Md Zabi Khan
22 years old; Hyderabad, Telangana
Md Zabi’s journey started when he was 13 and adopted an abandoned puppy. However, the poor creature who was affected by canine parvovirus, died within a few days. An animal lover, Zabi was deeply affected by this and vowed to never let animals suffer.
At the age of 16, he started an NGO called “ A Place to Bark” that works towards the rescue and rehabilitation of injured, abandoned and abused animals and also facilitates their adoptions, retraining, medical care and promotes awareness about animal rights.
Initially ,he set up a shelter near his house. After two years, he succeeded in building one in his college, making it the first Animal Friendly Educational Campus. His NGO has been successful in creating a self sufficient, self governing system in his college where student volunteers take care of the rescued animals. Zabi is also working towards replicating this model in other schools and colleges.
Gaining immense appreciation, he has received awards like the National Youth Icon, 2018 ; Asoka Youth Venturer; Pride of Telangana 2018 and Rise Young Citizen, 2017.
A student of St. Peter’s University, Khaalid completed his education with a B.E. Mechanical Engineering degree. One fine evening, he was on the road with a few of his friends when he saw an old man yearning for water. They quickly offered help to improve his condition.
The old man told them that all he needed was four people to stand in his last rites and bury him in a proper way. This incident changed his life.
Khaalid says that there are many homeless people who die alone and do not have anyone to claim their corpses, so he decided to start an NGO called the Uravugal Trust which provides dignified burials to unclaimed bodies. Currently, his organisation has more than 450 volunteers and have given dignified burials to many bodies. Apart from this, they also rescue homeless people and provide them with shelter in old age homes. Till date, they have relocated more than 45 such people. They also carried out a campaign to reach people and show them how to love their life and bond with other human beings.
24 years old; Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Bittu Kumari Mishra
19 years old; Madhubani, Bihar
Hailing from Gangaur village in Bihar, Bittu Kumari started her journey of volunteering at the age of 13 and has initiated her own banner which strives for women’s education, health and the environment. She is an ardent supporter for women’s independence and has raised her voice against dowry, female foeticide, child marriage etc. Her banner has also worked on creating awareness on menstrual hygiene and the use of sanitary napkins.
She believes that receiving the V award would be an honor for her village and she would also get to know about the best practices followed all over the country in different spheres of volunteering which can be taken back to her community. Her organisation carries large scale tree plantation exercises and creates awareness on climate change and environment protection. Compassionate and willing to work for her community, Bittu has been an inspiration for the people around her.
Sanket’s volunteering journey began when a group of children from a shelter visited his workplace. Seeing one of them fascinated by his laptop, Sanket wondered how something he considered so trivial meant such a luxury for that young child. This touched his heart and he committed himself to make the most for the social sector by leveraging the support of the public. As his initial steps, he took part in ”Run for Education” organised by the NGO Bhumi.
Thereafter he started conducting computer literacy programs for children from shelter homes and community centres. His efforts paid off well as he was able to teach 50 students and make many of them independent by providing them skill training. His work has made numerous students help learn basic computer skills like MS Office, web page development, logic building and thus increase their chances of employability.
29 years old; Mumbai, Maharashtra
19 years old; Gaya, Bihar
A young girl from Majhiyawan village in Bihar, Nitu has big ambitions and is currently pursuing her BA. An ardent supporter of women empowerment, she aspires to join the police services one day. She has received training from Samagra Seva Kendra on Life Skills Education and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights where she was a Discussion Leader.
She works for the betterment and upliftment of the women in her community and wants to make them independent and educated. In her efforts to achieve this, she has carried out awareness campaigns against violence, sexual harassment and child abuse. She is also active in the health and hygiene sphere and has helped adolescent girls access health services at the local Arogya Diwas Site. Nitu has also trained many girls to make sanitary napkins at home. The young girl who is also a core committee member of Lailita and Babu Girl’s Federation, successfully conducted a cycle rally of 32 km in order to create awareness on social issues.
The Tamil word “Thuvakkam” which means a beginning is also the name of Krishna Kumar’s NGO and rightly describes his journey in the field of social work and volunteering. A venture of six of his peers and himself, his organisation has become an inspiration for the ones in his surroundings. Krishna Kumar and his organisation works for the environment and towards imparting education. They carry out tree plantation and believe that making a green environment is not an option but the only way the human race can survive on our planet. He has modified Miyawaki Afforestation according to local needs and carried out Rainwater harvesting under the mentorship of Dr. Sekhar Raghavan -the Rain Man. They have supported the education expenses of many students by pooling resources from donors. Apart from this, he has worked during the Kerala floods and Nagapattinam cycle. Zealous about work, they have revamped many public places, schools and orphanages with the support of more than 11,000 volunteers, thus helping more than 50,000 people. They have received many laurels including the eNGO challenge award by DEF India.
Krishna Kumar Suresh
25 years old; Chennai, Tamil Nadu
27 years old; Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
With her father being an Indian Naval Officer and her mother a psychologist, Kavya’s inclination to serve the people and the country had always been ingrained in her. After completing her education, she came across SBI’s Youth for India fellowship for rural development where she got a chance to work for the betterment of the communities in need. For her work, she was placed in Barefoot College, Ajmer where her untiring labour helped her achieve the first Plastic and Waste free village model in Rajasthan.
She believes great power lies with the rural communities to transform their own lives, given the right training and technology. Her approach of sensitizing people and then bringing them along to make positive change has worked wonders. The glaring inequality and lack of opportunity has motivated her to work for the betterment of her country through social action.
G. Ramasubramaniam’s quest for seeking, nourishing and celebrating talent was the initiation of his journey towards volunteerism which has come a long way since and consolidated into an organisation called the Talent Quest for India. As he states, his motto is to bring to the fore, a greater number of young talented leaders in India. Their vision is to create socially responsible leaders which is executed by engaging youth as volunteers to deliver holistic development programs in tier 2 and 3 cities and villages.
Presently, their social awareness program reaches 15,000 citizens annually while their educational programs run in 23 districts of 3 states and enrich 10,000 young minds. With a wide coverage, his organisation has engaged more than 2500 volunteers to promote their activities. According to Ramasubraniam, receiving this award would motivate their volunteers to perform even better. Their organisation caters to various age groups and has different courses according to each group’s requirement and also focuses on imparting skills such as communication and soft skills, English language classes, personality development classes etc.
26 years old; Bengaluru, Karnataka
22 years old; Kandhamal, Odisha
Jhulima Mallick hails from a small remote village in Odisha called Bandudi where her family practices agriculture to receive a daily wage in return, like most other households in her neighbourhood. Due to the abject poverty of her family, she had to drop out of school in her 10th standard. Since her childhood, she has faced many challenges just because she was born a girl. However, this worked as her motivation to work for the betterment of the girls in her village and she started off her journey with an NGO- SWATI and Save the Children which worked towards putting an end to child marriages. Gradually she went on to lead a girls group in order to wage a war against child marriage. Her efforts have been commendable and have helped stop 12 child marriages.
She has been an ardent supporter of higher education and skill training for girls and has showed the right path to many of her peers. She even got herself re enrolled in 10th standard in order to complete her education. As her village has a high rate of malaria, therefore, in order to contribute her bit towards it, she was involved as the leader of a girls group in the MDD-MR campaign to make progress towards the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
A survivor of trafficking, Rumi Kumari has been an inspiration for the girls around her. Tangled in poverty, she was sent to work at the young age of 9 at different locations. Even though she was subject to immense physical torture, she managed to free herself and enrolled herself in school. Her troubles did not end here and she was made to marry at 14.
However, as she received training on Life Skills Education by Save the Children, she managed to gather strength and raise voice against the decision of her parents. Presently, she is pursuing her under graduation from Ranchi and dreams of being a Police Officer one day and eradicate evils like trafficking. An Ashoka Youth Fellow, Rumi is working for the prevention of child marriage and promotion of education of the girls in her community.
She has personally been able to curb 15 child marriages. She is relentlessly sensitizing her community, regarding the ill effects of child marriage. She has remained the lead voice of Save the Children in Jharkhand during their “Vote for Children” campaign. She insisted the Chief Minister of Jharkhand to form Child Protection Committees and functionalized one in her village. Praised by many eminent ministers of Jharkhand, her struggle would be penned down by the author, Ms. Rashmi Bansal.
24 years old; Ranchi, Jharkhand