India Philanthropy Alliance announces winners of Inaugural Youth Essay Competition

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The India Philanthropy Alliance (IPA), a coalition of 13 US-based organizations working on humanitarian and development issues in India, announced on September 30, 2020, the winners of a youth essay competition that they held this year.

Students were asked to submit their ideas on how to effectively engage in philanthropy, including philanthropy benefiting India. The contest was funded by a grant from the Sarva Mangal Family Trust, based in Orange County, California, according to a press release from  IPA.

Judges selected Maher Adoni of Champaign, Illinois as the winner among high school students with Adhitya Ajith of West Des Moines, Iowa as the runner-up.

Rohan Chalamalasetti of West Des Moines, Iowa was selected as the winner among middle school students with Shreeya Yarlagadda of Johnston, Iowa as runner-up.

Adoni’s winning essay focused on ways to improve education in India using technology and volunteers. According to the statement, when informed about winning the contest, Adoni was grateful for the opportunity to share his ideas witht eh public and philanthropic leaders.

Chalamalasetti’s winning essay investigated the issue of clean drinking water in India. He said in the statement, “Participating in this essay competition was a great experience and I learned a lot.”

A panel of judges composed of leaders from IPA’s member organizations and Mona Shah, representing the Sarva Mangal Family Trust, reviewed numerous essays submitted by middle and high school students from across the country. “It was inspiring to see how passionate these young authors were about solving issues facing India today,” Shah said in the statement.

As part of the competition, the winners were each able to direct $1,000 grants to the nonprofit organization of their choice, and the runners up were able to direct $500 each. All essays by winners, runners-up and finalists have been published on IPA’s website.

The winner of the contest will also be announced at a philanthropy summit organized by Indiaspora, a member of the IPA which says its mission is to transform the success of the Indian diaspora into meaningful impact worldwide.

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