New Delhi: A student of Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College and a student of Jamia Millia Islamia have been honored with the prestigious Diana Award for promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2021 and empowering young transformationalists. 21-year-old Devanshi Ranjan is a final year student of LSR College. She helps underprivileged children, especially girl students, with their studies amid the pandemic while working with NGO Ladli Foundation Trust.
At the same time, Kaif Ali, a fourth-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) course at Jamia Millia Islamia, has been given this award for designing a sustainable shelter. The university said in a statement that their design helped prevent the spread of the coronavirus. According to the Jamia statement, “Ali designed a prefabricated, continuous shelter that not only helped contain the spread of infection but could also house refugees around the world in the future.”
His design is now being implemented in Lagos, Nigeria as well. It has been lauded by the Government of India, Commonwealth, and United Nations as one of the top 11 emerging innovation startups addressing climate change. After receiving the award, Devanshi Ranjan said, ‘On May 5, I came to know that I would be honored with the Diana Award. I was very excited, but could not share the news with anyone other than my family till the digital festival started on 28th June.”
She said, “My work centered around the Covid-19 pandemic relief work. Several surveys and reports revealed an increase in the number of school dropouts, especially girl students, for whom it was not easy to get online education. I worked with the NGO Ladli Trust and organized workshops for the students from slums and villages under my program ‘Pathanshala’.”
Received Diana Award for raising funds.
Apart from this, Sana Mitter (19), a social entrepreneur from Delhi and a first-year graduate student at the University of Warwick, has also received the Diana Award. Mitter had run a digital campaign to raise funds, under which he raised Rs 5,00,000 from 150 volunteers for vulnerable communities in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. He also raised funds to buy mobile phones for 40 underprivileged children so that they could continue their studies from home during the lockdown.
What is Diana Award?
400 people in the age group of 9 to 25 have been honored with the Diana Award worldwide. The Diana Award is given in the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales. This award is considered the ‘highest accolade’ a young person can get for social work or humanitarian efforts. The award was established in 1999 by a board headed by Gordon Brown. Current patrons of the Diana Award include former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Dame Julia Samuel, and former Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell.