Hyderabad School Girl Bags Princess Diana Award for Outstanding Social Initiative

Sriya Donepudi aged 15 is honoured with The Diana Award for going above and beyond in her daily life to create and sustain positive change.

Sriya Donepudi aged 15 from Hyderabad has been recognized with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts – The Diana Award. Sriya is a student at The Oakridge International School, Hyderabad. 

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.

Sriya's love of flowers inspired her to come up with a unique way of improving the lives of local Indian women from low economic backgrounds by recycling floral waste to make hand-made crafts and home items for sale. The 15-year-old entrepreneur built the business with donations of flowers, particularly those leftover from events and with a minimal initial investment. The women, who would normally work as labourers or domestic help, have the opportunity of full or part-time employment, better flexible working conditions and wages that support the necessities of daily life, in a project of harmony and environmental sustainability.

Receiving the award in a virtual ceremony Sriya Donepudi said, “It's an honour to be recognized with this Prestigious Award. My efforts to provide a better life to women from low economic background have clearly paid off. I will continue to seek ways to use this initiative to improve the lives of more and more women across the country." 

Tessy Ojo, CEO of The Diana Award, said, “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.

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