Freya Thakral aged 13, a student from The British School, New Delhi has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award. She has been added to the roll of honours on Princess Diana's birthday 1 July 2020.
Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex in the UK.
After speaking with some of Delhi’s 500,000 underpaid and marginalised rubbish-pickers - many of whom are children – Freya began to advocate for change by building a more sustainable method of recycling. Freya’s passion to support the children in her local community made her reflect on the financial difficulties encountered by their families and how important education is to a young person’s future. As a result, Freya developed an app and door-to-door recycling business with the aim to transform the lives of Delhi’s rubbish-picking community, contributing towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals of reducing poverty, building innovation and infrastructure and encouraging responsible consumption and climate action.
Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, says:
“We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients who are changemakers for their generation. We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens. For over twenty years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make a positive change in their communities and lives of others.”
WHAT IS THE NOMINATION PROCESS?
Award recipients have been put forward by adults who know the young people in a professional capacity and recognised their efforts as a positive contribution to society. Through a rigorous nomination process, these nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership, and Service Journey.
There are 13 Diana Award Judging Panels representing each UK region or nation and a further three panels representing countries outside of the UK. Each panel consist of three judges; one young person, an education or youth work professional, and a business or government representative. The panels have an important main purpose: to determine which nominations from each UK region/nation/country will receive The Diana Award.
Nominations are judged using the Criteria Guide and Scoring Guide which have been created to measure the quality of youth social action.