Why a Class 11 Girl from a Remote Village Will Host the SABERA Awards 2018

Suparnaa Chadda launched the SABERA Awards to recognise and reward good in society. Why did she pick a village teen to be the emcee for the event?

By Suparnaa Chadda

I started the event सबेरा SABERA in a bid to amplify the voices doing good.

While sensationalism sells, the voices of individuals and organizations working diligently on ground seem to get lost in the mainstream. After working for over 18 years in the media, I realized the importance of encouraging and highlighting such work. Work that is driven by passion and fuelled by positive intent.

The CSR mandate for companies has been a welcome step forward in helping back such projects with corporate funds. Six years since its implementation, there are a whole lot of lessons to reflect upon, success stories to be replicated, and gaps to be plugged. Hence, the need to create a platform to share knowledge and acknowledge good work.

As सबेरा SABERA (Social and Business Enterprise Responsible Awards & Summit) is on the cusp of its very first edition on December 6th, 2018, there isn’t a day that goes by when I am not overwhelmed with the development work happening across the country. Each entry submitted through the awards makes me swell with pride.

I hope सबेरा SABERA will do its bit in building a positive narrative for my country, recognizing good from every corner.

Each conversation since its inception has me surprised at the driving force behind torchbearers of change. One such conversation brought in contact with Shalini Sharma, our Master of Ceremonies for the event.

A class 11 student from a remote village in Uttarakhand, Shalini’s father is a gardener and the sole earning member in the family of five. She and her siblings attend school at Purukul Youth Development Society (PYDS) in Dehradun.

Last year, Shalini went on an exchange student program to Chicago, USA for a year. She had to drop an academic year but that is a small price to pay for the world that opened up to her. Full of confidence, she is keenly looking forward to host the show this week at the Nehru Memorial Museum Library Auditorium, Teen Murti.

Shalini Sharma

It is schools like PYDS who are building the future in the remotest corners of the country. And सबेरा SABERA hopes to bring to the fore many such initiatives. Bridging the gap, offering a platform, amplifying their work and building a positive narrative. One story at a time. And there are a million stories waiting to be told. That’s the beauty of my country.

Through this platform, I have also learnt of many enterprising Indians working beyond the not-for-profit realms and creating social enterprises providing solutions to modern day curses like plastic and garbage disposal, increasing carbon footprint, health and sanitation issues.

The various award categories through SABERA align with the Sustainable Development Goals as proposed by the United Nations. In fact, SABERA is honored to have global entities like UN Global Compact and MSCI as its partners in its inaugural edition. It’s a great opportunity and I intend to make the most of it.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one…


Suparnaa Chadda is an author, entrepreneur, gender activist and spiritual enthusiast. She has founded the Simply Suparnaa Media Network with SABERA, an award show recognizing good, and #Likeaboss, a leadership web series