YES Centre vs Business Partner

FAQs about YES Model

Q. 1 What is YES? YES stands for Youth Engaging Society.

Q.2 What is a YES Centre? A YES Centre develops and delivers the Award to young Indians by offering the Programme to the community beyond the four walls of the institution.

Q.3 How does a YES Centre function? It partners with National Award Authority (NAA) and collaborates to provide training in order to further the Programme.

Q. 4 What is the criteria for participation through a YES Centre? Young people in the age group 14-25 are welcome to do the Programme through a YES Centre of their choice, if they do not have access through school, college or an Award unit.

Q. 5 How are YES Centres connected with the NAA? The Centres develop resources to support the schools in the region and encourages the participants to register with the nearest Award Unit to take part in the Award Programme.

Q.6 Are regular school hours counted for participation? No, regular school timetable work does not count for Award participation. What matters is work and contribution outside the curriculum.

Q.7 How will a YES Centre evolve? YES Centres can evolve by building participation and generating resources during the course of their work with the community.

Q. 8 How can a school become a YES Centre? A school cannot become a YES Centre unless they register with the NAA office, and further commit to build the Programme beyond the school.

Q. 9 Can an individual, private enterprise or NGO become a YES Centre? Individuals, Social bodies and enterprises can register as a YES Partner only.

Q.10 What is the essential difference between a YES Centre and a YES partner? The focus of YES Partner is marketing of the Award Programme, while the Yes Centre focuses on building participation to the desired levels.

Q.11 How can a YES Centre participant be motivated? YES Centres give the participants freedom to do what they like, how they like and with whom they like.

Q. 12 Do the Participants have time for the Award. The Award identifies and rewards young people who find time for the Award.

Q.13 What is the role of NGOs in the IAYP structure? The NGO gets a license to partner with IAYP India and offers the Programme to the youngsters who work with them.

Q.14 How does a YES Centre finance its projects? The YES Centre possesses resources and shares them with IAYP India, as well as collaborates with them, to develop the Award in a sustainable manner.

Q.15 Who tracks the progress of a YES Centre Participant? The Centre provides the participant with adult leaders.

Q.16 How much is the entrance fee for a YES Centre Participant? The Participation fee for one level of the Award is Rs. 500.00 only.

Q. 17 How can the IAYP India support a YES Centre? IAYP INDIA shares revenue from running the Award Programme and also provides training to the YES Centres, in order to build the Award.

Q.18 Who can assess an activity carried out at home? An informed assessor or an individual identified by the participant and recognised by the Award leader.

Q.19 What is the aim of IAYP India? IAYP India hopes to reach out to an aggregate target of 1,00,000 people over 5 years while maintaining the quality of the Award.

Q.20 Who exempts the fee for a Participant? The Participant fee can only be exempted after the head of the institution certifies the inability of the individual to pay the fee.

Q. 21 Can YES Centres create their own partners? YES Centres can create partners with IAYP India and in turn share the license fee.

Q. 22 How many participants, must a YES Centre register on a yearly basis? The goal of a YES Centre is to reach out and offer access to a minimum recommended 500 participants every year.

Q. 23 How can a YES Centre reach out to a large number of people? YES Centres can reach out through their channels of communication and interactions within the community.

Q. 24 Is there a geographical limitation for YES Centre? YES Centres are open centres and have no fictional boundaries.

Q. 25 Can YES Centres run Special Projects? YES Centers are welcome to partner with IAYP India to run Special Projects.

Please email for more...

Time for India

  William Hague Inaugurates India Institute, King’s College
Following are the key points of a speech by British Foreign Minister William Hague
at the inauguration of India Institute at King’s College London yesterday (26 January).
  • It is a promising moment for King’s College to open an Institute devoted to promoting intellectual and practical engagement with contemporary India.  For this century will be shaped by India more than any other that has come before it.  Now is the time to study India, to invest in India and to work with India. India is making its mark on the global economy with electrifying skill, innovation and dynamism… It is leading the way in the development of renewable energy and green technologies.
  • I was delighted to be able to join the Prime Minister on his trip to India soon after we took office. There was a tangible sense of optimism in the air. There can be few other countries anywhere in the world that are as genuinely optimistic and positive about India’s success as we are here in Britain.
  • We came into Government seeking a new Special Relationship with India. We see enormous value in the ties between our countries; in our shared values, the living bonds between our citizens, our membership of the Commonwealth and the complementary nature of our economies. We want a relationship between India and Britain that is stronger, wider, and deeper.
  • Our Prime Ministers are in regular contact, seven British cabinet Ministers have visited India since May 2010, and I hope to visit again this year. We are increasing our frontline staff in India by thirty officers. We have ambitious plans to open up to eight new British Trade Offices around the country, as part of a strategy to widen our focus beyond Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. And we plan to open new Deputy High Commissions in some of India’s other fast-growing cities.
  • Foreign Policy rests on a web of connections between individuals, families, civil society, companies, and academic institutions like your own. We have to have the deepest possible understanding of India’s culture, its history and politics, its rich traditions and its complex geography. This is why I have launched a new Foreign Office programme called Diplomatic Excellence, designed to foster and retain deep cultural knowledge and understanding of other nations among our diplomats, including their language skills. It includes the formation of a new cadre dealing with India and a new diplomatic training programme to deepen our expertise in contemporary India.
  • We want to be India’s partner of choice in a whole range of areas as it develops its economy, supporting jobs creation and growth in both our countries. We have set the target of doubling our trade with India by 2015 compared to 2010 and are making good progress: our exports were up more than 40% last year and India is now our third largest market outside the EU. We are a springboard into the European Single Market and the leading advocate of EU Free Trade Agreements, including that with India which we hope to see concluded this year.
  • The fact that so many people of other nationalities find the allure of British universities irresistible is a great asset to our nation. It contributes to our economy, to our reputation as an open society and to our cultural influence in the world. Today British universities are developing closer ties with many first class institutions in India, and are champing at the bit to set up in India themselves once changes to Indian legislation permits them to do so. Through the British Council and their Project English Initiative, and with support from Department for International Development, we have reached 17million learners and are helping train one million English teachers across India.
  • We have refocused our long-standing development relationship to focus on attracting pro-poor private investment into the poorest states, on women and girls; and on laying the foundations for an enduring partnership on global issues.
  • We want the brightest and the best to come to Britain. We are clear that if you want to come to Britain legitimately as a student, a business person or a visitor, then you are very welcome in the UK.
  • We also want to see India represented at the top table of international decision-making, working more closely with us and other nations to address global issues. That is why we support reform of the UN Security Council and a permanent seat for India.  It is playing an increasingly important role in the affairs of the world. It enriches our shared culture in innumerable ways – from the prize-winning novels of Aravind Adiga to the sporting prowess of Sachin Tendulkar.
  • It is a great pleasure, on India’s Republic Day and the 62nd anniversary of the signing of its Constitution, to express my sense of optimism and excitement about our relations with India and all that lies ahead for the citizens of both our countries, and the firm commitment of Her Majesty’s Government to even closer ties in the years to come and indeed we can hope throughout this century, which is very much India’s to shape.

True Swaraj

While we have surpassed many obstacles to become a sovereign country 62 years ago, there is a lot more that we, as a country, need to do to become a “developed” nation, feels Samvitha Ram
Today, India celebrates 62 years of being a sovereign, secular and democratic republic. Every year on this day, our amazing country of approximately 1.17 billion people celebrates Republic Day by commemorating the date on which the Constitution officially came into force, and India finally became a truly independent nation in her own stead.

On this day, many writings list the various obstacles that India overcame on her road to independence, and cite examples of the nationalist movements that helped grant us independence from our colonisers. We take pride, today, in the fact that we stand as the world's largest democracy.

Yet, on the other 364 days of the year, it has become characteristic of the youth and the rising generation to complain about what they see as the many flaws of this country, what they see as the “real” India.
It seems only fitting that we explore a couple of key concerns of our next generation, and delve a little deeper into these over-spouted ‘realities' that litter our print and social media today.

Debated issues
A frequently voiced concern of the current generation, and around the world for that matter, is our booming population. Vivid pictures of overpopulated cities and crowded slum areas fill the national and international media.

While these may be true, and do portray a reality, it is not the full version of the truth. Yes, we are a growing population, but it doesn't have to be seen as such a terrible thing. With a population demographic that is relatively young (42 per cent are between 13 and 35, as compared to the world average of 18 per cent), India's youth has the potential to focus their energies in “nation building” and growing our economy.

In addition, many argue that it is this sense of always being a part of an overpopulated culture that has resulted in many Indian citizens developing an amazing sense of hospitality.
Even though we may be cramped for physical space, we have space in our hearts to accommodate and live happily with our crowds.

Another issue that the youth today talk about is the inability of our educational system to cope with the demands of a volatile and unpredictable future. It is often said that the high focus on rote learning in many schools and colleges leaves students unprepared for the workplace of tomorrow and our youth are unable to compete in the “global” economy.

This point of view certainly is grounded in the truth, but needs to be viewed in a slightly different perspective. Indians are a race that can thrive on “creative chaos” — ever willing to learn and able to work through ambiguous situations.

And our country is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity, despite the limitations of our educational system.

Most importantly, at the bottom of the pyramid, with the RTE (Right to Education Act) coming into force, we are already seeing rising literacy levels across the county with several individual states within India reaching almost the 90 per cent numbers in terms of literacy, almost on par with the literacy rates of many of the “developed” nations.

Yes, the fact is that at the end of the day, India is still a developing country, and a relatively new one at that.

In its six-odd decades of independent existence, it has come a long way from being a dependent, colonised territory to a large, blossoming nation, with a beautiful fusion of cultures, a fast-growing economy, and best of all, a relatively young population demographic.

The youth of India has to take inspiration from the late American President Kennedy's words: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

This attitude amongst an increasingly socially and politically aware youth, holds the key to our country actualizing Gandhiji's dream of “restoring our control over our futures and destiny”, and achieving his vision of true swaraj.

Samvitha is a student of American International School.

Tanushri Roy, Gold Award participant and a 11th grade student from Mother's International School with her experiences from the 1st Gold Solar Project

Spiti: An experience unforgettable

Spiti...the land of the lamas...a beautiful and extraordinary place, with its gorgeous landscape and breathtaking topography stands elegantly in the north eastern part of the state of Himachal Pradesh. Quiet and isolated, it is an ideal place for those seeking some  peace and serenity in their lives. 

This year in the summer of June 2011, a bunch of super excited kids, gathered at the  Inter State Bus Terminal, New Delhi, all set and ready to board the bus to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. We were a total of nine people going to Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh to work on the Gold Solar Project.

This group of people had come together courtsey an NGO Ecosphere and The International Award for Young People in India. Ecosphere was co-founded by Gold Award Holder- Ishita Khanna.   It is an organization focusing on improving the lives of the people living in Spiti by providing them with useful facilities and sources of livelihood. The activities of ECOSHPERE are carried out by volunteers who are willing and determined to work for a certain cause. Last year they built green houses and solar baths in other areas of the region and this year Ecosphere had advertised that they wanted volunteers to come and help build a solar bath for the women of Spiti in the distant village of Morang.

Our main motive of going to the Spiti valley was to help the people there by constructing a solar bathing facility for a group of nuns who stayed at a nunnery in the remote village of Morang near Kaza. As the temperatures there are very low and the climate extremely dry and cold, hot water to bathe is an absolute necessity.  Normally water would be heated by burning firewood or fuel. This was not a sustainable solution to the problem.  Hence the decision to construct a solar bath facility.
We left new Delhi on 11.06.2011 at 8.30 pm in the evening and reached Shimla at 6.30 am . We left a hot boiling Delhi and woke up to a cold wet morning.  It was raining and all of us were feeling extremely cold!

At Shimla, we were greeted by Angdui bhaiya and Sonam bhayia from the organization.  They had come from Spiti to pick us up. Taking our luggage we boarded the mini bus and headed to Kalpa.  Enroute we reached Narkanda and had breakfast there, we had started to feel the chill in the hills as the temperatures came swooping down. All of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, traveling  through the lush green hills of Himachal, chatting, listening to songs and munching on goodies all the way...

We arrived at Kalpa at 4:00 in the evening, a spectacular place with the Kailash mountain range beautifully bordering it. After feasting on yummy cottage cheese and vegetable pakoras and having an early dinner we all went to bed. But little did we know that we would have to face minor tragedies in the form of boys falling sick and fainting in  the bathroom post midnight! Just goes on to prove that girls are much stronger than boys!

The next day we headed to Kaza, the district headquarters of Spiti. The scenery was spectacular..tall mountains standing firm and looking magnificient.  The wind had cut patterns on the rocks. All along the way the road meandered alongside a river.  Sometimes the river was next to us, at other times it was deep below. The  roads were pretty good but they had to be reconstructed every now and then due to damage by landslides and rain.

The ride to Nako was not a very easy one as as we were stranded on the way for four hours due to a major road block.  We spent all our time splashing each other with water from a nearby waterfall, throwing pebbles in the river and talking to other tourists. This experience taught us how to remain peaceful and composed even during disturbing times.

By the time we reached Nako, all of us were starving. And after having a hearty meal over there, we all headed towards Kaza. The ride from Nako to Kaza was a very enjoyable one as it was night time and we played atlas and antakshari, even Olga joined us and sang some Russian rap, we tried to copy her but soon realized that non of us were nightingales at singing!

We went to Ecosphere's office in Kaza the next day, there we met Ishita and her team, including two adorable puppies-Neema and Tashi.  They showed us around and we saw the wonderful products they had made out of seabuckthorn, a wonder berry considered to have wonder full healing, anti-aging and medicinal properties.   Apart from that, the shop also had items made by local people with beautiful handwork  including shawls, mats, knitted caps etc.

The people of Spiti are very simple and pleasant, they are warm and extremely friendly. The one thing that I can proudly say is that they have managed to maintain their culture and heritage in its original form.  They have  not been influenced by the outside world much, especially western culture, as what has happened in many parts of our country. Their music and dances still has the feel of mountains and the streams ringing in . The livelihood of the people mainly consists of farming, herding, joining the army or doing other small jobs. The women take care of the house and also help in the farming. Some of them even open up small schools in the villages to educate the children.

We reached the Morang village in the afternoon and after finding a nice green spot, 200 m from the nunnery, set up tents. The toilets were dug. Evening time was fun time as we had put up a volleyball net and played volleyball, some would play cards and the others would just sit and gossip. It was fun talking to the nuns, getting to know more about their lives and daily routines.  It was  bliss watching them so happy and satisfied with their lives.

There were around 50-75 nuns living over there. There daily routine comprised of  getting up, praying, preparing and having breakfast, then some would work and some would study. Many were even taking exams in English and Philosophy. As the day would pass, they would finish there work have tea, sit  around , relax and talk to each other. They would have prayer ceremonies in the evening also.This was the village where we had to build the solar bathing facility. Not  knowing what was in store for us we got prepared for the work which was going to start tomorrow.

Our daily routine for the next 4 days went like this...........we would get up every morning at 6.30 A.M., freshen up and go  to the nunnery for breakfast, one of us was appointed the leader and the cook each day. The leader had the responsibility of waking us up and making sure that everything happened well and on time for that particular day, the cook would help Angrup bhaiya in the kitchen.

After having a good breakfast of paranthas, toast and eggs we would head for work. Our work for the initial days consisted of building a strong foundation. The area was dug up and we started laying the foundation. Now the hard part was that we did not get to use cement or bricks for constructing this, instead we used mud and big rocks, all locally available materials.  There was a broken down monastery nearby where we used to go in a tractor to get mud and stones. For constructing the foundation, we would make a human chain and pass the heavy rocks, then we would dig and collect mud, water it and mix it well, then when an ample amount of clayey mud was made, some would pass the mud to the ones doing the mason work and hence the layers were made comprising of big rocks, small stones and mud.

At 11.30 A.M, we would have a juice break in which we would have seabuckthorn juice and cookies, after which we would continue working till 1.00 pm. And then have lunch,mostly dal chawal and curd, then we would work some more till 5.00 pm. And then we would be free for the day! After freshening up by a nearby stream, we would change our clothes and go back to the nunnery to enjoy our free time.

Often in the evening, Norbu bhaiya and Ishita didi would come to meet us and we would play volleyball together.  Once they even got us a very interesting movie to see, containing various facts about Spiti, its wildlife and nomadic life. also came to know about many interesting facts such as that Spiti was a part of the Tethys sea before the formation of the Gondwana land  and that it is one of the oldest and biggest deposits of fossils.  We got to know about the lives of the people in detail, about their travels and experiences, about how they tended and fed their livestock and got valuable products like milk and fur from them, about the protectiveness of the Himalayan cranes towards their children and about the terror and threat that the wild wolves and foxes pose to the livestock. It all showed that living with nature in harmony was the only way out for the sustenance  and survival of these people as everyone is interdependent.

Dinner would be served by 8.00 pm. And then we would go to bed. We would often stay up late, sit by a bonfire, talk, and sing songs.

The next 2 days were spent building the rock layers. After the completion of these layers began our work of building huge mud layers which were 1.5 feet high each. This was hard work as we had to make a lot of wet mud which comprised of collecting, ploughing, watering and mixing mud. We also had to fill up the huge pit which had been dug up inside the boundaries of the room with rocks and stones to make the floor even.

At night we would often get to eat yummy local delicacies such as momos, thukpas and noodles. We also choreographed dances and skits for the cultural night which was going to be held at the end of our trip.

Sleeping in the tents was a wonderful experience except for the fact that I found a big fat rat in my sleeping bag once! Yikes!

After 4 days of rigorous  work at the solar bath construction site, we left Morang temporarily to go trekking to Asia's highest village 'Komic' on the 19th of June. A jeep took us from Kaza and dropped us at Langcha, an intermediate village between Kaza and Komic. It was from this village that we started our 7 kms long uphill trek to Komic. We trekked through rocky mountains and across green meadows, crossing numerous streams on the way. We stopped half way to grab a quick lunch, comprising of yummy bun sandwiches, juice and biscuits.  We reached Komic by 2.00 pm. and visited some local monasteries before going to our respective home stays.

These home stays were organized by the Ecosphere organization, where we got to stay in the houses of local people, learn their ways of life, eat and learn to cook what they eat  and know there culture. Nivi,  Olga and I got to stay at the village headman's house. It was a huge, spacious house with a lovely comfortable room and traditional compost, clean toilets. We had delicious momos with spicy tomato chutney for dinner and after interacting with the villagers, went to bed.  And then something not so funny happened ...a huge black beetle fell on my face from the ceiling!!!....after that incident, I was so scared that I wasn't able to sleep all night!

The next day we got ready for the day's trek. We had hot, fluffy, homemade bread with butter and jam for breakfast and even got to taste some local thukpa with wild onions in it.  Today's trek comprised of a 11 km long trek, mostly uphill to the village of Demul. This village is lower in height than Komic but the trek comprised of steep climbs across mountains with a little bit of flat land walking. Even at Demul, we got to stay in home stays. In the evening, after reaching Demul we had local people perform the local dances in which we all joined and had a lot of fun.  The next day after trekking to the vintage point (a little further from Demul), we headed back to Kaza. After having lunch, we headed back to Morang to complete the work we had started.

The walls had to be completed and the roof laid, but by putting together everyone's effort we all managed to do a good job.  We all worked really hard to complete the project, we painted and cleaned the doors and windows, set up the solar geyser, cemented the walls (inside and outside) and finally inaugurated the project on  22.6.11, after its completion. The king of Kaza, the head monk and all the  nuns came to attend the inauguration. He cut the ribbon and inaugurated the solar bath. We were honored by the king and Ishita gave all of us mementos and prasad. We were  thrilled, happy and satisfied to have completed  something which would benefit so many people.  We were all glad to have been given this opportunity to have done something for others. As the day for our return drew near, we were all in a dilemma, a mixture of emotions as no one wanted to go back from this lovely place. After all who would ever want to return from heaven once having experienced it.

We also visited the Key monastery at Key village. It is 12 km away from Kaza and is 900 years old. The monastery is beautiful comprising of different prayer, meeting, dining and worshiping rooms. It is said that the Dalai Lama visited this place in 1974. The monk who showed us around was an extremely interactive person, he was very friendly and funny and kept all of us entertained throughout the visit.

Our journey back was a lot of fun. We were returning back  to Delhi via Manali.  After spending an enjoyable day at Manali, watching movies, shopping and eating (a lot!)....we headed for Delhi and reached on 25th July morning. 

For me this experience was truly overwhelming. I hope to go back  again.  What I have learnt on the trip is something no amount of books could have taught me.  I also realized that together we can do things, that can make a lot of difference in peoples lives... 


Priyanka Ghosh from The Heritage School-Kolkata shares 'The Himalayan Journey' to Manebhanjang

On the 16th of December we from The Heritage School, Kolkata set forth on a trekking trip, as a part of the International Award for Young People Programme, to a small hamlet in the Himalayas. We were two teachers- Ms. Priyanka Ghosh and Mr. D.N. Dubey,   twenty-five students and our trekking instructor Mr. Joydeep Ghosal and two more trekkers comprised the group of thirty. All of us at The Heritage School were thrilled and energized and looking forward with anticipation to this expedition. For some of us it was our first step in trekking which was at the same time interesting and something new. We were all eager to see what was awaiting us.

On 16th we boarded the Darjeeling Mail and reached New Jalpaiguri Station on 17th at around 9.00 am. From there we set forth for our destination to Manebhanjang, which was a four hours drive from Siliguri. At Siliguri we got a feel of the chill and I was a bit apprehensive about the weather farther north. The bus journey was enjoyable and pleasant and we were thoroughly excited about the whole experience. On our way we stopped at Mirik, which was a beautiful, quiet picturesque place. The foggy weather made it more appealing. The short break there made me want more of this exquisitely beautiful place. I was getting used to the chill and the sleepy foggy weather and loved it every moment. On our way was Pashupati in Nepal; from now on started our journey which would criss-cross the terrains of India and Nepal.

We reached Manebhanjang and were greeted to a wonderful place and delicious lunch. Here I got the feel of the cold and the peaceful style of life. We then went for a short acclimatization trek which was just a forerunner to the trek the next day. Food glorious food didn't leave our path. The people were wonderful. The roads were rocky, a few shops, everybody inside their homes by 6.30pm. What a wonderful experience and a different way of looking at life. The silent evening, the dark streets, the buzzing of an isolated television but feeling comfortably at home, this was indeed a realization.

After an appetizing breakfast we set forth for our trek from Manebhanjang to Tumling which was of 10.5kms. This was the start of many new experiences which would be a treasure for the rest of our lives. The rocky and steep road made us gasping for breath and the short-cut roads which saved on time consumed a lot more energy. On this trek we went on walking and we were happy to reach Chitre our stop for some energizing tea and biscuits. Next on we went to a place called Lamey Dhura. The place had a secret beauty of its own, with the rhododendrons, the pine trees and deep valley and the high mountains beckoning us. Trekking was indeed adventurous and fun, once you start enjoying it you would hate to give it a miss. We trekked some fast, some not so fast and some slow, but we reached the land covered with clouds, Meghma. We could see the clouds covering the entire mountain and the tiny huts. We had biscuits to energize us and warm water to heat within, and we left for our final destination Tumling.

The trek was fun, sporty and breath- taking. The thought that we were so near to Tumling was helping us to walk. With little stops on the Himalayan foot-hills and no sign of habitation the sight of a single white-washed bench brought a twinkle to my eye. I dragged my leg and I reached Shikher Lodge at Tumling in Nepal. We had indeed completed the first phase of the trek.  Again great lunch was served and we gorged on it. The evening was great in front of the fire, with a lot of quizzing and brain storming, then an early dinner and then off to sleep.

Next day we were treated to Tibetan bread for breakfast and with that lingering taste in the mouth we set forth for our view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. I had seen the Kanchenjunga in photos, screen savers and in other people's thought. Now I was elated to see it with my own eyes and experience it. Inhale the moment with every breath I took and preserve the view with my eyes in the memory card of my heart and mind. The Sleeping Buddha posture of the Kanchenjunga was exquisite and elevated the mind to a surreal level. Another thing which excited us was that we could get connectivity from here and we felt great sharing and boasting about our unique experiences. This day our trek was to Tonglu and back. In between we learnt the art of tent-pitching. We had breakfast at Nepal, tea in India and again lunch at Nepal, political barriers meant nothing to geography and people Going back to our lodge waiting for some lip-smacking lunch we basked under the rays of the sun. The sun doesn't elude any corner and here it was warm, cozy and bright too. More surprise was awaiting us, and that was the self-cooking session. Here the children cooked a wonder meal which smelt and tasted good.

Next day our trek was to Jowbari on the way we caught a glimpse of Mt. Everest which was indeed breathtaking. We made our way through the Singalila forest reserve and saw various plant species. Trekking to all these places was enjoyable and learning experience. We were enriched with the experience of trekking, coming so close to the Himalayas and having the scope of our own interpretations. It was indeed a superb experience to imbibe this wonderful dream. Waiting for us back at the lodge was steaming hot chicken momos and soup. Oh how fascinating, having momos in the Himalayas, a perfect blending.  The winter nights were restless but the morning sunrise in the Kanchenjunga and the first flush of snow made us forget the tiny hardships. The students spent the afternoon learning survival tactics. In the evening surrounding the bonfire we sand, danced and amused ourselves and vouched to come back on another memorable trek. 

This fascinating experience came to a close with the trek back to Maneybhanjang. The memories were indelible in our minds. On the way as we crossed Ghum, Sonada, Darjeeling and Kurseong old memories of family trip crossed my mind. My mind pointing out how lucky I was to experience the tourist and the holiday makers side with my family and the expedition and the adventurous side with my students.

It was a marvelous and an everlasting experience. The student’s learnt to stay in harmony and enjoy themselves away from the luxuries of city life. They showed their stamina and strength. It was an experience were students with different level of motivation, stamina and mindset came together and were successful in their endeavour. Staying and living together for many days brought all of us very close and the various sessions made us better, confident and useful human beings.  That evening we boarded the Darjeeling Mail, the night was sleepy and Kolkata city of joy was welcoming us. A new experience came my way and I grasped it with both my hands.

I would like to sincerely thank the Board of Trustees and Mrs. Seema Sapru, the Principal of The Heritage School for this wonderful opportunity, Ms.Bishakha Banerjee for her support, The East Zone Award Authority and the International Award For Young People for their everlasting endeavor and Juniper Travels for organizing a pleasant trek.

Ms. Priyanka Ghosh, Award Leader- The Heritage School, Kolkata 

Celebrate 50 years of The Award in India by Engaging in the 2nd Gold Solar Project with Ecosphere, Spiti from 9th to 25th June, 2012

The 1st Gold Solar Group after successful completion of the Bath Project with The King of Spiti and nuns of Morang 

Calling GOLD AWARD HOLDERS AND GOLD AWARD PARTICIPANTS to Celebrate the 50 years of The International Award in India through Active Engagement in a Sustainable Project in Northern Himalayas.

To highlight the need for sustainable development and engage young people in projects to witness first hand the positive outcomes of Societal Engagement, with focus on other valuable and crucial aspects/issues closely related like Environmental Consciousness, adaptation to a Multicultural Environment, and Social Networking.

The Spiti Gold Solar Project presented by the International Award for Young People, India; the Gold Award Holders' Society of India in collaboration with Award Social Partner- Ecosphere is a unique opportunity to Gold Level Participants and Gold Holders to undertake an international adventurous journey and engage in a residential project in Himalayas in June 2012. This project will provide an interesting insight into Spitian life, culture and Buddhist heritage and provide an opportunity to be a part of the environment preservation initiative taken by the community.

Through the Spiti Solar Project, Ecosphere aims to showcase the fragile environment in the highest mountain range of the world while encouraging young people to have a positive transformative experience through:   
Participants with monks during visit to Key Monastery, June 2011
  • Exchange of cultures not only with the Buddhist locals in the area but also with the other participants in the Project coming from a different areas and cultural backgrounds, and thus boosting up Social Networking.
  • Instilling Environmental Consciousness and emboldening the students/youth to engage in a sustainable development project that will ensure long-term significant Social Impact in the community through the construction of a solar facility in the area. 
  • A chance to visit and enjoy the picturesque beauty of the highest mountain range in the world, and simultaneously become successful in making a positive change towards the community, as a Global Citizen.

ABOUT ECOSPHERE: Award Social Partner

Ishita in her office in Kaza, Spiti
Ecosphere founded by Ashoka FellowGold Holder and Gold Award Holders’ Society of India President- Ms. Ishita Khanna; is a social enterprise dedicated to sustainable development through collaborations with the local community of Spiti and professionals from diverse backgrounds. 

There is a vast array of subtle complexities that bind together the various facets of the Himalayas. These are amply manifest in the ecology, people, culture, religion and geology of this extremely fragile and complex eco-system. Ecosphere Spiti are consciously striving towards ensuring that your visits to these pristine lands have minimum impact on the region and in turn directly contribute to conservation and development.

With focus to creating sustainable livelihoods that are linked to nature and culture conservation, Ecosphere addresses the triple bottom-line of conservation, development and economies. To know more about Spiti and Ecosphere, visit

At Key Monastery
ABOUT SPITI: The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal PradeshSpiti - ‘a world within a world' as described by Rudyard Kipling (of ‘Kim' fame) - is a relatively unknown world, tucked away in the Trans-Himalayan belt of Himachal Pradesh.

Reaching for the skies at average (valley floor) altitudes of 3600 mts, this peculiar geo-climatic cold desert region borders Tibet in the east and Ladakh in the north. Spanning an area of approximately 8000 sq km Spiti is home to a purely homogenous Buddhist Society of just over 10,000, who bear stark cultural similarities with their neighbours in Tibet & Ladakh.

Lying in the rain shadow of the mighty Himalayas, Spiti receives scanty rainfall. A cold desert at an average altitude of 4000mts, the valley experiences extremes of climate and temperature variations ranging from -25 degree to +30 degrees centigrade. For more than 4 months of the year the Spiti valley remains obscured by harsh winters.


Greening Spiti Project  is of special significance in
Spiti since the region is devoid of green vegetables. 

Most of the supply comes from the neighbouring cities of Shimla and Manali which takes 2 days. This excessive transportation makes the vegetables both expensive as well as high in their carbon footprint. Moreover in the 6 month long winters there is no availability of green vegetables as access to the neighbouring regions is cut off. 

The greenhouses developed by Ecosphere enable locals to cultivate vegetables not only in the summers but also in the winters at temperatures as low as -25 degrees centigrade. These green houses contribute to better health for the locals, reduction in emissions and also in providing them with an additional source of income.

1st Gold Solar Bath project, Morang Nunnery, June 201
Climate Solution Project through the construction of a solar facilities is of great significance in this region as great amounts of fuel wood, coal and wood is burnt for heating water that contributes to CO2 and black carbon emissions. The latter having far more damaging affects on the melting of glaciers and snow on a local level. 

Through the set up of a solar bath that includes both a passive solar structure as well as a solar water heating system, we enable the people to cut down on emissions (especially reducing black carbon) as well as enable them to have better hygiene through regular availability of hot water.


2011 Participants with Chomo Choden-Head, Morang Nunnery
In June 2011,a group of Award Participants spent two weeks successfully building a Solar Passive Bath in the remote Buddhist nunnery of Morang Village, Spiti. This project will allow the nuns to save over 3.5 tons of fuel wood per annum and provide ready access to hot water in the winters when temperatures dip to minus 35 degrees centigrade.

 “Our project will enable the local people to cut down on emissions and also to have better hygiene through regular availability of hot water.” – stated Arnav Saxena, a Gold Award participant of he 2011 Project. “Moreover, getting dirty in the mud and having fun working amidst the beautiful Himalayas- the highest mountain range in the world, the calm and pure winds at an average altitude of 4000metres above sea level, the simple yet sumptuous meals with the local Spitians in their cozy mud homes… all of these would just have been a mere desire if I had not applied for the Gold Spiti Project.” – he added enthusiastically. Hear more about the Trip


Dates: 9th to 25th June 2012

Open to all Gold Holders and Gold Award participants worldwide

Qualifies for Gold Level Residential Project and Adventurous Journey (Exploration)

Cost (Excluding Taxes): Indian Rupees 31,000.00 (Thirty One Thousand) per participant from New Delhi to Spiti and back. Does not include travel fare of transit from/to participant’s country and back.

You can pay through The Award Store at


For more details, contact Nivedita at

Sydney June 2009

Sandeep Dutt with John Pascoe (Former International Trustee), 
Suman Saha ( Former National Director of Bangladesh) & Peter Kaye (Gold Awardee & Hon Advisor for APAC)

Femco Summer Camps 2012

During the Summer Vacation the above mentioned Adventure Camp/Tour
For students:-
AREA                                                DATES                                             COST         
Nainital, Jim Corbett              20th April, (9 Days)                           ` 16,000/=
Costing includes Sighteseeing, park entry
Rafting & Mussourie              28th April, (9 Days)                           ` 15,000/=
Costing includes rafting for 2 days in the Ganga.                      
MANALI                                   10th May (9 Days)                             ` 15,000/=
Costing includes visit to Rothang Pass (hire of warm set), Paragliding, Zorbing,
Rafting, Entrance and sight seeing

The group will travel by:-

Ø  By 3 Ac Rajdhani Express between Mumbai-New Delhi Return
Ø  Internal travel by 2 x2 Luxury Ac Bus/Car
Ø  We shall be happy to discuss any details that you may require.
Ø  Advance Payment of Rs: 7,500/= at least 100 days before departure and Balance Payment 30 days before departure.
  • Contact for Application form: FEMCO TOURS:-
OUR PLANS for Adults and Students
o   JULY 2012 One day Open to all Monsoon Hike
o   JULY 2012  Leh, Ladakh and Sipti
o   AUG 2012   The Valley Of Flowers.
The cost mentioned above is subject to minimum group strength of 15 participants. If the group formed is smaller in size the cost may be revised accordingly

Subscription Form

Blog Archive