Indian honoured by IYF for serving mentally disabled

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New Delhi, Sep 2: Accolades to 27-year-old Iyyappan Subramanyam from India who has been hounoured by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) as its 'Youth Global Fellows' for 'creating positive change in their communities, their countries and the world' along with 20 other youth leaders. Subramanyam created a charitable trust to protect and promote rights of the mentally disabled.

Also in the list is a 20 year old in Pakistan who is working to put an end to the practice of honour killing in Pakistan.

The list of awardees, comprising a group of young social entrepreneurs who are distinguished by their approach to address urgent social and environmental needs, also includes a UK-based Indian who founded the English Secondary Students' Association (ESSA) to give students a voice and promote their active involvement in decision - making at local, national and international level.

Subramanyam from India has been honoured for creating the Sri Arunodyam Charitable Trust to protect and promote rights of the mentally disabled and abandoned children while providing them with a nurturing home environment.

Born and brought up in Edaiyur, a small village in Thiruvarur district in Tamil Nadu, Iyappan started working for the mentally challenged children after death of his elder brother, afflicted with down's Syndrome, when he was just a 13 year old.

From thereon, Iyyappan decided that his education would be associated with his plans to serve the society.

Registered as a charitable trust in the year 2002, Sri Arunodyam is a haven for the mentally challenged and spastics children who have been abandoned by their parents and ignored by society.

At the trust, the children are provided a family environment and made to feel important.

Also among the awardees is UK-based Indian Rajeeb Dey, who founded the English Secondary Students' Association (ESSA) to give students a voice and promote their active involvement in decision-making at the local, national and international level.

Run by students aged 11 to 19, the ESSA supports young people's voice on issues which affect their lives in school or college.

ESSA provides support, training and advice to help students get involved in decision making.

The list of awardees includes four people from Africa, six from the Asia and the Pacific, one from Europe, three from Latin America and the Caribbean, two from West Asia and four from North America.

Launched in 2001 by the International Youth Foundation and Nokia, YouthActionNet seeks to develop a new generation of socially conscious global citizens who create positive change in their communities, their countries and the World.

Says IYF president and CEO William S Reese, ''From harnessing the power of technology to combat drug counterfeiting to using bicycles as a potent rural development tool, this year's fellows are true social entrepreneurs - developing creative solutions to foster lasting social change.''

UNI

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