iVolunteer, the social enterprise that promotes volunteering, recently organised the iVolunteer 2013 awards. A one-of-its kind volunteering award, it aims to celebrate, reward and promote volunteering in India.
There are three categories of awards: ‘Volunteer Hero 2013’ is awarded to an Indian volunteer, who by his/her volunteering through the year, has impacted India’s social development and inspired others to volunteer. Volunteer Hero 2013 was Selva Ganapathy, and is a volunteer with AID India. Selva has been volunteering with AID INDIA for the past ten years and has mobilized more than 10000 volunteers across the country; raising funds of more than 1 crore.
Volunteer Hero 2013 is sponsored by Deutsche Bank Ltd. Selva received a certificate and a paid trip to attend the ‘Points of Light’s Conference’ on Volunteering and Service — one of world’s largest conference on volunteer service to be held in Atlanta, USA, on June 16-18, 2014.
The next award conferred was upon the ‘Leader in Volunteer Engagement 2013’, which is awarded to a NGO that uses the most innovative model of volunteer engagement towards achieving its social objective. The award is given to any NGO/ Society/ Trust/ Section 25 Company that has engaged with a number of volunteers on specific projects effectively in the year 2013 to amplify their impact on India’s social development. On behalf of team Bhumi Dr. Prahalathan, co-founder received the award.
Bhumi won this award sponsored by ‘Hindustan Times’, which included a certificate and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh. Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi has volunteers comprising students and young professionals and works towards the holistic development of under-privileged children in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Rajasthan and other parts of the country.
The last category of awards was ‘Leader in Employee Volunteering 2013’. The newest category at iVolunteer Awards is given to a company with best practices in encouraging employee volunteering in India.
Cummins India Ltd bagged the award for creating a unique model, where, in line with its core strengths it undertook the task of upgrading ITI Phaltan, engaging more than 25% of its employees in skill-based volunteering. Along with other community projects undertaken, 600 out of a total 800 Cummins employees volunteered in 2013.
The Guest of Honour for the evening was Shikha Sharma, MD and CEO, Axis Bank, and actor Abhishek Bachchan was the special guest for the evening. Speaking at the occasion, Shikha Sharma acknowledged the importance of volunteering and the value-add it gives to employees of the organization. Actor Abhishek Bachchan admitted to the moral duty of celebrities to give back to the society. “Every cause is worth fighting and volunteering for. I believe actions speak louder than words and till the time each human being does his duty and volunteer in his capacity, we can go a long way,” he said.