Aranyo Ray, from Kalyani Public School, Kolkata, and Vaishnavi Pandey, from Tagore International School, Delhi selected as the National Winners
GURUGRAM: The 10th Annual Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, hosted by Pramerica Life Insurance Limited, felicitated 30 school students for their extraordinary efforts in the area of community service at a ceremony in Delhi. These finalists were selected from over 3,200 applications received from a nationwide search for the country’s top student volunteers. Anand Kumar, Founder of the ‘Super 30’ programme was the Chief Guest at the event.
The top honors in the Individual Category went to Aranyo Ray a Class XI student of Kalyani Public School, Kolkata, for his innovative project ‘NanoCide and Soyasafe’ (Two safe pesticides to help jute and soybean farmers defend their crops from pest and fungal diseases) and Vaishnavi Pandey a Class X student of Tagore International School, Delhi, for her project ‘flawless flaws’ (a campaign to support acid attack survivors and ensure equal opportunities for them in the society). Both the winners were presented with Gold medallions, Certificates of Excellence, a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each and a return trip to Washington, D.C. While in Washington, D.C., they will represent India in the felicitation ceremony hosted for Spirit of Community Award winners from all participating countries.
A group of students from Children’s Academy School, Bombay, were declared as the winner in the Group Category for their project on ‘saving injured birds’. They were presented with Gold medallions, Certificates of Excellence and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 to be shared among them.
14 other well-deserving finalists in the Individual Category and 2 groups in the Group Category received Certificates of Achievement and Silver medallions.
Addressing the finalists, Mr. Anoop Pabby, MD & CEO, Pramerica Life Insurance said, “I am honored to be in the company of young volunteers like you, who have shown passion, courage, and conviction to make a positive difference in your communities. You have taken the initiative to find causes to support and have not let age come in the way of your contribution. Each of you has done an outstanding job that has impacted the lives of many. I congratulate you on your incredible achievements and hope you will continue to do good work and inspire countless others to follow your example.”
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Chief Guest, Anand Kumar, said, “The kind of work these young volunteers are doing to bring change in society is very commendable, and I am happy that there is a platform like the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards to acknowledge their efforts. I am genuinely impressed by the enterprising ability of the applicants to start these community projects. Their hard work and dedication are an inspiration for other children and I wish them the best for their future.”
The national winners were selected by an eminent jury panel comprising Gauri Sharma Tripathi, one of UK’s leading Kathak artistes; Huma Masood, National Programme Officer – Gender and Education, UNESCO New Delhi; Madhavan Narayanan, Editor, writer, and columnist; Manoj Gopalakrishna, CEO of CARE India and Prof. Neera Agnimitra, Head of School of Social Work, Delhi University.
Aranyo Ray and Vaishnavi Pandey will now travel to Washington, D.C. in May to be a part of the gala award ceremony held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They would also be taken on a tour of the capitol’s historic monuments and landmarks and enjoy a festive dinner cruise on the Potomac River. Moreover, there will be plenty of opportunities for these students to share their experiences and ideas with volunteers from other participating countries from around the globe.
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