Greenwood High student Nikhiya Shamsher of Grade 10 has been honoured with the prestigious ‘National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement 2017’ on the recommendation of the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka for her exemplary work in the field of Social Service. The award was presented to her by the Honorable President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind today in a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The award carried a cash prize of Rs. 10000, Book Vouchers of Rs. 3000, a Silver medal, certificate and a citation. At a budding age of 15, Nikhiya already runs a registered NGO spearheading various campaigns like ‘Bags, Books and Blessings’ and ‘Yearn to Learn’ to ensure that every child has equal opportunities to learn, become successful in life and be provided with basic necessities.
‘National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement’ was instituted in 1996 whose selection is made by the National Selection Committee. It is constituted by the Government of India to give recognition to children between ages 5 to 18 with exceptional abilities and outstanding status in various fields including innovation in designs, academics, sports, arts, culture, social service, music and many more.
Nikhiya’s initiative of ‘Bags, Books and Blessings’ aims to provide schools and students with basic school supplies such as uniforms, pens, paints, crayons , school bags and many more. This campaign is in its third year and had helped over 7700 students in various schools. Another campaign from Nikhiya ‘Yearn to Learn’ opened free Science and Math labs in schools and colleges that do not have the infrastructure or the facility of any lab. ‘Yearn to Learn’ initiative has set up 35 laboratories which have served 6000 students from various schools so far. This year, she launched an e-commerce website called ‘knicnacs.com’ with the sole purpose to raise funds and sustain the activities of ‘Bags, Books and Blessings’ and ‘Yearn to Learn’. The website sells quirky and unique gifting products.
Nikhiya has many laurels to her name. Prior to this, she has been honoured with ‘The Diana Legacy Award’ from The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and Prince of Wales, Prince Harry at St. James Palace, London recently. She was the only Indian to win the award from amongst 12000 nominations received from all over the world. Nikhiya also won a Gold medal and was awarded with the stature of `National Honoree` at the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards 2016 at New Delhi. As a `National Honoree`, Nikhiya was invited to Washington D.C to represent India in the felicitation events for Spirit Honorees from participating countries all over the world and to visit U.S Senators on Capitol Hill last year. She was also chosen as the Global Winner of the Outstanding Youth Economic Citizenship Award 2017. She was given the High Honors Certificate and an Award Pin from The Johns Hopkins University, USA and the “Makkala Pratibha Puraskara Prashasthi” in 2016 by Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. For her Entrepreneur skills, Nikhiya has been chosen the Global Winner of the Outstanding Youth Economic Citizenship Award 2017. She was invited to attend The Global Inclusion Awards Ceremony hosted by the German G20 Presidency and Child and Youth Finance International at Berlin, Germany on 3rd May 2017.
Also, the Rotary Club of Bangalore Junction presented the Youth Excellence Award 2017 to Nikhiya for transforming the lives of thousands of needy children at schools through her initiatives. Inspired by her yeoman services to the community, the members of Rotary Bangalore Junction donated Rs. 51000 towards her noble cause. The Rotary Club District 3190 awarded her with the The Young Achievers Award for her outstanding achievements as a social activist. The award was given to her in the presence of Nobel Peace Prize winner Mr. Kailash Satyarthi.
Speaking on this occasion, Ms. Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High International School said, “Nikhya is a role model for her peers and with her sheer compassion, dedication, incredible problem solving abilities and entrepreneurial acumen; she has carved a niche for herself at such a young age. The much acclaimed ‘National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement 2017’ that she has received from our Honorable President is indeed a moment of immense pride for all of us. We hope to continue to support and cheer her in all her endeavors in the future and see her laurels grow in number. God bless her.”
“To be invited to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and receiving an award from the President of India was truly an overwhelming moment. It is with great gratitude that I accept this honour. I hope this will help me reach out to a wider audience and encourage more people to get involved in social activities. I strongly believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it. The world’s population is around 7 billion and some people see this as a burden; I see it as a huge opportunity. If we can get 10 percent more students into technological fields, we can solve a lot of problems, such as climate changes, scarce resources and conflicts that plague us today. It is simply a statistical advantage”, expressed Nikhiya.
Speaking on Nikhiya’s achievements at such a young age Dr. Pranjal Shamsher, mother of Nikhiya said, “I am proud of the work she has done at her age.”