- Devanjali Dutt convinces us with her Award story.
Self-improvement, excellence, confidence, and pride are a few words to sum up my Award Journey. The Award is unique, it does not involve competition between students, rather it encourages individuals to meet hurdles for their growth. People pursuing the Award develop an intel in a recreational physical activity. I gained a sense of confidence and self-motivation that compelled me to continue working hard.
The Skill section of the Award actually helped me build my self-confidence. It gave me the opportunity to look beyond academics and actually explore the talent I had in me. I never knew I could actually excel in dramatics until I decided to take it up as my skill at the bronze level. By the time I completed my Gold, I most certainly did acquire better techniques and got a chance to work with some very talented artists.
The physical recreation section taught me that competition is not always with other people it is with oneself and I got greater contentment when I managed to beat my own previous record than what I got on receiving a Gold medal in a race with other participants.
The adventure section t lectual, technical, or artistic skills, provide community service, undertake an expedition, and engage aught me to take on challenges and survive in tough conditions. Getting close to nature gave us a better understanding for our fragile ecosystem. Interacting with people from different parts of the country at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, gave me gave me a different kind of exposure, which I would have never received in the city. I learnt to believe in my abilities and not give up ever. Working on social service projects helped me connect with the diverse sections of society and made me realize that we should be thankful for what we have.
SKILL I pursued Dramatics as well as Kathak through my journey from the Bronze to the Gold level. I got a chance to work with a troupe from the Salaam Balaak Trust headed by Dadi Padamji, an eminent personality; with the very well known Ratna Pathak Shah in a Bhavai play and in a mime production directed by Zareen Choudhary. Practicing Kathak allowed me to get a better understanding of the techniques of a beautiful Indian classical dance form.
PHYSICAL RECREATION I was a middle distance runner and enjoyed doing hurdles, occasionally. In my final year at school when I was doing my Gold level, I was elected captain of the school athletics team because of my perseverance and punctuality. This experience has made me believe that hard work is the key to success.
SERVICE I worked with the underprivileged and the needy in Prem Dham (an old age home), learnt crochet with them; and proceeds from the handicrafts sold were donated. Teaching the children at the Servants of the People Society (Delhi branch) math was fun and volunteering at the Special Olympics for the disabled organized at my school was inspiring.
RESIDENTIAL PROJECT I completed my residential project voluntarily at the village of Shuklapur under the guidance of an NGO (HESCO) headed by Dr. Anil Joshi. We stayed at the village and assisted with projects like building toilets, repairing compost pits and backyard farming.
The Award truly does equip you for life; from care for the community, to excelling in the field of sports to walking up the narrow ridges of the mountain- I believe I am now an all rounder who can be an active citizen in all spheres of today’s society.