For her passion to change lives; Palak wins Best Young Changemaker at the Plan India Impact Awards
Background and Aspirations
Under the wings of Narayan Seva Sansthan, an inspiration in the humanitarian field opened her buds and sprung out. Ms Palak Agrawal, a girl from Udaipur in Rajasthan, has been working towards bringing change with her contributions working for the Narayan Seva Sansthan.
“Blending passion with my profession was the key,” says Palak. It helped her pursue something she loved and also aided against her financial constraint. After graduating with a business major Palak aspired to change one life at a time. She wanted to make the world a better place before she leaves.
So, she has worked on various social issues including education, healthcare, child development, women empowerment, and gender equality. When asked about what motivates her, Palak said-
“From a very early age, I saw my mother helping the poor and needy people. This planted a seed inside me. Later on, when she encouraged me to celebrate my birthday with orphan kids, that is where my career goals took a turn. The satisfaction and happiness I experienced after seeing those innocent eyes gleaming with happiness was the turning point. I decided to continue my journey towards helping and uplifting the underprivileged section of the society.”
Efforts and Contributions
Providing 'free-of-charge’ services were instances of Palak’s kindness and motivation to make change visible in the lives of people who truly need that.
To this day, she has successfully arranged and provided over 10,000 school uniforms, sweaters, shoes, text materials, and school bags to children in marginalized communities. She also supported 510 girls with their education and an orphanage of 150 children with operational expenses.
Palak also spearheaded an initiative to connect students with education. She set up a computer in the remote forest school of Hamlet Kaliwas.
She assisted the distribution of artificial limbs to people with disabilities and has drastically improved the quality of life for many. She arranged camps for tribal communities, supervised them, and ensured it was accessible to all.
The National Para-Swimming Championship
Many people visit Narayan Seva Sansthan for help and support every week. When Shubham, a specially-abled kid, came into Narayan Seva Sanstha with his parents, he hoped to get back on his feet and walk someday. Shubham received free surgery for his legs through Narayan Seva Sansthan and is slowly achieving his dream.
After speaking with him, Palak discovered his exceptional swimming talent. However, he was not able to pursue his passion owing to financial difficulties.
This prompted Palak to develop an idea known as the ‘Smart Child’ initiative. This provides financial support and integrates social benefits into the lives of differently-abled children.
“It allows them to pursue their passion,” says Palak.
With Palak's help and various initiatives, the 21st National Para-Swimming Championship was organized by Narayan Seva Sansthan in association with the Paralympics Committee of India.
More than 400 people with disabilities from 23 states participated in the event and stunned the nation with their enthusiasm and performance. Hundreds of guests attended the inauguration ceremony, including Para Olympian Devendra Jhajharia, Major Dhyan Chand, Khel Ratna awardee Krishna Nagar, Vice Chancellor of JR Nagar Vidyapeeth Professor SS Sarang Devot, District Collector of Udaipur, and Gurudev Kailash Manav.
Palak says, “Though the participants had various disabilities or deformities, they had one thing in common – winning through hard work.”
The efforts and talents of the participants were appreciated and they made the nation proud. The institution also went on to build a para-sports academy in Udaipur to boost these children's spirits and provide special training.
For her endeavors, Palak has been recognized as the Best Young Changemaker Female at the Plan India Impact Awards, 2022 (PIIA 2022).