India Philanthropy Alliance launches 2nd youth essay competition

India Philanthropy Alliance

Essays should tell how people in the US can help India solve its most significant issue.

The India Philanthropy Alliance (IPA), has announced its second national youth essay competition to challenge students to think about solutions to social problems and their own role in nonprofits and philanthropy.

In the midst of a pandemic and related crises that are unlike any other, the enthusiasm and ideas of the next generation bring hope for the continued admirable work of nonprofit organizations in India and abroad, the US-based coalition of 13 nonprofit organizations serving communities in India, said in a press release Monday.

Each submitted essay should answer the following question: India is the world’s largest democracy and has made significant progress on social and environmental issues over the past 25 years.

But India and its 1.3 billion people still have many urgent and unmet needs including access to food, shelter, health care, clean water, education, and a safe environment.

What do you think is the most significant issue facing India and its people today? What role do you think individuals (young and old) and groups in the US can play in being a part of the solution?

The winners, runners-up, and finalists will be selected by a panel of philanthropy experts in two age cohorts.

For middle school students, the essay length is 600 words or fewer, and for high school students, the limit is 1,200 words. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2020.

“Our goal with this contest is to get students excited about philanthropy and problem-solving, particularly on issues affecting India,” says Alex Counts, the director of IPA.

Winners in each age category will be invited to present their ideas at the Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit and allowed to direct $1,000 to the nonprofit of their choice. Runners-up will be granted $500 toward the nonprofit of their choice.

In the coalition’s inaugural 2020 contest, winners Maher Adoni and Rohan Chalamalasetti shared their perspectives on rural education and clean drinking water.

Maher, a senior from Champaign, Illinois, reflected on the contest, “Writing the essay allowed me to draw on my own personal experience witnessing the state of education in India with my thoughts on the topic as a whole.”

“And winning the essay — which I never expected to happen — exposed me to all the amazing Indian American philanthropy that happens here in the United States and abroad.”

The contest is made possible again this year through generous support from the Sarva Mangal Family Trust, supported by the Shah Family of Orange County and their company MS International, Inc, the release said.

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