Mumbai : The 29th edition of the Heartfulness Essay Event Prize Distribution Ceremony was held today at Kanha Shanti Vanam, the World Headquarters of Heartfulness. The occasion was graced by Shri G. Kishan Reddy – Hon’ble Minister of Tourism and Culture of India, Shri Anantha Duraiappah – UNESCO MGIEP Director, Ms Krithi Shetty – Telugu film actress and Shri Kamlesh D Patel (Daaji) – Guide of Heartfulness Institute alongside other luminaries. The Prize Distribution Ceremony was live streamed globally from the World’s Largest Meditation Hall at Kanha Shanti Vanam.
Samyuktaa Sivakumar of Ryan International School (Mumbai) won the 1st prize in English category 1(14-18 years) while Namburi Sai Sanjana of BVRIT Hyderabad College of Engineering for Women (Hyderabad) won the 1st place in English category 2 (19-25 years). Nikhil Kumar of Meerut and Saumya Kumar Singh of the Central University of South Bihar, Gaya won the 1st prize in Hindi Category 1 and 2 respectively.
Since its inception in 1993, the Heartfulness Essay Event is India’s largest and longest-running Essay event running for 28 years with about 1 million submissions received in 2019. The 29th edition was launched in August 2021 with the theme of “Kindness for Self, Others, and the Environment” based on a campaign run by UNESCO MGIEP and had the biggest turnout with 30% more participation than the previous year. Several lakhs of children and youth from over 74 countries participated in the event with over 42 thousand online submissions of touching stories on kindness is written in over 15 languages – nine Indian and six official UN languages.
Every year the Heartfulness Education Trust (HET) along with Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) in association with the UNIC (United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan) hosts the Heartfulness Essay Event to motivate the youth to cultivate values as part of their learning. This year too, despite the impediments of the pandemic, the essay event was organized successfully. The jury received high-quality essays this time as well from the participants worldwide. The purpose of the event has been to impart to the resources of the young mind to help them access inner wisdom and tread the path of contemplation, reflection, and discussion and making them valuable tools for value-based learning in their daily lives. Heartfulness has been creating an environment of self-discovery and molding the hearts and minds of millions of young citizens over the years.
Speaking of the occasion, Shri Kamlesh Patel (Daaji) – Guide of Heartfulness said, “We are living in a world where parents believe they are either too overworked or lack the time to impart values to their children. Children too are being taken over by technology. We must find means for them to introspect a little and find some stillness in thought and reflect it in their actions. An essay writing event like this would enable students to ponder over the meaning of human life and the core human values. I am overwhelmed to see the kind of response received. I would strongly recommend adding categories of innovation and discovery in the future editions of this event to help our youth transform to better and brighter individuals.”
Shri Kishan Reddy Hon’ble Minister of Tourism of India said, “With such huge participation in the Heartfulness Essay Event, it is worth noting that our children and youth have such profound thoughts on kindness on various levels. And these are young people around the world who are compassionate and inclusive. They are looking beyond prejudices and valuing equality and being kind to mother nature as well. The essay event also enables students to be creative in their thoughts as reflected by the huge numbers this year.”
“The purpose of the essay event has been served in bringing the young minds around the world together to reflect their noble thoughts. Both Heartfulness and UNESCO emphasize the overall education and development of youth and kindness is a very important aspect of it. It is only through kindness that many other human virtues are brought to the fore. The beautiful essays that the participants sent in reflected some wonderful thoughts on these lines and show how open the young people are towards universal harmony” said Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, UNESCO MGIEP Director. He Further added,” Kindness is a competency. The brain can be trained for Kindness just like numeracy snd literacy. Writing essays on kindness by young people is the first step on a long, difficult but rewarding journey towards a peaceful and sustainable world.”
The Heartfulness Global Essay Event 2021 was held online, began internationally in August 2021 and concluded on 15 December 2021. Names of the winners were announced on 26 January 2022. Heartfulness held the event in association with UNIC, UNESCO MGIEP and it was sponsored by Daisy Tek Computers LLC, Adizes Institute Worldwide, InMobi, and the education partner – Education World and Parent World. This was the 29th edition of the Heartfulness Essay Event in India and the very first global edition. This is especially because of the active encouragement from educational institutions across the world to their students to participate. The winners were announced on the Heartfulness link: https://heartfulness.org/education/essay-event/winners.html
The Essay Event was held across two categories – category 1 for the age group of 14-18 years and category 2 for the age group 19-25 years. The theme for this year was based on a campaign being run by “Kindness for Self, Others, and the Environment” . 90 essays were selected from all 15 languages for awards in Category 1 and 86 in Category 2. Participants from both categories were invited to share real-life stories of kindness to the self, others, or the environment either from their own experience or that of their family and close associates. Participants across various countries could choose to write in any one of the 15 languages viz., Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. A winner and runner-up have been selected for each of the categories under all the languages. A prize of USD 400 has been announced for each winner while the runner-up receives a prize of USD 300. Based on the jury’s discretion, more than two awards have been given in some languages. A memento will be awarded to those ranking three to ten in both categories along with a certificate mentioning the rank. Select essays have been awarded Certificate of Merit while every participant apart from the winners will receive a participation certificate.