In a prestigious ceremony, Aneeka Paul, of Grade 12, was recently awarded with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for their social action or humanitarian efforts — The Diana Award. Aneeka is among the select recipients from all across the globe, who were felicitated in the offcial Award Ceremony on June 28, 2021.
Established in the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the Diana Award Foundation and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex. For over twenty years, the Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.
Once on a holiday to India, Aneeka was deeply affected by the number of blind children she saw begging on the streets and vowed to do something about it. Since 2015, she has volunteered as a peer buddy and mentor to over 2000 students in ‘Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys’ Academy’ during her school holidays. She runs clay-modeling classes to strengthen the students’ cognitive skills, translates teaching materials into Braille and volunteers at the school’s ‘Animal Husbandry Training Centre’. Her support boosts the students’ confidence, enabling them to build effective relationships in school and in the wider community. Aneeka also passionately campaigns to promote the integration of people with disabilities into mainstream society by conducting online workshops.
Aneeka has inspired many to follow the humanitarian path. Her work is an example as well as an asset for the volunteers and aid-receivers. We applaud her efforts and conviction to reach out to the people from this differently-abled group.