A Giraffe Hero is a person who sticks his or her neck out on sustainable basis, for public good, at huge personal risk. Giraffe Heroes India Program is an off-shoot of non-profit Giraffe Heroes Project which was started in USA in 1984, by Ann Medlock. The aim of starting this Project was to find out unknown heroes of the society, commend them as Giraffes for sticking their necks out & get their stories told on radio, television & in print. Giraffe stories would tell the people that there was headway being made on the problems of the world, that there were individuals who had solutions & the courage to move into action. The stories would move people`s souls & get them moving on public problems that mattered to them.
A COPY OF THE LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR-Giraffe Heroes India Program
February 2, 2004 was a very special day for me. On this day, I received a letter from Ann Medlock, the Founder of Giraffe Heroes Project which said:
`I am happy to tell you that you were chosen by our most recent jury to receive the enclosed Giraffe Commendation, joining over 900 people who have been honored as Giraffe Heroes since the Giraffe Project began in 1982.’ The letter stated that this was for sticking my neck out to fight corruption in civil government.
It was unbelievable! I had received the Red & White Bravery Award in 2002, but this Giraffe Commendation came at a difficult time and was a HUGE morale-booster! It was a matter of great honour, pride & privilege to be ONE of the distinguished family of Giraffes. My years of trodding on the lonely path, which was very rough & uneven at times, had finally brought me to the doors of a family consisting of brave, caring & committed people.
I was still in the local government of New Delhi, fighting a long legal battle with my own organization. I had filed a case in the High Court in 1993, for a look into the unethical & unfair practices followed by my seniors which had resulted, to my mind, in a huge misuse of public funds. They were encouraging, pampering & protecting unethical colleagues, at the same time that they were harassing & hounding me in every possible way. I was making a stand for professional values & ethics. My good record was changed to damaging assessments of my work, making it impossible for me to advance in my career.
I finally won the legal battle, arguing the case myself against the organization in which I had worked since 1969. In May of 2004 I was appointed the Chief Engineer[civil]-HEAD of my Department.
Why have I given my personal example? It’s about something Ann mentioned in her letter. She said, “the aim is to tell others about you so that they will follow your example.” And that is the aim of this new organization, Giraffe Heroes India. This new non-governmental organization will tell the stories of India’s heroes, so that people all over the country can be inspired to stand tall on public problems they see.
Being appointed DIRECTOR of the Giraffe Heroes India Programme, is a matter of great honour & privilege for me. But having said that, it brings with it huge responsibilities. I’ll be rallying supporters for the cause, calling for nominations, organizing a jury, enlisting media to tell the stories.
But, I am happy to tell you that there have already been very enthusiastic & positive responses & I am confident that Giraffe Heroes India will start kicking soon like the operations in Sierra Leone, Egypt, Nepal & the UK.
I welcome your ideas and support.
With best wishes to all & for Giraffe Heroes India
Vijay K. Saluja
Appeal From the Director
Since 2004, we have tried to spread the word about this PROGRAM.But, the progress in the same has not been on planned lines due to number of reasons?
It is now decided to spur up our efforts. we need active assoiation & sustainable support of all persons from India.
As I ,live in Dwarka, I will be happy,if DWARAKAITES may send their suggestions/views, if any, on the matter, AT THE EARLIEST.
SO, PLEASE GET INVOLVED.
for more details about criteria for nomination/Nomination Form
Dwarka Parichay has been our trusted & valuable Media Partner.
Vijay K. Saluja