Sia Godika Honoured With The Diana Award
Enterprising Teenager from Bangalore Receives the Prestigious Princess Diana Award for Outstanding Social Initiative
At the age of 13, Sia was deeply disturbed after she noticed impoverished people living without any footwear. Labourers at various construction sites, families in nearby slums and street vendors, many working barefoot in hazardous conditions.
Upon further research, she found that according to WHO, over 1 billion people worldwide suffer from foot diseases due to their lack of footwear. In India itself, 88 million individuals cannot afford footwear which leads to health problems. This exacerbates the existing poverty cycle as adults cannot continue working, and children suffer from developmental challenges.
Determined to find a solution, Sia examined her own footwear usage critically. She felt guilty about having many unused pairs of shoes. But she was not alone, statistics revealed that 350 million pairs of footwear are discarded annually. This inspired her to launch her movement - Sole Warriors.
The non-profit works to recycle footwear from privileged sections of society and provide them to underprivileged communities. Through the movement, Sia aspires to provide people with footwear to break the prevailing cycle of poverty, recognise the health implications of a neglected issue and simultaneously encourage environmental sustainability through reusing.
Sia has conceived and put in place an end-to-end process for Sole Warriors. It starts with reaching out to communities to organise footwear collection drives, refurbishing them and finally distributing them to the needy.
Sia’s leadership has brought together many socially conscious individuals -- the Sole Warriors -- who are the backbone of the movement. Over the past 18 months, Sole Warriors has collected over 15,000 pairs from 4,000 households. To make the movement organic and self-sustaining Sia is focusing on collaborating with social groups like Ploggers Army, Robin Hood Army and Rotary
She aspires to start Sole Warrior chapters in each city.
Receiving the award in a virtual ceremony Sia Godika said, “It is an honour to receive the prestigious Diana Award. The award will provide a platform to build a movement in every city as well as reach our goal of helping one million feet! I am very grateful to our volunteers without which Sole Warriors would not be a reality.”
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