by Suman Gupta
New Delhi, August, 2019: Plan India, a not for profit organisation striving to advance children’s rights and equality for girls, announced the winners of the third edition of Plan India Impact Awards. The Awards, nationally, acknowledge and celebrate outstanding contributions of the grassroots workers who are at the forefront of helping local communities to bring positive and sustainable change.
Building on the success of previous two editions, the Plan India Impact Awards 2019 reinforced some of the key learnings and saw active, meaningful participation from more than 190+ NGOs partners, enlisting nominations across 21 states. They were shortlisted through a process oriented third party nominations, stringent review and selection which included Regional Jury deliberations and finally the National Jury selection, leading to the winners in eight categories: Anganwadi Worker, Accredited Social Health Activist/Auxiliary Nurse Midwife, Community Volunteer, Outreach Worker, Youth Champion for Girls’ Rights – Male & Female and Best Child Welfare Committee (Urban & Rural).
Anuja Bansal, Executive Director, Plan India said, “Since inception i.e. 2017, the Plan India Impact Awards have recognised exceptional functionaries who have gone beyond their call of duty while ensuring last mile delivery of critical services and long lasting change in their community. This year, the scale and scope of the Awards has been further widened to encourage nominations from across the country and recognise the exemplary contributions of frontline workers and volunteers. It is their inspiring work that has given us confidence and encouragement to seek greater participation and we hope to continue and be able to tell even more powerful stories of change in the coming years.”
Shabana Azmi, National Award-winning Actress and Philanthropist, who was also the guest of honour for the event, gave away the awards to the winners. Commenting on the occasion, she said, “My third year with Plan India Impact Awards has been very enlightening and a heart-warming experience. The awards were instituted to nationally acknowledge and celebrate outstanding contributions of grassroots workers who are at the forefront of helping local communities to bring positive and sustainable change. This recognition has not only gone a long way in providing these last mile champions, with an impetus to continue in their efforts but also inspire many others, to follow, join hands,strengthen communities and bring about real, measurable, change.”
Other delegates who were present at the event included Rathi Vinay Jha, Chairperson, Plan India Board, Mr Kamal Singh, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact; Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs and Partnerships Africa, Middle East , South Asia at Reckitt Benckiser and Shailendra Singh, Vice President, EXL Services. The event also hosted a panel discussion on Youth Action for Achievement of SDGs by 2030 that saw some of the renowned names in the industry exchange opinions.
Winner in the Anganwadi Worker category, Ms. R Sundari from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, who has spent seven years of her life focusing on enabling community wellbeing, said, “This award is an example of the fact that our work doesn’t go unnoticed and that is motivation enough for us to continue our efforts. Let us look beyond caste and gender lines and do all that we can to promote health and well-being for children, women and adolescent girls.”
On receiving the award in the Youth Champion for Girls’ Rights – Male category, Mr. Prafull, from Mumbai, Maharashtra, who strives towards educating under-served children, using a hands-on curriculum, nutrition, mental health and family care initiatives, said, “I firmly believe that Education shouldn’t come at a cost. It’s truly disheartening to know that so many underprivileged girls don’t have access to education and many families prefer to send their boy child to school. I consider it as my duty to provide a level-playing field for girls. Compassion doesn’t favour a gender, after all.”
Amongst other categories, from Odisha, Ms. Padmabati Naik was awarded for her contribution as an Accredited Social Health Activist/Auxiliary Nurse Midwife. Amruth Rao and Committee Members were awarded in the Best Child Welfare Committee (Rural). Volunteers from Maharashtra bagged the maximum awards across categories: Vijay Diapode and Committee Members, from Mumbai for The Best Child Welfare Committee (Urban), Alka Gujnal from Pune was awarded for her contribution as Community Volunteer. Additionally, Mohammed Taher from Telangana won for his contribution in the Outreach Worker category; Yogendra Pathak as the Field Officer from Agra and Sarathi was awarded for her contributions in the Youth Champion for Girls’ Rights – Female category.
About Plan India: Plan India is a nationally registered not for profit organisation striving to advance children’s rights and equality for girls, thus creating a lasting impact in the lives of vulnerable and excluded children and their communities. Since 1979, Plan India and its partners have improved the lives of millions of children and young people by enabling them access to protection, quality education and healthcare services, a healthy environment, livelihood opportunities and participation in decisions which affect their lives. Plan India is a member of the Plan International Federation, an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan International is active in more than 70 countries.
About Plan India Impact Awards: The Plan India Impact Awards is a one of a kind platform in India that recognises and awards exemplary work of grassroots champions who have battled numerous challenges in their lives to bring a change in the society. Instituted in 2017, Plan India Impact Awards are now an annual recognition of positive contribution of community frontline workers and volunteers.