Rehan Poncha and Team Ashwa
share Young Achiever 2007 award
The winners of the Young Achiever 2007 award, instituted by Rotary Bangalore Midtown & Brigade Group, were announced at a function held at the MLR Convention Centre, J. P. Nagar, on 26 October 2007. Chief Guest Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Member of Parliament; Chairman & CEO, Jupiter Capitals Pvt. Ltd) presented trophies and citations to joint-winners Rehan Poncha and Team Ashwa. M.R. Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group, then presented each winner a cheque for Rs 50,000.
A citation and special mention award each of Rs 15,000 were given to Veena Basavarajaiah, Umesh B.N. and H.G. Chaitra.
National swimmer Rehan Poncha has a string of impressive national and international records, including being the only swimmer to hold three All-time Best Indian Performance records since 1997. Sharing the award with Rehan Poncha was Team Ashwa, a team of young professionals who designed and fabricated India’s first race car prototype and won two awards in their debut race in the FSAE event at Australia.
H.G. Chaitra, Umesh B.N. and Veena Basavarajaiah, who received special mention awards are outstanding achievers in the respective fields of dance, environmental awareness and music.
While addressing the gathering, M.R. Jaishankar expressed satisfaction at the success of the state-wide search for a Young Achiever. “The purpose behind the institution of this award is to identify inspiring personalities amongst the youth today, and to encourage their achievements.” Chief Guest Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Member of Parliament; Chairman & CEO, Jupiter Capitals Pvt. Ltd), was full of praise for the winners, and stressed the importance of passion in order to succeed in one’s respective field.
In Rehan Poncha’s absence, (he is currently participating in the Asian Indoor Games being held at Macau), his father Jehangir Poncha received the award. Team Ashwa left the audience inspired with a speech that spoke of hard work as the key to excel and shine in anything one chooses to pursue.
Update on the Winners:
Rehan Poncha is currently training at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, ahead of the Commonwealth Games. One of 15 sportspersons elected for this year's Arjuna Award (the only one from Bangalore).
Team Ashwa looks forward to participating at the Riccardo Paletti race track at Varano de'Melegari, Italy, in September 2010.
Entries and selection
A total of 120 applications were received from all over Karnataka, including national and international level achievers. Areas of achievement that were represented included a wide and diverse variety of domains.
Specific criteria adopted while short-listing applications:
1. Inspiration value / overall personality
2. Usefulness / contribution to society
3. Level of achievement / innovation
4. Proximity of achievement to 2007
5. Leadership effort
While the most important criterion for selection was the applicant’s actual achievement, the selection committee also considered the applicant’s commitment to his or her field of endeavour and evidence of a continual pursuit of excellence.
Fifty-eight entries, covering a fair range of areas, were initially selected. After careful scrutiny, this was pared down to nineteen and the short-listed applicants were invited to meet the jury.
The personal interviews
Nineteen short listed applicants met the jury at The Woodrose on 13 October 2007, an exclusive club built by Brigade Enterprises Limited in J.P. Nagar.
The jury comprised eminent personalities from different fields and included: Geeta Varadan—Project Director, Special Projects at ISRO; Smita Shetty, MD of Fouress Engineering India Ltd, and a well known dancer; and The Rotary Bangalore Midtown Young Achiever 2007 award committee members—G.S. Bhaskar, A.V.S. Murthy, Kiran Boal, G. Ravishankar and Varadan Seshamani; M.R. Jaishankar, Chairman & Managing Director, Brigade Group; H. Jayadeva, Managing Director, Resource Communications.