that I have ever had. Fifteen participants accompanied by two teachers were left to venture out in the wilderness of the Devbhumi. The activities that we engaged in like valley crossing, jummaring, rappelling, bridge slithering, stream walking, free floating, body surfing and kayaking were, simply put, spine-chilling. Our trainers took immense care of our safety when we were engrossed in having fun. For the Service part, we visited a local primary school in Jayalgarh and a village where we interacted with young brimming minds about their education and the residents about the hardships of their lives. However, the unique aspect of undertaking a residential project in the Gold level of the Award made me experience the true essence of the Award through living a controlled life in an unfamiliar environment.
The journey of my Award, which lasted for four years, has given me great experiences to recall and beautiful memories to cherish. I learnt to face my fears, push my limits and strengthen my will. Not only have I grown into a compassionate yet fearless human being, I have also felt the need to undertake challenges and move out of my comfort zone to achieve what I previously felt was unachievable. There is no mountain too high or a valley too deep or a river too wide or a storm too dark - it is just a matter of time and struggle that we emerge victorious. Gold is not the end for me; I have way more miles to walk. But it gives me immense pleasure to say that I am a component of the Award Programme who has had her teachers, parents, peers, juniors and the IAYP family walking that extra mile with her.

IAYP Conducts Training Workshop at the Award Training Centre, New Delhi

On April 5 and 6, 2019, a training workshop was conducted at the Award Training Centre, International Award for Young People, New Delhi. Among the team members of IAYP who were part of the workshop were Mr. Kapil Bhalla - the National Director, Mr. Bivujit Mukhoty - the Programme Manager, and Ms. Pallavi Gill - the Programme Officer. The workshop aimed to highlight the philosophy, structure and benefits of the Award, strengthening the knowledge base of the Award Leaders about the ideology of the Award.
IAYP congratulates the following Award Leaders on attending and successfully completing the their Award Leader Training:
The Galaxy School, Wadi- Girishkumar Seshadri Rao, Vishal Vijaybhai Doshi, Patel Heta Harsh, Mayuri Mahendrabhai Pandya and Bharmal Sakina Jainuddin
Indus International School, Pune- Rohit Jude Pingfu and Rajiv Bali
Sreenidhi International School, Hyderabad - Sai Mounika Murarisetti
KC International School, Jammu- Poonam Bhagat and Radhu Gupta
Birla Public School, Pilani- Kapil Marhetta, Piyush Kumar and Preeti Sharma
GD Goenka International School, Naukuchiatal- Puneet Bisht
KD Ambani Vidyamandir, Jamnagar- Suhas Kohale and Vaishali Ingle.
JBCN International School, Mumbai- Prameela Satish and Marx Francis Gomes
Nahar International School, Mumbai- Nikita Bhan
Chatrabhuj Narsee School, Mumbai- Gowda Lata Jagdish and Kateshiya Rajesh Ramniklal
Such workshops are stepping stones in IAYP’s stride to build aware and able young people, who can make productive use of their capabilities. In its stride to be an all-inclusive platform that provides opportunities for individual as well as growth of a community and to charge young minds with passion, such workshops take the Award Leaders through the Award’s framework, guiding them towards becoming approachable and committed mentors to young people.

The Trail of an Insightful Journey

The Silver Award participants of Sri Sri Academy, Kolkata, together with their Award Leaders, visited Jayalgarh for their Adventurous Journey. By falling and getting up again, they gained not just experiences but the true essence of life.
On 1st October, 2018, 15 Silver Award participants accompanied by two Award Leaders ventured into the wilderness of Devbhumi, Uttarakhand, as part of their Adventurous Journey section.
We commenced the journey by departing from Kolkata and reaching Delhi, from where we boarded the Nandadevi Express to reach Jayalgarh, our campsite. When we reached Haridwar at the crack of dawn, we boarded the bus to Jayalgarh, located at a distance of about 110 kms from Haridwar. On reaching Jayalgarh, we were allocated our tents. With heightened anticipation, we undertook our first adventure activity called ‘valley crossing’ in which we had to slide on a zipline with proper safety equipment. What followed next was ‘stream walking’ that required us to walk against the stream in our floater sandals. We then went to Malitha village on foot for ‘rappelling’. Rappelling is a descending technique widely used in mountaineering, which involves the use of ropes, helmets, harnesses, figure of eight descender and other equipment. After acing this, we came back to our campsite and had a fun-filled self cooking session, which was followed by a plethora of team games. We had some time to ourselves for reflecting on the activities done on that day, where we recorded the details of the activities done.
On the next day, the fog had encompassed the camp and the peaks of the snow clad mountains looked like some ethereal world untouched by man. Our day started with morning exercise, which was followed by ‘free floating’ and ‘body surfing’. We were then taught ‘kayaking’ by the authorised mountaineers and dive masters who have been in this profession for a decade and more. Post lunch we went to a local primary school for service. We spent around two hours interacting, teaching, playing and singing with the young students there. We also interacted with the villagers and learnt about their challenges. This was followed by a jumaring session which is another widely used technique for ascending a mountain. It mainly involves the use of a jumar and other equipment such as ropes, harnesses and helmets.
We then trekked up the hill to a sunset point through the wild outgrowths where we did some bird watching and observed the diversity of flora there. We walked back to our campsite and engaged ourselves in team games like volleyball and a diary writing session. After dinner, we had the much awaited part of our tour, the bonfire night, coupled with ghost stories. The following day saw us engaging in a meditation session. Then, we proceeded to the Malitha Bridge for bridge slithering, which was yet another spine-chilling activity and the last one of our journey. The day concluded with a prize distribution ceremony, followed by a vote of thanks for the organisers. The next day, with sad hearts and a plethora of memories to cherish, we boarded our bus, which took us to Dehradun from where our retreat to Kolkata began.

Orientation at Coimbatore

Pallavi Gill, Programme Officer visited Coimbatore from the 31st of March to the 2nd of April 2019. The three-day visit to Coimbatore began with an ORB Orientation with Aldin Anthony Montaut, Award Leader, Global Pathways School (GPS), Coimbatore on the 31st of March. The Orientation commenced with discussions on how to Register as an Award Leader and Participant, followed by discussions on how participants can choose their activities and fill in their logs. The session ended with an overview of the Award Leaders ORB responsibilities, the ways of assessing and tracking a participant’s progress in the ORB.
The second day, the 1st of April 2019, began with an inspection of Diaries of the young Award participants of GPS and a discussion on how to fill in logs in each of the sections. During the afternoon Pallavi Gill and Mr. Montaut went on a Community visit to the student’s villages to view the social environment and the impact the young participants have made in their community. The second day concluded with an Award Orientation for the participants of GPS. The orientations commenced with a Q&A session where Award Participants shared their views, experiences and any queries that they had regarding the Award. The orientation then began with an introduction to the Award Programme, the philosophy of the Award and its framework. The orientation elaborated on the Voluntary Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and the Gold Residential Project. The session concluded with discussions on the benefits of the Award Programme and its power to bring about a difference in the lives of young people.
The 2nd of April began with an Award Orientation for the mentors at GPS in the morning. The Orientation introduced the Award Programme, the framework and the philosophy of the Award. Followed by an in dept discussion on, the Voluntary Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and the Gold Residential Project. The session concluded with discussions on the benefits of the Award and responsibilities of a mentor.
During the afternoon, Pallavi Gill visited CS Academy, Coimbatore where the young participants resolved their queries regarding the Award. The discussion was concluded with discussions on the benefits of the Award, ideas for Service projects and the experiences of the Award Participants, on their recently concluded their Adventurous Journey. (Report next week, stay tuned!)