Ahmedabad-based Madhish Parikh is awarded for his work for the communities in Gujarat during Covid-19. The boy who was once mocked for aspiring to pursue community services, is now invited to Russia to participate in the International Forum of Civil Participation. He led one of the state’s largest volunteer programs – ‘Ahmedabad Fights Corona’ and ‘Gujarat COVID Support’ during the first and second wave respectively raised over 12 million Indian Rupees through crowdfunding benefitting around 64,000 individuals impacted by the pandemic.
The International Forum of Civil Participation “We Are Together” and Award Ceremony will be held in Moscow, Russia from December 1-5, 2021. The nominations of individuals and organizations from across the world who worked for the communities in COVID-19 were highly evaluated by regional experts and further evaluated by the members of the International Organizing Committee to be invited to the forum.
Founder of Elixir foundation, Madhish Parikh is an Amdavadi, born to a family of businessmen. His father is into the gold and silver business and it was expected that he would join the family business. “I was mocked when I shared my desire to work on community issues,” says Parikh, adding, “But after I did my computer engineering, I was sure that I was not made to fix machine-level problems but fix the errors in society.” During Covid he significantly worked on providing communities with ration supplies, medicines, oxygen supplies, PPE Kits and other supplies for both rural and urban areas of the state. He also created a state helpline portal and a WhatsApp Chat Bot to share verified information about medical resources.
He adds, “The importance of community service was instilled within me right from childhood because my family has always been involved in giving it back to society. However, my first real experience as a volunteer was when my college professor introduced me to the National Service Scheme, a youth organization led by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. As a part of this, my first task was to conduct a blood donation camp and I did my best to make this event a success. The camp collected 692 units of blood, which was the highest in the state of Gujarat that year. This enabled me to understand the impact that I was capable of creating.”
The International Forum of Civil Participation prize is organized by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs and the Association of Volunteer Centers with the support of international partners: the UN Volunteers, the International Association for Volunteer Efforts, the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum, Russian Red Cross, and others. We Are Together aims to encourage citizens and organizations for their great contribution to solving important humanitarian problems.
Earlier, Parikh has been given the ‘Gujarat State NSS Award’ by the state government for his community welfare services. He was also honoured with the ‘Indira Gandhi Award’ by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, on November 19, 2014, at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi. He was also selected as a delegate to Bahrain in December 2015, where he worked on Indo-Bahraini relations. He has been a delegate to ‘Women Higher Education for Disarmament and Peace, Vienna Forum’ at the UN in Vienna, Austria.