The first ever iVolunteer Awards ceremony was held in Mumbai on April 8, 2013. The awards identify the champions leading the volunteering movement in India, recognize the contribution of volunteers and organisations that enable volunteering; and aim to celebrate, reward and promote volunteering in India.
Nandita Das, Actor Director with a fiery passion for social change was Guest of Honour at the ceremony, hosted in association with ceremony partners Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. In her keynote address, Nandita Das underlined the need to share and celebrate volunteering experiences saying,“(People inspire me), in a small way if I too can inspire somebody, then that is how we can create a chain of volunteering.”
Shalabh Sahai, Co-Founder and Director, iVolunteer affirmed the need to celebrate and reward volunteering. He said, “Our belief is that volunteers make a substantial contribution to the country’s development, but there is not enough recognition of this work and that is the missing link.”
Nominations and applications to the awards were accepted online for two categories, Volunteer Hero 2012 and Leader in Volunteer Engagement 2012. Entries received were showcased on an online platform where people were encouraged to view,share and vote for the organisations and individuals that inspired them. The finalists were chosen basis public voting (20,000+ votes polled) and screening by the awards team. The winners selected by a panel of National Jury members were felicitated at the iVolunteer Awards ceremony. In attendance were finalists, eminent personalities and thought leaders from the corporate and development sector.
C. Kartheeban was awarded title of Volunteer Hero 2012 in recognition of his pioneering voluntary work. Bangalore based Make A Difference (M.A.D.), was awarded the title of Leader in Volunteer Engagement 2012 in recognition of their efforts to strategically involve volunteers for community development.
The celebrations ended on a high note with attendees stepping up to pledge to volunteer their time and skills to power India’s social development. Shalabh Sahai, renewing his pledge to volunteer professed, “The challenge before us is how to change India from a country of a million onlookers to a nation of a million volunteers and that’s what the iVolunteer Awards aim to do.”
The iVolunteer Awards Ceremony 2012 may have drawn to a close but the journey in promoting volunteering has only just begun…
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