The organisation iVolunteer that recognises NGOs and volunteers for their devotion and uninterrupted commitment towards building a better society for all, organised the 4th edition of the iVolunteer Awards on September 27 in Mumbai. And like every year, it presented its awards to the doers of the society to give them recognition and to convey the message to others to come and participate in this developmental transformation.
Volunteer Hero: Arun Kumar
In this year’s edition of the Volunteer Hero awards category, the winner was Arun Kumar, who is working as a consultant with Cognizant Technology Solutions, Chennai. In 2014, Arun, with the support of his friends and family, founded Thenmozhi Memorial Trust to reach out to thousands of underprivileged cancer patients and raise funds for their treatment. Arun’s initiative has saw unexpected level of participation who continue to inspire people and raised hope of the patients fighting cancer. One of the major challenges Arun had to face was promoting breast cancer screening among rural women due to the stigma among women about mammography. Through a campaign called “Bring a smile”, Arun would connect with hospitals and reach out to cancer affected kids and collect their simple wishes and publish them on social media. Many willing hearts come forward to fulfill the wishes of these kids. Another project called Prajna aimed at creating cancer awareness among people through awareness walks, free breast cancer screening and emphasis on self-breast examination.
Youth Champion: Rishi Kumar Banshiwal
The Youth Champion award was bagged by Rishi Kumar Bansal, a management student with a passion for becoming a social entrepreneur with more than 5 years of working experience. His volunteering experience started as a coordinator in a non-profit organisation and after five years of experience, he runs one himself. He works with “Reaching Sky Foundation” on holistic development of youth. Rishi organized to provide a dynamic environment in classrooms by the involvement of young volunteers through workshops, group discussions, interactive games, guest lectures, educational and recreational visits, skill specialization program, etc. The objective of the program was to provide quality education as per the changing trends and equip them with necessary conceptual, cognitive, attitudinal and social tools to become self-sufficient.
He organised a workshop bringing youth from different walks of life together, sharing their stories networking and making them aware of their social responsibility and consciousness through fun activities and games. He also designed a program where has opened Neem School in the slums which were designed for filling value gaps and employability skills amongst vulnerable slum children and youth. Rishi has overcome challenges like team management, work delegation, social impact through dedication and continuous efforts. Volunteering has helped him grow professionally, personally, emotionally and many other areas.
Leader In Volunteer Engagement: Educate Girls
The Leader In Volunteer Engagement award was won by an NGO called Educate Girls which works to achieve behavioral, social and economic transformation so that all girl children have equal opportunities to access quality education. They have reached over 12,000 schools across 8,000 villages in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The NGO mobilizes communities to take a stand against gender disparity, working directly with governments, schools, parents, and village leaders. They believe that by empowering village communities to improve the quality of girls’ education and infrastructure in their government schools, more girls can be educated at large scales. If more girls are educated, then their health, income levels, and overall livelihoods improve, bringing about social transformation of rural and tribal societies.