It’s always a proud feeling when a fellow Indian does well, but this one is extra special even though it’s not a world cup trophy neither a Bollywood movie won an Oscar. An 18 year old US citizen of Indian origin, Neha Gupta, founder of Empower Orphans won ‘International Children’s Peace Award’. She went on to become the first American to won this award. It isn’t her first award but it is the most prestigious award which was won by Malala Yousufzai, last year, who went on to win the Noble Peace Price this year.
Neha followed the foot-steps of her family at an early age of 9. The Gupta family would celebrate birthdays by taking out food and gifts for the orphanage children in the family’s home town in India and she visited every year to participate.
Empower Orphans was established in 2009 as a non-profit organization for the orphans. The goal of the organization to make these children self- sufficient by providing them basic necessities like food, clothing, healthcare, medical along with tools like books to create an effective learning environment.
And journey wasn’t an easy one for Neha; from the age of 9 to the age of 18. It all began when she first went to Bal Kunj in Chhachhrouli, India, and she saw how unfair it was for the orphans and realized that they may never get a decent life. When she came from the trip to her home in Yardley, Pennsylvania, she told her parents she will raise money for the kids so she could buy textbooks and warm clothing for the kids.
She started making Indian Wine Charms with the help of her mother, which is a decorative item and started selling it in her school, church and even door-to-door. What started with a 5$ wine charms is turned into a 1.3 million dollar non-profit organization with her resolute efforts.
We wish her a big congratulation and wish her the best of luck in the future endeavors.