Yakjah Reconciliation and Development Network, a non for profit social innovation for peacebuilding, has from this year instituted a Gratitude Award for recognising the excellence, commitment and zealous participation by an individual in volunteerism, developing youth leadership and peacebuilding in Jammu and Kashmir. The award will be given every year to young people in the age group of 18-30 years of age for their contribution to peace leadership in JammuKashmir and Ladakh.
The Gratitude Award for 2021 has been bestowed upon Zahak Zakir Hussian from Kargil in Ladakh, Mohammad Aamir from Kashmir, Akshay Kumar Sharma and Sabiha Beig from Jammu for their exceptional commitment to advancing the agency of youth for social well being and change. On receiving the Award, they pledged to take their learning and skills to the next generation of youth.
Zakir, was 17 year when he participated in a workshop held by Yakjah in 2013 in Kargil. Since then he has volunteered for Yakjah’s various projects and continued to work for peace, development and youth leadership. With two degrees, one in Mass Communication and Journalism and the second in Liberal Arts, Zakir was instrumental in starting the Students Educational Movement in Ladakh. He is currently worky with Dasra, a strategic philanthropy movement in India and strives to bring governments, funders, and social organizations in empowering the lives of millions. Zakir was a Young India Fellow from the batch of 2020.
Aamir Ganaie was looking for a platform and a direction in his life when in 2014 he joined Yakjah’s residential workshops in Katra, Jammu. His life journey has since then transformed into becoming a lifelong volunteer for youth participation, community development and innovation in Jammu and Kashmir. He is currently working with a Delhi based EdTech firm as Quality Assurance Engineer. Also working as a freelance UI/UX Designer, Aamir holds diplomas in Computer Applications and Programming; Graphic Designing, Photography and Filmmaking and Mountaineering. He also offers one-roof solutions from ideation to start-up completion to the youth of J&K and empowers them to realise their dreams by minimising failures and avoiding risks.
Akshay Kumar Sharma is an architect, entrepreneur and a peacebuilder . He has been awarded by the President of India as a best Scout from J&k and has also received the Governor award and Paryavaran Ratna Award . He participated in Yakjah’s residential workshop in 2017 in Nagrota. Since then he has been advocating and contributing to peacebuilding. He volunteered as a member of the COVID Response Team during the second wave of COVID in the country ensuring that no one goes hungry and is currently leading Yakjah’s women impacted by COVID livelihood project in partnership with Sewa International.
Sabiha is a MBA graduate and has recently started her own business in the beauty industry. She joined Yakjah’s residential workshop in 2017 in Nagrota. Since then she has been part of Yakjah’s journey contributing to its various projects as group leader, anchor, facilitator and community worker.