ghi-india

Giraffe Heroes India

Giraffe Heroes India (GH/India) aims to bring Giraffe vision, strategies and tools for change to the 1.3 billion people on the Indian subcontinent – making it potentially by far the largest Giraffe global affiliate launched to date. Like all Giraffe Hero affiliates, GH/India will tell the inspiring stories of the country’s heroes, motivating others to become heroic too. GH/India will also offer practical tools citizen activists need to succeed, as well as Giraffe civic engagement programs in schools, helping young people build lives as courageous and compassionate citizens serving a vibrant India.

The two newest Indian Giraffe Heroes will be introduced to the nation at an event in Delhi on January 22, 2015 at the School for Inspired Leadership. They are:

SubhashChandraAgrawal-GiraffeHeroesIndia
Subhash Chandra Agrawal. Your brave but self-less acts of utilizing the RTI Act, for public good and sticking your neck out despite innumerable challenges has made/is making, we feel a significant impact on the governance of our various organisations

LucyKurien

 

Sister Lucy Kurien. With this Commendation, we salute your brave but self-less acts of combating domestic violence prevalent in the society, providing shelters to victims of the same, rescuing abandoned women and kids who were/are victims of trafficking. 



 
The Giraffe Heroes/India Program
 

Giraffe Hero is a person who sticks his or her neck out on sustainable basis, for public good, at huge personal risk. Giraffe Heroes India Program is an off-shoot of non-profit Giraffe Heroes Project which was started in USA in 1984, by Ann Medlock. The aim of starting this Project was to find out unknown heroes of the society, commend them as Giraffes for sticking their necks out & get their stories told on radio, television & in print. Giraffe stories would tell the people that there was headway being made on the problems of the world, that there were individuals who had solutions & the courage to move into action. The stories would move people`s souls & get them moving on public problems that mattered to them.

 


 

 

 

ghi-india"From the Director" 

February 2, 2004 was a very special day for me. On this day, I received a letter from Ann Medlock, the Founder of Giraffe Heroes Project which said: 

`I am happy to tell you that you were chosen by our most recent jury to receive the enclosed Giraffe Commendation, joining over 900 people who have been honored as Giraffe Heroes since the Giraffe Project began in 1982.’ The letter stated that this was for sticking my neck out to fight corruption in civil government. 

It was unbelievable! I had received the Red & White Bravery Award in 2002, but this Giraffe Commendation came at a difficult time and was a HUGE morale-booster! It was a matter of great honour, pride & privilege to be ONE of the distinguished family of Giraffes. My years of trodding on the lonely path, which was very rough & uneven at times, had finally brought me to the doors of a family consisting of brave, caring & committed people.

I was still in the local government of New Delhi, fighting a long legal battle with my own organization. I had filed a case in the High Court in 1993, for a look into the unethical & unfair practices followed by my seniors which had resulted, to my mind, in a huge misuse of public funds. They were encouraging, pampering & protecting unethical colleagues, at the same time that they were harassing & hounding me in every possible way. I was making a stand for professional values & ethics. My good record was changed to damaging assessments of my work, making it impossible for me to advance in my career.

I finally won the legal battle, arguing the case myself against the organization in which I had worked since 1969. In May of 2004 I was appointed the Chief Engineer[civil]-HEAD of my Department.

Why have I given my personal example? It’s about something Ann mentioned in her letter. She said, “the aim is to tell others about you so that they will follow your example.” And that is the aim of this new organization, Giraffe Heroes India. This new non-governmental organization will tell the stories of India’s heroes, so that people all over the country can be inspired to stand tall on public problems they see.

Being appointed DIRECTOR of the Giraffe Heroes India Programme, is a matter of great honour & privilege for me. But having said that, it brings with it huge responsibilities. I’ll be rallying supporters for the cause, calling for nominations, organizing a jury, enlisting media to tell the stories.

1009Saluja and Giraffe Heroes International Diretor John Graham with Dr. George Mathew, 
Director of the Indian Institute of Social Sciences

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Pravin Purang, Somnath Bharti, Graham and Saluja 
at the Indian Institute of Technology

But, I am happy to tell you that there have already been very enthusiastic & positive responses & I am confident that Giraffe Heroes India will start kicking soon like the operations in Sierra Leone, Egypt, Nepal & the UK.

I welcome your ideas and support.

With best wishes to all & for Giraffe Heroes India 

Vijay K. Saluja 
New Delhi-India 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
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Background

Giraffe Heroes India was launched following the visit to India of John Graham, Director of Giraffe heroes International

raoroyjgsaluja

B.V. Rao, Editor of the magazine Governance Now; Giraffe Hero Bunker Roy;
John Graham, Director of Giraffe Heroes International; and
Giraffe Hero Vijay Saluja, now Director of Giraffe Heroes India.

Graham and Giraffe Heroes/India Director Vijay Saluja visited dozens of India’s leaders in government, business, media, education and the world of NGOs, seeking their advice and support. Everyone they talked to was very enthusiastic and offers of help have been pouring in. A two-hour meeting with the Maharaja of Jodhpur was important, but the Giraffe idea seemed to resonate among Indians of all ranks, who see the need for building more of the public-spirited courage necessary to take on the country’s daunting challenges.

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GHI Director John Graham, Maharajah of Jodhpur, GH/India Director Vijay Saluja,
social activist and educator Varun Arya, taken in the Maharajah's palace

They were gratified by the offers of support and Graham came back very excited by what he saw, and by the energy that Saluja and he were able to generate, even in a short time. One of the many high points for Graham was meeting with traditional village leaders (sarpanches) in the Rajasthan desert, explaining how bringing into their villages stories of Giraffe Heroes—people from all over India solving the kinds of problems they all face—could help them generate enthusiasm and action for local change. Saluja and Graham gave three public presentations, combining Saluja’s inspiring story of his own anti-corruption fight with Graham’s stories of thirty years of working with and learning from Giraffe Heroes.

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from left first row: Saluja, Varun Arya and Graham with village leaders

A solid beginning was made with India’s major media, including well-placed articles in major newspapers.

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Snapshots of GHI

 
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Graham and friends in Beirut
 
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Young Leaders in Lagos
 
John Graham In Geneva
Graham and Sudanese Professor Afaf Al-Haboub in Geneva
 
jg at tilingatar
Graham and students in Kathmandu