Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Gold Award Holders' Society

The first AGM began with GAHS President-Ishita welcoming everyone, specially our guests and observers, Ms. Gilly Shirazi, Secretary General, International Award Association and Ms. Sue Walker, Asia Pacific Regional Director. She proceeded to introduce GAHS for the benefit of new members.

The Gold Award Holders’ Society registered on March 8, 2010 is the premier Alumni network for Gold Holders in India. With the motto of Cherishing Service and Relationship (CSR), GAHS is an effort to create more awareness about the Award in our country and to rope in exuberant Award Holders, who feel for the Award and are keen to give back. GAHS exists for the provision, promotion and preservation of the International Award in India. The GAHS Office runs currently from the National Office but has presence all across the country. With Honorary Secretaries currently in the South, West and East Zones, for better administration, communication and growth of the Award, GAHS supplements growth of the Award Programme as per the Strategic Plan of the National Office.

All Executive Committee Members introduced themselves. Vice President- Tripti Bansal, Secretary- Pranay Kapoor, Joint Secretary- Saachi Sarin, Treasurer-Sandeep Dutt, Member-Rohit Saxena, Gold Award Holder & Honorary Secretary- West- Juzer and Hon. Executive Secy-GAHS- Nivedita Samanta support President-Ishita Khanna to make GAHS a successful alumni network. The Executive Committee features Award Holders from over the years so that there is diversity of experiences for best possible growth. To supplement GAHS’ efforts to round up maximum members across the country, enthusiastic Award Holders and otherwise have been identified and function as Honorary Executive Secretaries. To date Bivujit Mukhoty (East), Juzer Shaikhally (West) and Sridhar Lakshmanan (South) are the Honorary Secretaries.

Ishita proceeded to ask all individual members to introduce themselves and say a few words about their Award experiences. This exercise reflected the great experiences that the Award allows every young people. Most people felt that the Award is the complete package for enhancing personality, to grow in a well-rounded manner. There were several comments from members who have completed all Award levels that they had experiences of a lifetime. Residential and Service Projects particularly allowed them to improve their personalities, become a team worker, learn about new things, and overcome fears through fun learning. Some felt that it is absolutely necessary to become volunteers to promote the Award in their schools, localities in an effort to allow more young people to go on self-discoveries, think beyond marks and academics and cherish the importance of small things.

GAHS till today: GAHS organised the first GAHS Summit on 23rd December, 2009 in New Delhi. This first effort brought together some Gold Holders from generations and introduced to them the National Strategic Plan for the growth of the Award Programme in the next three years. With the challenge to grow, especially in the 18-25 age groups, and introduce half a million young Indians to the Award, garnering Gold Holders, the best ambassadors for the Programme, as volunteers and Award Leaders will successfully create a network of people trained to ensure quality and service our society. Since, volunteers at the National Office have worked towards the registration of the Society with the Registrar of Societies in India and with the efforts of Accountant- Mr. Sunil Trehan of Sunil Trehan & Co., GAHS was registered on March 8, 2010. Over a few small meetings with the President, Treasurer and GAHS Members an event to bring together Award Holders, Award partners and potential partners from education, government, corporate and social sectors was felt necessary. The CSR Summit held on June 23, 2010 was successful in bringing together different stakeholders of the Award Programme to collaboratively engage youth in our society. Sunil Trehan, Sunil Trehan & Co. functions as auditor for GAHS. Audited statements will be made available soon. Every member of GAHS can look at statements on formal request.

Plan ahead for networking and Award development. Some ideas put forward and agreed on included:

  • Annual/bi-annual events like a trek or Residential Projects or Service projects for GAHs in collaboration with Volunteer Organisations and/or Service Providers

  • Each zone can do pilots on a section of the Award Programme Events like music concerts that may help provide finances to sustain future events.

  • International exchanges/events can follow once we can prove sustainability.

  • GAHS Members as Award Ambassadors NEED to talk about the Award to create more visibility Share Award stories and experiences on all Public Relations/Communications Mediums. As PR/Communications are at a nascent stage, it is important to lay ground work collectively and record Award stories to National Communications Team

  • Try to help Bronze, silver to complete Gold and to ensure better Gold completion rates in Award units in all zones.

  • To create more word about the Award, get young professionals/interns involved in Communications and PR strategy.

Confirmations to work together- give support and introduce at least 5 other Gold Holders to register with GAHS in the next one year

The meeting concluded with all members sharing their Goals for the year. T-shirts for all Gold Holders were distributed and new Gold Awardees headed for the Presentation Ceremony at the Vice President of India, Residence.

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