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" Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another." - John C. Maxwell

The 14th Annual Award & Felicitation Ceremony of the Avanti Young Women’s Leadership Programme took place on the 14th of March, 2024, at The Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai. This event marked a significant accomplishment by the girl students of Std VIII, under the dynamic and inspirational leadership of Principal, Mrs. Kalyani Patnaik, who fervently advocates for the empowerment of young girls.

This year, the programme saw the training of 60 girls to become young leaders. They were organized into eight groups, dedicating four months to their respective projects. Every Friday, these groups engaged in brainstorming sessions focusing on topics of utmost relevance, such as

women’s safety, rural girls' education, waste food management, non- biodegradable waste issues, the role of artificial intelligence, empathy towards senior citizens, global warming and climate change, and wildlife conservation.

Each group approached their chosen issue with ingenuity, conducting workshops, awareness drives, interviews, online surveys, and social media campaigns within their communities. Their endeavours received widespread appreciation, garnering hundreds of likes on their social media platforms.

A panel of judges meticulously evaluated the researched projects, considering factors such as innovation, societal impact, and execution proficiency.

The highlight of the event was the eagerly anticipated Award Ceremony, graced by distinguished guests including Mr. Ashank Desai of the Avanshali Foundation, his wife Mrs. Padma Desai, and the esteemed Chief Guest, Dr. Smita Puniyani, a revered family physician practising in Powai since 1978, who has been deeply committed to addressing societal injustices such as untouchability, poverty, the exploitation of women, and the propagation of blind faith. She, along with Mr. Desai, felicitated the young leaders for their persistent and sincere efforts.

The coveted trophy was awarded to the winning presentation, WASTE WARRIORS. The winning group shared ideas on empowering communities to reclaim our planet by proposing numerous viable alternatives to prevent waste.Additionally, the Runners’ Up Trophy was shared by the teams focusing on GLOBAL CLEARANCE' and THE ECO ERA.

Dr. Puniyani delivered an inspiring address, highlighting her tireless support for marginalized women seeking medical assistance and her dedicated efforts in educating underprivileged women and children. She emphasized the need for continued commitment to address prevalent societal injustices.

The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks, followed by a rendition of the song: "Insaaf ki Dagar pe bachcho dikhao chal ke; yeh desh hai tumhara; neta tumhi ho kal ke", eloquently capturing the essence of the leadership program. In the words of Myles Munroe, “Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by a passion, generated by a vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose." Needless to say, our visionary Principal, Mrs. Kalyani Patnaik, epitomizes this sentiment with remarkable fervour.

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