Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Gold Award Holders' Society

The first AGM began with GAHS President-Ishita welcoming everyone, specially our guests and observers, Ms. Gilly Shirazi, Secretary General, International Award Association and Ms. Sue Walker, Asia Pacific Regional Director. She proceeded to introduce GAHS for the benefit of new members.

The Gold Award Holders’ Society registered on March 8, 2010 is the premier Alumni network for Gold Holders in India. With the motto of Cherishing Service and Relationship (CSR), GAHS is an effort to create more awareness about the Award in our country and to rope in exuberant Award Holders, who feel for the Award and are keen to give back. GAHS exists for the provision, promotion and preservation of the International Award in India. The GAHS Office runs currently from the National Office but has presence all across the country. With Honorary Secretaries currently in the South, West and East Zones, for better administration, communication and growth of the Award, GAHS supplements growth of the Award Programme as per the Strategic Plan of the National Office.

All Executive Committee Members introduced themselves. Vice President- Tripti Bansal, Secretary- Pranay Kapoor, Joint Secretary- Saachi Sarin, Treasurer-Sandeep Dutt, Member-Rohit Saxena, Gold Award Holder & Honorary Secretary- West- Juzer and Hon. Executive Secy-GAHS- Nivedita Samanta support President-Ishita Khanna to make GAHS a successful alumni network. The Executive Committee features Award Holders from over the years so that there is diversity of experiences for best possible growth. To supplement GAHS’ efforts to round up maximum members across the country, enthusiastic Award Holders and otherwise have been identified and function as Honorary Executive Secretaries. To date Bivujit Mukhoty (East), Juzer Shaikhally (West) and Sridhar Lakshmanan (South) are the Honorary Secretaries.

Ishita proceeded to ask all individual members to introduce themselves and say a few words about their Award experiences. This exercise reflected the great experiences that the Award allows every young people. Most people felt that the Award is the complete package for enhancing personality, to grow in a well-rounded manner. There were several comments from members who have completed all Award levels that they had experiences of a lifetime. Residential and Service Projects particularly allowed them to improve their personalities, become a team worker, learn about new things, and overcome fears through fun learning. Some felt that it is absolutely necessary to become volunteers to promote the Award in their schools, localities in an effort to allow more young people to go on self-discoveries, think beyond marks and academics and cherish the importance of small things.

GAHS till today: GAHS organised the first GAHS Summit on 23rd December, 2009 in New Delhi. This first effort brought together some Gold Holders from generations and introduced to them the National Strategic Plan for the growth of the Award Programme in the next three years. With the challenge to grow, especially in the 18-25 age groups, and introduce half a million young Indians to the Award, garnering Gold Holders, the best ambassadors for the Programme, as volunteers and Award Leaders will successfully create a network of people trained to ensure quality and service our society. Since, volunteers at the National Office have worked towards the registration of the Society with the Registrar of Societies in India and with the efforts of Accountant- Mr. Sunil Trehan of Sunil Trehan & Co., GAHS was registered on March 8, 2010. Over a few small meetings with the President, Treasurer and GAHS Members an event to bring together Award Holders, Award partners and potential partners from education, government, corporate and social sectors was felt necessary. The CSR Summit held on June 23, 2010 was successful in bringing together different stakeholders of the Award Programme to collaboratively engage youth in our society. Sunil Trehan, Sunil Trehan & Co. functions as auditor for GAHS. Audited statements will be made available soon. Every member of GAHS can look at statements on formal request.

Plan ahead for networking and Award development. Some ideas put forward and agreed on included:

  • Annual/bi-annual events like a trek or Residential Projects or Service projects for GAHs in collaboration with Volunteer Organisations and/or Service Providers

  • Each zone can do pilots on a section of the Award Programme Events like music concerts that may help provide finances to sustain future events.

  • International exchanges/events can follow once we can prove sustainability.

  • GAHS Members as Award Ambassadors NEED to talk about the Award to create more visibility Share Award stories and experiences on all Public Relations/Communications Mediums. As PR/Communications are at a nascent stage, it is important to lay ground work collectively and record Award stories to National Communications Team

  • Try to help Bronze, silver to complete Gold and to ensure better Gold completion rates in Award units in all zones.

  • To create more word about the Award, get young professionals/interns involved in Communications and PR strategy.

Confirmations to work together- give support and introduce at least 5 other Gold Holders to register with GAHS in the next one year

The meeting concluded with all members sharing their Goals for the year. T-shirts for all Gold Holders were distributed and new Gold Awardees headed for the Presentation Ceremony at the Vice President of India, Residence.

Apply for the Global Changemakers Asia Youth Summit

British Council India will be hosting the first ever Global Changemakers Asia Youth Summit in July 17-23. 60 young social entrepreneurs and community activists (54 from Asia and up to 6 from the UK) will be chosen to attend -- full details on the attached 1-pager. For more details go to

Summer Programme in Canada

For students of class 10th to 12th

Illustration and Design Programme

University: Capilano University, Vancouver, Canada

Duration of the Programme: 3 weeks

Dates: May 22 to June 12,2011

The University is renowned for Art, Design and Media. This cutting -edge world class programme will be conducted by expert faculty. Along with career based skill development these programmes offer an experience of a lifetime with their excursion trips, culture exploration, camping and kayaking in scenic Vancouver.

Deadline for confirmation: April 30th

For further information contact Ms. Anjali Bansal at +919235566119 or Ms. Nidhi Tiwari at +919335912616. You may also refer to our website

HSBC Gold Award Participants share their Residential Project at Kemri experience

To complete the residential project requirements of IAYP Gold award participants in HSBC, they have partnered with Kemri Conservation Project, run by Mayur Singh, Senior Vice President, Credit Risk Management in HSBC Bank, India

About Kemri Project: Kemri conservation project is a residential project that will engage 20 of the IAYP Gold Award participants. They will travel to the project site near Udaipur, Rajasthan in 2 batches. This project is designed based with two key priorities - ecological restoration / conservation and community outreach. Both these provide participants with a sense of teamwork and leadership in their fight against climate change.

This unique initiative that seeks to restore greenery in the country will allow participants to learn first-hand the importance and benefits of conservation. It will also enable them to share their insights with young people in rural India. Most importantly, the Kemri conservation project helps build bridges of understanding between rural and urban dwellers.

Aloysius Chrispin Franklin, one of the participants shares his experience:
I always wanted to be a part of an organization that looks not only for its own benefit but for its community and our home "The Earth".I am really proud to say that HSBC follows it and encourages its fellow people to implement simple but effective steps in making this a better place to work and better place to live.

It is such a great opportunity to be a part of IAYP because it not only enables you to set simple and realistic goal but actually be driven towards it, whether it is personal goals or an aim to reach out to the community in providing service. The best part of the program was that we got to work with Kemri Conservation which is sponsored by HSBC. It was a one week stay at a village near Udaipur. It was an amazing time that I got to spend there with other volunteers from different locations in India, a motivated and passionate group of people, with a common theme.

Well our theme was setting a strong foundation for a beautiful and healthy home "Earth". From being total strangers, it changed to being good friends as if we have known each other for ages. We ended being so pally-wally by the end of the program .The program was focused on creating a clean and green world, plastic free and mainly "team work".Everyday was something different to work with, right from clearing the forest area from weeds and invasive plants, painting metal tree guards, digging trenches to set pipe-lines; planting saplings and even tagging them with our names. The work was enjoyable while we even got a great physical workout. We even had a chance to interact with the local people and interact with few schools in guiding them which was more like counseling them for a better future. It was so fruitful that end of day you get this intense feeling of satisfaction that you've done something really good! We even had our daily walks into the forest late afternoons sighting variety of species of flora and fauna. The presentations and explanations given by our project leader at Kemri conservation have given me an entirely new perspective on climate change and the effect it could have. Even though we were a small team to work with I am sure each one of us volunteers have grabbed enough information and sustainable methods that would be seeded out to our friends and their friends just like a network of a spider's web! Well that is what we are doing Team work! It takes willing hands and willing hearts to achieve what we want.I would like to conclude by saying that, if given a chance I would love to be part of this amazing project forever! Joining hands to heal our world!

Srikanth Ganti, summarising his experience:
The IAYP award has provided us a wonderful opportunity to feel the urge and work for the community. I am very satisfied and happy after spending quality time exploring the beauty of the nature and take part in conserving it. The long treks across the terrain envisage more on the need to conserve nature and preserve the ecological balance. Watching birds and understanding them creates a strong sense of responsibility to protect the nature.

The aftermath of Kemri trip has left me little scope for ennui in life since I’m constantly doing my own bit for the environment. Thanks to Mayur and team for this interesting, inspiring, insightful and illuminating journey of my life.
I also urge people to be more enthusiastic and opt for IAYP and experience the exhilarating, enervating and extravagant journey @ KEMRI and enlighten self that merely “feeling” the brand is totally different from “being” the brand.

- As shared by Ms. Vasavi Madhira-HSBC Technology and Services

Rajarshi's Award Journey

It’s been about 9 years I’ve been involved with the Award, and I feel that joining the Award has been one of the best incidents of my life.

The reason why I joined the IAYP was the fact that it is Self-Competent. I thought such a Programme was ideal for the Youngsters who face competition at every juncture of life; and I was right, it is structured in such a way, that it ought to bring out the Best of one’s own self.

Without the Award, I wouldn’t have got the exposure I have got all these to enrich myself. It has taught me to take decisions in life and set goals for myself, and strive hard to achieve them. I’ve got the opportunity to know myself better, and be aware of my true potentials. Confidence, Sense of Responsibility, and proper Leadership skills are some of the many qualities that have been inculcated in me through this Programme.

Moreover, through these years I’ve grown up from a young hesitant teenager to a confident adult. And like everyone, I was faced by a lot of hurdles in life Challenging me throughout. Sidney Sheldon writes : “Life is like a Novel; you never know what’s awaiting you until you turn the Page.”

I really thank the Award for always giving me the courage to keep turning the pages even during the most difficult phases of my life, and accept Challenges with a Positive approach.

After my Gold Award in 2007, I had been visiting different Units on behalf of my Zonal Award Office, to help young Awardees and Award Leaders to go ahead with the Award smoothly. I’ve also been going for Camps regularly as an instructor to help Awardees with their Adventurous Journey Section. Besides, I’ve been the Editor of the Annual Zonal Magazine, “Reaching Out”; and now I’m working as a member of the Editorial Team of the Award India Magazine of the NAA.

To be selected for the IGE has been my dream since 2004, and now that I’m selected, I don’t have words to express my joy or the gratitude for the Award. I think IGE 2011 will give me a better understanding of the Award at the National as well as the International level, and of course provide the platform to interact with Gold Holders and other delegates from around the world. I feel that the sharing of information as well as ideas will help me a lot to work for the further development of the Award.

The vision of the Award in India now is to make IAYP a Premiere Youth Programme and make the Award reach every sector of the society involving the Youth. I also want to focus on the 18-25 age-group and ensure Gold Award Completion, as we often come across Awardees who have completed their Bronze or Silver Level but somehow don’t/can’t complete their Gold Level.

I’ve gained so much from the Award and now it’s my turn to give back; and what could be a better achievement for an Awardee than being able to be a part of the Growth and Development of the Award. And such an achievement is far more overwhelming than any certificate or badge.

All I can say is that the Award has been the Most Important Chapter in the Novel of MY Life…..and that reminds me what Dr Kurt Hahn had said --- "When the mind is stretched with experiences, it can never return to its former dimensions"

Devanjali's Award Journey

I got my Gold Award in October 2009, when at Welham Girls School. This journey has been a great one; I actually did things that I would have never done had it not been for the Award. From learning classical dance (kathak) to building community toilets in a village. From stepping on to the racing tracks to finding myself a role in a dramatics production. It is the Award that encouraged me to take the challenge.

The Award is best designed to engage the youth of today; it has helped me to discover my own capabilities. Even after finishing all three levels of the Award I have been an active member of the Award community. I have been working at the National Award Office as a member of the programme team.

As in-charge of the Open Award Centre Project, which works to make the Award available to individuals as well as other participants, have been able to reach out to over 20 colleges in Delhi. In 2010 attended the Regional Training Workshop in Korea, which was a wonderful experience and definitely an amazing chance to interact with Award leaders from the other countries of the Asia Pacific Region.

It has been a great year promoting the Award amongst the university students and I shall carry on working on this through the coming years. Being a volunteer at the NAA Office has helped me understand systems and imbibe leadership abilities.

I think the IGE will be a great platform to relive my award experience beyond Gold, encouraging me to become an effective leaders and fostering a sense of lifelong commitment to service. It shall enable us to know about the governance, policy, practice and delivery of the Award at an international level.

It shall be a chance to see the Award through a wide angled lens, experience the Award outside our country and come back and make a difference in our home country.


The best thing about the Award is that it gave me a huge exposure, which I wouldn’t have ever got without IAYP. It’s a great experience going out and meeting people from various sectors of the society. Moreover, the Award taught me to face challenges with a positive approach and overcome them through determination.

The Award journey has not only been a journey of learning but also one of FUN. I had always been interested in Football, I never got a chance or the time to play the game. It’s because of the Award, that I could play football regularly.

Besides, through the Award, I also learnt Karate, and I not only excelled in the field but also started teaching youngsters. That was a greatly overwhelming feeling for me.

I soon realized that the Award was teaching me so much at every step; so soon my target was to complete not only the Bronze level but also the Silver as well as the Gold level. Learning to set targets in life is something I learnt from the Award.

The Expedition section had loads to offer and loads of fields to gain knowledge from.

I remember once on the trek to Beas-Kund, when we reached the top and started preparations for cooking our lunch, we discovered that we didn’t have any plates. And then we shared the exciting experience of the whole team of having our lunch on one single plate.

I gained two things from this incident; one was the SENSE OF BELONGING and the 2nd was that I learnt how TO MAKE THE BEST OF WHATEVER WE HAVE.

But the best thing about the Award was the Residential Project. I got the opportunity to go on a camp with the Blind Awardees from the Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys’ Academy. It was an INSPIRING experience to escort them through the trek routes and help them in everyway while Rock-Climbing. We could think that if They could do so much and achieve things, why couldn’t WE. Most importantly I made some great friends. While escorting them, we ourselves were exhausted, but we helped THEM first, thought about THEM first; thus a SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY was born in us.

It’s through the Award that we all get the exposure, and it is through IAYP that I got the opportunity to be a guest at the World Fellowship Dinner at Buckingham Palace.

Above all, the Award has become the part and parcel of my life, and I am very lucky to be a Part of it.

Award news

Photo exhibition- 24th Nov,

Asia Pacific region 'Youth and Sports' photo exhibition unveiled at the British Council 24th November

The opening reception of the Youth and Sports photography exhibition by Ms. Ruth Gee, Regional Director-British Council India & Sri Lanka was a success. The photographs showcase the core values of Humanity, Equality and Destiny that help inspire and unite millions of young people participating in the International Award across the Asia Pacific Region. Youth programmes and social inclusion go hand in hand and sport is the excellent medium that facilitates development of talent. As aptly put by Ruth, the photos show the diversity of talent through different sports, indicate high qualitative participation and interaction in local communities. See what Ruth had to say about the photos and the Award. Present at this exhibition were Dr. Sanat Kaul, Managing Trustee-Award Programme Foundation, Yogender Chaudhary-Member of the Governing Council among other friends of the Award.

One Young World meeting,

National Director attends One Young World 2011 VIP Evening Reception

1st September 2010 Hyatt Hotel, Delhi

One Young World is the premier global forum for young people of leadership calibre. It manifests the reality of common humanity and the shared existence of all peoples over the world. With the purpose to bring together the youngest and the brightest to ensure that their concerns, opinions and solutions are heard and taken into account by those in power whether it is the government, business or any other sector.

This special evening marked the first showing from the One Young World 2010 Summit with interactions with all concerned stakeholders of young people.

HRH visit

Analjit Singh hosts dinner in honour of HRH The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward

17th Oct 2010, 15 Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi

In honour of the royal visit of HRH Prince Edward, who was in India for the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2010, the Award Programme Foundation Trustee (APF)- Mr. Analjit Singh, Chairman Max India Ltd, hosted dinner at his residence. This raising profile event successfully introduced the Award Programme to diplomats, officials and entrepreneurs who are considered potential 'friends of IAYP India'. Present were our eminent Trustees- Mrs. Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairperson APF, Mr. Ishaat Hussain, Dr. Sanat Kaul and our host Mr. Analjit Singh in addition to Sir Richard Stagg- the British High Commissioner, Mr. Vipin Sondhi-MD JCB India, Mr Sanjay Singh-VP Public Affairs, Tata Services Ltd.; Ruth Gee- Cultural Minister, British Council; Dr. Peter McLaughlin-Headmaster, The Doon School; Mrs. Lata Vaidyanathan-Principal, Modern School; Dr. Babli Saraf Maitra, Mr. Yogender Chaudhary, among others from the business, education, government and social sectors.

HRH Prince Edward, himself a Gold Award Holder, is the current Patron of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and is a Trustee of The International Foundation, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award International Association and has chaired the International Council for the last 17 years. His address to all attendees at the dinner reflected how wonderfully the Award fits into existing HR development initiatives for young employees in companies, extra-curricular activities in schools and universities and in skills and leadership development projects of social organisation all across the world. The Award's international framework just strengthens the Award Brand to "Equip for Life".

Much appreciation to the Max India Team and our Trustees for hosting a great raising profile event. We hope to partner with many more enthusiastic leaders to engage, equip, empower and reward young Indians in the days to come!

‘A Journey with a few pit stops’ yet another exciting Award story

Three years. Three hundred and sixty five days of each of these was filled completely with an amazing experience.

May 1st 2008 was definitely the start of this journey, when I was amongst the first set of Gold Award participants to receive the Award from Honourable Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari who hosted the ceremony at his residence in New Delhi shortly after he became the Patron of the Award programme in India. The same question asked by all Gold award holders (GAHs) came forth to my mind as well – What next?
The Award programme has contributed considerably to my personality and character. A lot of my aspirations and goals were either created or enhanced after my participation. With bronze and silver done, Gold was a challenge. The two years I spent completing it was probably when I had my best experience of serving the community. Yet, I wanted to do something more and aim higher. I wanted to reach out to many more people and learn from young leaders around the world as to how they could lead their people and shape their lives. Then came IGE 2008 at Mauritius. On being selected to represent India along with three other delegates from each corner of the sub-continent, whom I had never met before was something I really looked forward to. The two weeks on the ‘pearl of the Indian ocean’ was my first time abroad without family. But I can proudly say how my Award family is actually a LOT larger than my own!
During the IGE, meeting over a 100 GAHs from around the world and learning, working and having fun together was an overwhelming experience, but what shaped the next two years of my life was the Inauguration of the Peter Cruddas Social Innovation Initiative. I liked Peter right away, perhaps because he too is a twin like me! ( my twin is a GAH too).Fun apart, what impressed me most was the aim of the initiative – to recognise the social impact created by young people around the world, with the Award as a tool. For long, I have been fascinated by the self-development the Award offers, but this initiative got me thinking as to how such a programme could now offer itself as a tool to transform society. I learned that the initiative had an internship position at each region responsible for identifying the young social innovators. With that, the rest of the IGE went on and we all got back home ready to ‘Make a difference, tell the story and connect’ (Theme of the IGE).
A few months later, I saw the call for applications for the internship and took the chance. After a couple of informal sessions and interviews, a few anxious weeks and emails, I finally was chosen to be the first Regional Intern for Asia Pacific. Immediately, travel plans followed and I was on my way to Sydney, Australia. My first internship experience vividly taught me about the Award programme and its operation across the Asia-pacific region. After an excellent orientation and training programme, I got down to search for the social innovators silently working their way through communities, campaigning for change. My first stories came from Adelaide, where I met several young GAHs at the first GAHA meet in Australia. Next was Brisbane and I became a frequent flyer with Qantas, shooting back and forth, interviewing, researching and meeting great young minds.
Working at the Regional Office, understanding the structure and the way the IAA worked was a great way to learn about an international organisation. After three weeks full of energy and work, I got back home to Chennai and continued to work, balancing it with my Engineering course and exams. It was a challenge, but I loved every bit of it. It was heart warming to study stories of young Award participants in our country, from a remote village in Madurai, a railway platform in Jamshedpur and to the slums of Kolkatha how the Award had a very deep social impact into the lives of young people just like me. I was humbled by their touching stories and more because we were all equal – we all belonged to the same Award family. By October, I was wrapping up the internship and was invited to the International Award Forum at Sydney as a Youth delegate. This was the first time Gold Award Holders were invited to the forum (Another first!). Meeting Interns like myself from other regions and spending time with Mr.Peter Cruddas at his amazing CMC markets office in Sydney was definitely an experience of a lifetime! It was interesting to see how past IGE(as old as Delegates like me formed most of the 21 Young Delegates (21 as it was the 21st year of the IAA). We were definitely contributing and making a difference, just as we learned from the IGE! Some of them even went on to become Fellows of the World Fellowship, National Directors and IC members. It was amazing to be amidst them, not because they were rich or famous but because they took forward what they thought changed their lives and continue to believe in it.
By the end of November, the case studies were complete and submitted to the Selection Panel for the PCSII. Two of my stories, one from Australia (David Speirs) and one from Pakistan ( Asad Zaid) made it to the showcase event at London. The event would see the top ten innovators from around the world come together and be recognised for their contributions. It also meant that this could propel them to work on a larger scale. I was honoured to be selected along with them, to represent Asia-pacific.
Soon, in June 2010, the first PCSII Showcase Event took place in the U.K. It was an overwhelming experience to meet wonderful leaders from around the world working on great projects on various issues such as – environment, education, world hunger and those on micro credit finance, development through sports and helping the differently-able. The five day long programme began at Windsor, where the innovators were provided with workshops on social innovation and entrepreneurship by Ashoka Fellow Charlie Murphie. It was a very engaging experience to see how different ideas were brought together to achieve one common goal of development. The innovators also prepared a presentation for the show case event at London, which was to be attended by HRH The Earl of Wessex and Young Fellows of the World Fellowship. This grand finale and the most awaited events were the showcase ceremony and dinner that took place at the Buckingham Palace which totally floored all of us with its magnificence! (Not once, but twice as we made two visits for each of these events respectively!) It brought the innovators up close with Fellows, who were determined to champion these projects and take the PCSII forward in the years to come. For Anna and me, the two interns who were present (and Tom & Ben who were present in spirit; no doubt), watching our hard work and stories to finally come together was overwhelming. We were humbled and hope that more such innovators are recognised and the true spirit of the Award is taken forward by those who complete it and begin to live it. The Award is challenging young people everywhere and this is the result of conquering that challenge!
As I finish up with this long article, I do realise how hard it will be for you to read and consume all this information. Trust me; I still am not over it yet! The story continues, like always!

Regional Training Workshop, Korea 26th & 27th

IAYP India delegates attend Asia Pacific Regional Training Workshop (RTW) 2010 in Korea

24-30 October 2010, Seoul/Cheonan, South Korea

RTW 2010 with the theme of "The new rules of engagement", focussed on some of the key influences that drive, define and shape youth culture, along with practical and effective strategies when crafting messages for Generation Y and the implications for engaging Generation Y in the International Award.

The week-long workshop was attended by Australia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka and featured guest speakers/presenters Michael McQueen (The NextGen Group), Tony Hughes (AFG Ventures), Joanne Harris (International Award Association Communications Team), Dr Dr. Geunyoung Jang (National Youth Policy Institute of Korea), Taewoo Kim (Korea Youth Agency), Kelly Wood (Online Communications-Duke of Ed, Australia) and Colin Curnow.

Michael McQueen's session on the different ways of “Engaging the next generation in the Award” i.e. Generation (Gen) Y and Gen X ( those born after the 1980s) was indeed valuable. The Award equips all but it is necessary to reflect that through mediums that attract Gen Y. This includes telling more stories on video and media, through virtual communities, facilitating more international exchange programs. sharing of success stories of Award holders who are actively working in the community. Viral videos and other forms of viral marketing are key to success of extending the Award to today's young people.

Know your generation:

Builders: Born between 1900s to (mid) 1940s

Generation X: Born between Mid 1960s to Early 1980s

Baby Boomers: Born between Mid 1940s to mid 1960s

Generation Y: Born between Early 1980s to late 1900s

Generation Z- Born between Late 1900s to present

Cultural Workshop I- Traditional Tea Ceremony

Korean Delight Night I- Korean Snacks

The importance of IT for database management is crucial in the digital age today. The presentations on the Korean and Australian Online Record Book (ORB) showcased how large number of Award participants can successfully complete the Award and Award Leaders can cut down their workload by as a result of the ORB. Colin Curnow, first Award Leader to use the Australian ORB with success shared his experiences to showcase how anyone with the passion and enthusiasm can overcome technological challenges to successfully operate the ORB.

To actively engage Gen Y, it is essential for regular Award Leaders training and engagement. Tony Hughes' session on Award Leaders online training justly addresses the challenge to keep Award Leaders actively connected. Online communications has never played a more crucial role for the growth of the International Award and social media ranks very high here. By implementing we hope that the strategies from the alliance groups will go a long way in forging an invincible way ahead.

Cultural Workshop II- Taekwondo+Aerobics
Korean Delight Night II- Tasting different kinds of Tea

The RTW 2010 Alliance Groups created strategies on Online Award Management, Online Communications, Award Leader E-Training and Cultural Exchanges, respectively. The outcomes and recommendations from the four RTW Alliance Groups formed per above will provide input to the Regional planning process, the National Directors Strategic Alliance Forum II and the Regional Board Meeting.

Much appreciation to hosts Korea Youth Work Agency team! We hope that the strategies to better engage the younger generations will help build the Award further in the region. To know more about the RTW, ask us for a detailed report.

Open Awards Centre Leader- Devanjali Dutt, “RTW allowed me to engage with people from all generations. In addition, as an Award Leader who also is a Gen Y, I agree that a comprehensive online strategy is necessary to truly market the Award to the my generation and I look forward to working with the Regional Alliance Group.”

Role of Volunteer Training Workshops: Promote, Provide and Preserve teams in place

The Studio. 5th & 19th September 2010

The two role of volunteer training workshops brought together 28 new and existing Award Volunteers (Award Holders and Award participants) for a fun, motivating and interactive training workshop. The workshop focused on the needs and resources required by the Promote, Provide and Preserve teams to achieve the goal to touch 10,000 young Indians in the next three years. The Workshop was a great platform for the young leaders to exchange views and experiences.

The first workshop allowed the Volunteers to identify the core areas of the Promote, Provide and Preserve teams and gave them a good understanding of NAOME: the Award acronym standing for Need, Aim, Objective, Method and Evaluation. As all three teams planned their respective way ahead for the year, there was a general consensus that interaction and awareness about the Award is necessary for growth.

As the Promote team suggested sharing of personal experiences and success stories through street plays, information seminars and shows to showcase how the Award teaches Leadership, allows young people to go beyond the modern technological world and be in touch with their human sides. The Preserve team discussed ways of Programme development by addressing how the Award benefits every young person with special attention to the flexibility, career benefits and the international opportunities the Award Programme provides. Conclusively, the Provide team created a strategy to extend the Award with the creation of a pool of trained Award volunteers-young and old, and through clear monitoring guidelines for YES Centres and YES Partners to administer the Award Programme as per the fundamental principles of the Award.

Partnership with The University of Delhi; the story so far

Since the partnership with the University of Delhi, young adults are successfully participating in the Award Programme within the University/College education system. Successful introduction sessions of the Award Programme enabled through collaborative planning and implementation with help of Student Council representatives in the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Lady Shri Ram, IP College for Women, Jesus & Mary College and Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi colleges have completed a successful foray into the University Pilot Project. Read on to learn of successes, challenges and plans as shared by College Promotions Team headed by Gold Holder Jyoti Burrett.

The partnership with the University of Delhi (DU), India's premier public university has allowed the Award to break into the crucial 18-25 age category of young people that are looking to be engaged in the college extra-curricular framework. College students that completed the Gold level at the school level are now leading from the front with the support of College faculty to encourage their peers to participate in the Award Programme.

The Award in Universities allows young people to learn new, valuable skills that increases employability, gives them a chance to impress employers with their commitment to make a difference in their community through volunteering, builds their confidence through challenging new activities and above all gives young students an opportunity to make friends for life!

At the same time, the Award provides direct benefits to universities by enabling a positive learning experience through its practical, confidence building programme, helps universities be active with local businesses and in the wider community, builds a reputation as an institution that cares about its students welfare and empowers a team of student volunteers who go on to become Award Leaders/Ambassadors.

Jyoti says that, “the biggest challenge is to get college students to realise that all extra-curricular work being done by them outside of college hours qualifies for at least two sections of the Award Programme.” Gold Volunteers-Rishika and Lhamu are working in the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) in liaison with an enthusiastic Professor at SRCC to create more visibility and awareness of the Award Programme. They claim that it is a challenge to get young students at the best commerce/business college in the India to realise that competition to be a better student is not enough to be the best employable candidate or even a good citizen. As Gold Holders, Thecountry, young students are very competitive

YES Partner Meet

IAYP India through its partnership and Open Awards Centre set in place the process of making the Award Programme available to all, and our YES Partners comprising of businesses and social organisations dedicated to this objective met on 27th August 2010 in New Delhi to strategise and develop a plan to take this ahead. Communications Intern-Ankit Durga shares the outcomes from the meeting.

Representatives from our YES Partners Akara (Chennai), EcoLogin (Chennai), FEMCO Tours (Mumbai), INME Learning (Delhi), Juniper Wings (Kolkata), Leap Adventures (Delhi), The Explorers (Mumbai) gathered at The Studio in the National Office of Delhi early morning of the 27th August. The ice-breaking activity allowed everyone to get comfortable and ready to have fun.

The Workshop opened with a presentation of the newly revamped Open Award Centre plan aka YES Project. YES stands for Youth Engaging in Society and our partners are all working together to engage young people through experiential and outdoor focussed learning. The YES Project aims to be a successful business development and Award extension initiative that mutually benefits both the respective Partner and the Award Programme. This initiative promotes social entrepreneurship of all enterprises through a licensed partnership with IAYP India. The nature of the License differs for an individual, service organisation, business and corporate bodies. After the signing of the Commercial Agreement, there is training and orientation of Award coordinators and followed up a detailed business development structure. Therefore, the YES Project ensures that the Quality of the Award is preserved and provided and promoted with complete professionalism.

The next step process to ensure Control and quality delivery is to ensure an online database management system. The India Brand Pack and an introduction of the online management tools allowed everyone to get a glimpse of the way ahead to make partnerships successful and viable.

An Online management tool will allow Participants, Assessors and Award Offices, Coordinators and Managers to get a platform for digital solutions and training. An introduction of the Award Online Management tools helped everyone understand the intuitive usability, internal messaging/news modules and finally provide the all-important feedback necessary to become the ‘Programme of Choice’ for all young Indians. In addition, the Online Management tool will allow Assessors & Licensed Operators to comply with reporting and statistical management, save long term cost and ensure brand consistency and communications.

The participants in teams drafted a business plan each to check the viability and the reliability of the YES Business Model. This exercise ‘My Business Plan’ brought up certain issues pertaining to the revenue sharing model like Realistic Pricing, Marginal Add-on benefits for the Adventure Partners and a platform for all YES partners to strengthen delivery mechanism and reach out to maximum participants. The Award and the YES Partners therefore decided to work on the model to further improve transparency, consistent pricing and mutual benefits.

After this exercise the three teams set up the revenue stream for YES Partners for building up OAC Participation, memorabilia sales and new partnerships where each respective Partner receives a percentage of Participation Sign up fee, memorabilia price, and annual licenses for every new partner introduced, respectively. The setting up of this model gives more ways and means to become a catalyst of change and help ‘equip for life’ the young of India.

The First YES Centre Training Workshop

With the aim to demonstrate the Award’s value and allow all young people in the age group of 14-25 years, the Youth Engaging Society (YES) Centres were set up. YES Centres take active engagement in communities to the much more involved level as everyone in the society around the Centre can participate to do the Award Programme. This article shares progress from the first YES Centre Training Workshop held from 3-4 August 2010 in New Delhi. Contributions by Anez Katre and Parul Vij.

The first YES Training Workshop kick started YES Centres in The Doon School, The Assam Valley School, Daly College and Indus International School; institutions representing Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern India respectively. Since its inception in 1962, the Award in India was available in Schools alone and offered to the 14 – 18 age groups. YES Centres allow young people in the 14-25 age categories to participate in the Award without being restricted by boundaries of an Award unit.

Building from the first YES Workshop, The Doon School hosted an engaging session for 23 participants from various schools and non profit organisations on 28th October 2010 followed by a subsequent day long Workshop at the Hopetown School on the 29th November 2010 in Dehradun. Young people today live for the moment and their basic goal is to have ‘FUN’. The session started with a brief introduction to the Award Programme, followed by the role of the Award Leader and how the Award can be promoted in and around Dehradun, which is a hub of education institutions.

The ice-breaking session allowed all attendees to share their expectations from the Workshops. Some wanted to know more about delivering the Award Programme to all young people especially in the 18-25 age category, others wanted to understand the YES approach of making the Award Programme available to all young people in society and finally to learn how to become a member of a cohesive team to engage youth in society. The session successfully allowed clarity of some misconceptions with emphasis on the fact that this is a self-development programme; without sharp deadlines or competition, except with oneself and with the desire for continuous improvement.

Participants were briefed about the service, skill, physical recreation, adventurous journey and residential project section respectively and then divided into three groups to map their own journeys section by section. This session proved to be an invaluable one as all participants got to use their experiences, imaginations and share best practices to chart the Award Journeys. Through group activity, the participants came up with many innovative ideas and felt strongly about ‘inclusive participation’, based on the service projects already being conducted in various schools.

They learnt to appreciate that the Award Programme is not about competition and striving to maximize self-improvement is key to development and that they should encourage Award participants to pick activities that aren't too similar to the chosen Service/Skill/Physical Recreation sections. Through this exercise the difference between exploration, expedition and other adventurous journey was also highlighted. In addition, the importance of planning a residential project with the Award Leader for maximum risk evaluation and aversion was reflected through real-life experience sharing by Bivujit Mukhoty-Programme Manager.

The Workshop concluded with sharing the YES Project Plan to "Equip for Life" and an introduction to Award India Branding and licensing to grow through partnerships. Special appreciation to Dr. Peter McLaughlin-Headmaster, The Doon School; Mrs. Maya Norula-Principal, Hopetown School; Skand Bali- YES Centre Manager (The Doon School) and Ms. Parul Vij- YES Centre Manager (Hopetown) for their support in organising two very successful events.

Visually challenged boys experience the thrill of adventure climbing the Susunia Hills

The Blind Boys’ Academy is a part of the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram located in Narendrapur, West Bengal. A residential blind boys’ academy, it offers general education as well as computer operations training, music, medical transcription, agriculture and other vocational training to all visually challenged young people. Since 2002, the Award Programme has been successfully transforming the lives of young people in the Academy. Award Leader-Chandan Mazumdar inspires us by sharing the exploits of 21 young Award participants at the expedition to Susunia Hills.

A team from R. K. Mission Blind Boys' Academy, Narendrapur went to Susunia Hills in Bankura District consisting 21 blind students and 2 Award leaders to complete the adventurous journey requirement of the Gold, Silver and Bronze levels respectively. Special Projects partner the Institute of Climbers and Nature Lovers organized the expedition from 17th to 20th November, 2010. The expedition allowed the 21 visually challenged young people to participate in Climbing, Trekking, Rappelling, Single Rope Crossing, Monkey Crawling, Tent Pitching, Visiting surroundings villages, cultural programmes during Camp Fire and other activities.

The expert trainers Amitava Ganguly, Anal Chatterjee, Somnath Saha, Asim Nath, Partha Sengupta rendered their full effort to make the expedition comfortable yet challenging for the young Awardees. Single rope crossing and Rappelling actually allowed our Awardees to believe in themselves, learn teamwork and actually see a new light of the life. The expedition allowed them to feel a sense of togetherness with their peers and leaders, learn leadership, punctuality and physical hardship, open up and enjoy conversation about flora, fauna of the surrounding area. As residential blind students, it gave them a rare opportunity to know the world outside, meet a lot of different people and accept that being different is okay.

Out of 21 Awardees, 14 are currently pursuing the Bronze level, 6 of them the Silver level and only one participating in the Gold level. It is heartwarming to see the improvement in Shri Arjun Saha, Pankaj Sinha, Mritunjoy Purkait, Subhadeep Patra, Bamandipta Pal, Suraj Jha, Gouranga Dass, Omprakash Das, Somnath Hazra, Gouranga Biswas, Kartick Adhikary, Md. Azaharuddin Gazi, Sabirul Islam, Jasimuddin Seikh, Shri Bijoy Purkait, Sibnath Mondal, Sourav Pan, Bablu Halder, Kaushik Mondal, Subrata Pandit and Simarul Halsona as young leaders since their participation in the Award Programme.

Since the introduction of IAYP in 2002 at the Academy, all boys have engaged in the Award Programme and consider the entire experience ‘priceless’. It is not the certificate that is precious, but the learning from participating actively in the four sections that opens the horizons of the mind and allows them to believe that ‘impossible is nothing’. It is this sense of discipline and confidence acquired from learning to play the Sitar, learning to Swim, overcoming the challenge of sight by learning through touch, smell and hearing; giving back to society through simple community service projects that makes them young leaders.

More about the Ramakrishna Mission:

Started in 1943, this Ashram houses a residential degree college offering graduate and postgraduate courses in arts and science, a residential higher secondary school where medium of instruction is in English and Bengali, a department of technical and vocational education and a Lokasiksha Parishad (an institute for social welfare and integrated rural development) in addition to the Blind Boys’ Academy.

Dedicated to the ideal of man-making and character building education as propounded by Swami Vivekananda, the Ashram lays much emphasis on values both moral and spiritual and on learning outside of classrooms through active engagement in sports, environment and social service.

Planting and lighting their way to engage in community

‘There are no shortcuts to a real sense of achievement, it has to be earned’- to inculcate this spirit, young Award participants in YES Centre Navarachna International School, Vadodara (NISV) accepted the challenge to two service projects. Mr. Ashvin Patel-YES Manager shares how the two projects have enriched and enhanced experiences of young people at NISV and developed a sense of commitment, determination and perseverance among them.

“Conmat Cosmopolitan Tree Garden Award”

The threat to the environment and the importance of trees to maintain the ecological balance is a critical one today. Seven Award participants from NISV took up this moral and social responsibility by participating in the “Conmat Cosmopolitan Tree Garden Award.” The unique feature of this competition is that it encourages students to research into the different species of the trees that can grow locally, irrigation methods employed, selection of manure and other physical conditions necessary.

Pawan Srivastava, Aayush Sorathia, Miit Pandoliker, Apurva Shukla, Dhiren Patel, Nihal Solanki, Vinay Patel, Nikita Bhartwal, Yoshita Laungani, Shrey Jain and Sunny Rajani participants planted saplings of Gulmohara, Neem, Amla, Mango and Sathapati on a tree plantation in the school campus. Taking complete ownership of the saplings instilled a sense of pride, responsibility and belonging to the community. To know more about this initiative, feel free to visit, the website maintained by the group.

“Save Energy Drive” – changing Bulbs with CFL

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. The best use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men can only be achieved by creating awareness about it. With the main objective to develop an ethos for energy conservation amongst the students and neighbouring village community, the Award participants replaced bulbs with CFLs.

A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), gives the same amount of visible light as compared to general lamps but use less power and have a longer rated life. Many CFLs are designed to replace an incandescent lamp and can fit into most existing light fixtures formerly used for general lamps, this making the transition easy.

The effort put in by the Awardees through personal interaction with the villagers, preparing leaflets showing comparative study of bulbs Vs CFL, has yielded result and nearly 200 houses have been illuminated. The project not only sensitized everyone to the need for energy conservation but also made them conscious to energy wastage and changed attitudes in the general daily student lifestyle.

Awardees plan to create a mural or sculpture from the bulbs collected from the drive as a mark of remembrance for their initiative.

Social activities provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to the students. Every such activity is a valuable learning experience and helps visually, to see the concerns of humanity.

Doing the Award has made me believe in myself, a personal story

The unique feature about the Award is its ability to engage youth in meaningful activities that contribute towards the development of civil society. Participating in activities such as literacy programs for adults or weaker sections, volunteering at an old home, soup kitchens not only reinvent the community but also shows people become better human beings by building environments makes the effects that built environment has on making better human beings through active community involvement.

India is a developing economy with a large percentage of the youth from the rural and disadvantaged sector. The Award Programme through the India Special Projects allow such youth to realize their potential by giving them an opportunity to break economic and psychological barriers with the India Special Project. Since its first pilot project in 1999 the award has come a long way with the establishment of 25 various project centres, in partnership with NGOs and schools, across the country. Sri Sarada Math in West Bengal is one such Special Project that has successfully empowered many young women through the Award Programme. Dolly Jha, Silver Award Participant from the Math shares her story with us.

Being from a middle class family where the ultimate fate of a girl is to get married, I always thought different. I wanted to be self- reliant and do something valuable.

In school, I read that Swami Vivekananda believed that without feminine power the world could not be regenerated and he had faith in the potential of women to transform society in a relatively shorter period of time. He said, ‘Educate the women of India and let them solve their own problems.’

In 1954, a number of educated women, inspired with his ideals of renunciation and service formed the Sri Sarada Math to dedicate their lives for their own spiritual growth as well as for the uplift of their sisters. The Math emphasizes spiritual development combined with the aim of the Ramakrishna Sarada Mission to serve the society, especially women and children. The Math runs 13 centres dedicated to education, medical service, rural empowerment and relief projects, vocational training, cultural and spiritual exchange of ideas, etc.

Inspired and focussed by the ideals, I associated myself with The Sri Sarada Math after my Class 10 examination in March 2008. It was here that I got to know about the Award and enrolled to participate in the Bronze level. Service inspired me to serve others by engaging in regular service to cleaning the surrounding around us, particularly cleaning the Ganges river bank near the Math. The skills section motivated me to become proficient in the English Language and learn Classical dance. The physical recreation encourages participation in sport. I got to fulfil my long cherished desire of becoming a cricketer by joining PGH Shah Sports Club where girls are taught cricket.

Expedition is the area which I like the most. I have been a part of two expeditions to Purulia and Shantiniketan. Purulia is most memorable. On 25th September 2008, about 30 girls from The Math and some students of APJ School, Saltlake set out for Purulia. The first thing we learnt was to adjust with each other. On arriving at the camp site, we learnt to pitch a tent, tie a rope around the belly for climbing up, i.e. Reef knot among many other things. Climbing and rappelling at the Mathaburu Hills was a turning point in my life as I finally started to believe in myself to overcome all hurdles through self-belief.

Today, I have completed my bronze and need to complete the adventurous journey for the silver level. IAYP has made me realise my strengths, has taught me to take up challenges, to shoulder responsibilities, to lead a disciplined life and to turn my dreams into reality. I am indebted to Sri Sarada Math for providing me the opportunity to engage in the Award, and grateful to my mother for her unwavering support. I am convinced that I will reach my goals with the blessings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sri Maa and my elders.

Good Schools of India Journal @ www.GSI.IN

Blog Archive