Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2019

Noble Prize Winners, US Presidents, Global CEOs & now a young Indian to win the 2019 Ellis Island Award

Amitabh is the youngest Indian Citizen to won the International Ellis Island Award recently at the Statue of Liberty.  Both the US House of Representatives and Senate have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year’s recipients are read into the Congressional Record. Past Medallists also include seven U.S. Presidents, several world leaders, several Nobel Laureates and countless leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government, along with everyday American’s who have made freedom, liberty and compassion a part of their life’s work.  Ellis Island Society’s mission is to honor and preserve this diversity and to foster tolerance, respect and understanding among religious and ethnic groups. 

 

It is primarily granted to American citizens and to a select International Leaders.  Previous winners have been Presidents like Bill Clinton, George Bush & Jimmy Carter; Boxer Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, Nobel Winner Malala, Former Pepsi Honcho Indra Nooyi, Singer Wayne Newton, Golfer Arnold Palmer, Actor Michael Douglas, etc.  This year he is won it along with legends like like Erick Schmidt (Former Google CEO), Ginni Rometti (IBM-Global CEO), Mr Ajay Banga (CEO Master Card), Muhtar Kent (Chairman Coca Cola), Dr Sanjay Gupta, Emmy Award Winning Musician Paula Abdul& Talk Show Host Montel Williams, amongst other legends. 

Amitabh Shah launched Yuva Unstoppable in 2005, at a mere age of 23. After his MBA from Yale, he declined a JPMorgan Wall Street offer to work on the Real Streets of India. He decided to launch this movement after he discovered the immense suffering experienced by his elderly 82 year old nanny, Kamlaben, when she was abandoned and abused by her son.  He gathered friends and began volunteering at homes for the elderly, slums and orphanages.  Amitabh truly believes in what Gandhi said – Be the change you wish to see in the world. There was serious resistance for the first year from his friends and family as they thought he was losing his mind, why starts serving others so early? Why don’t you wait till you are 60 when you are a Billionaire or retired from a top company? Amitabh did not give up and in fact his family is his biggest cheerleader now.

There are 1.3M Schools in India & half of them still don’t have functional toilets for girls.  Yuva Unstoppable works with 100 top corporates (Cisco, Microsoft, VIP Bags, Torrent, Dishman Pharma, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Cairn, Adani, Exide, Reliance, Kings Punjab IPL, ONGC, etc.) and has transformed 1000 government schools & lives of 500,000 children via better toilets, improved drinking water, scholarships, smart classrooms, value based trainings, etc.  Statesman like PM Shri Narendra Modi & Late President of India Dr. APJ Kalam; Bollywood Legends like Akshay Kumar &R Balki; Cricketers VVS Laxman & Sir Ian Botham; Authors Jeffry Archer; Corporate leaders like Paul Polman (Unilever CEO), Mr Nadir Godrej, Mr Gautam Adani,  Nimesh Kampani (JMFL), Bharat Shah (Chairman of HDFC Sec & Chairman of Yuva Unstoppable Advisory) amongst others have participated in Yuva initiatives.

Amitabh was also the 2015 Winner of the Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy, conferred by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco wherein Jack Ma of Alibaba Group was a semi-finalist.  In 2018, he was conferred the title of Sri Lankan Peace Ambassador by Center of Peace Studies.  He is a celebrated inspirational speaker on Kindness, Gratitude & the power of Self-belief and has been winning hearts with his presence at Ted Talks, Yale, Wharton, YPO/WPO, United Way’s Million Dollar Roundtable, amongst others.  He is the 2019 – Iconic Youth Award recipient by Rotary International for mobilizing youthful energy & bringing lasting change in education institutions.  National Award Winning Film Director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, along with Gulzar & Shankar Ehsan Loy made a film inspired by Yuva’s grassroots efforts – Mere Pyare PM about an 8 year old wanting to make a toilet for his mother.  Amitabh will not stop till they transform 10,000 schools and lives of 5M children in the next 5 years.

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