Nominations for Giraffe Heroes India Program

S.S. Dogra

Giraffe Heroes [persons who stick their neck out at huge personal risk on sustainable basis for public good] India Program (GHIP) an affiliate of Giraffe Heroes Project-US, website aims to bring Giraffe vision, strategies and tools for change for the positive, to the 1.3 billion people on the Indian subcontinent – making it potentially by far the largest Giraffe global affiliate, launched to date.

B.V. Rao, Editor of the magazine Governance Now; Giraffe Hero Bunker Roy; John Graham, Director of Giraffe Heroes International; and Giraffe Hero Vijay Saluja – now Director of Giraffe Heroes India.
Vijay K. Saluja, GHIndia’s Program new Director, hosted Giraffe Heroes International Director John Graham for twelve days in May, 2012 and the two worked together on setting up the new venture. Saluja, like the Directors of Giraffe Heroes Sierra Leone and Giraffe Heroes Nepal, is a Giraffe Hero himself.

Saluja was honored in 2004, for his courageous 20-year stand against the mismanagement and unfair and unethical practices in the New Delhi City Government, where he himself worked as a senior engineer. That experience makes him perfect to direct an operation whose purpose is to move more and more citizens to stick their own necks out, working to help solve important public problems ranging from poverty, corruption and discrimination against women to injustices still remaining from India’s traditional caste system as well lend helping hands & actionable ideas/ positive thoughts to the policy makers/implementers & civil-society, to make Better India.

Like all Giraffe operations, GH India will tell the inspiring stories of the country’s heroes, motivating others to become heroic too. GHIP will also offer practical tools to all the stakeholders i/c citizen/ activists to succeed, as well as introduce Giraffe civic engagement programs in schools, helping young people build lives as courageous and compassionate citizens & thus making a vibrant Delhi/ India.

Saluja and Graham visited dozens of India’s leaders in government, business, media, education and the world of NGOs, seeking their advice and support. Everyone they talked to was very enthusiastic and offers of help have been pouring in. A two-hour meeting with the Maharaja of Jodhpur was important, & meaningful but the Giraffe idea seemed to resonate among Indians of all ranks, who see the need for building more of the public-spirited courage necessary to take on the country’s daunting challenges.

They were gratified by the offers of support and Graham went back very enthused & excited by what he saw, and by the energy that Saluja and he were able to generate even in a short time. One of the many high points for Graham & Saluja was meeting with traditional village leaders (sarpanches) in the Rajasthan desert, explaining to them, how bringing into their villages stories of Giraffe Heroes—people from all over India solving the kinds of problems they all face—could help them generate enthusiasm and action for local change. Saluja and Graham gave many public presentations, combining Saluja’s inspiring story of his own anti-corruption fight with Graham’s stories of thirty years of working with and learning from Giraffe Heroes.

They were gratified by the offers of support and Graham came back very excited by what he saw, and by the energy that Saluja and he were able to generate, even in a short time. Some of the many high points for Graham was meeting with traditional village leaders (sarpanches) in the Rajasthan desert, explaining how bringing into their villages stories of Giraffe Heroes—people from all over India solving the kinds of problems they all face—could help them generate enthusiasm and action for local change & meeting & interacting with various members of the civil society, NGOs & students et al .

A solid beginning was made with Delhi’s major media, including well-placed articles in major newspapers and offer of support from Governance Now, a prestigious news magazine that has agreed to carry the stories of Delhi’s Giraffe Heroes when they would be ready. & many others.

It is a matter of great privilege, pleasure & satisfaction for Dwarka Parichyay to associate with this noble cause/ venture.

Invite to the citizens for sending nominations as per the criteria for Giraffedom [available at website] for the prospective `Giraffe Heroes from India`, from Mr Vijay K. Saluja Director Giraffe Heroes India Program.

Event will be Promoted by: Dwarka Parichay-
Pioneer Media House of Dwarka, New Delhi.

  Invite for Nominations


Dear Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to briefly tell you about the `Giraffe Heroes India’ Program which is an offshoot of the Giraffe Heroes Project of US-a non-profit organization, headquartered in Seattle-US.

The mission of `Giraffe Heroes India` is to move people to ‘stick their necks out’ [i.e. to take a risk, in English idiom] for the common good & to give them tools to succeed. The mission is achieved by identifying & then commending `real heroes` in the society & thereafter presenting them/their stories to the public, so that many other people are inspired to emulate the courageous and caring examples of these Giraffe Heroes in helping improve our society/system.
Giraffe Heroes India – Baba Amte , Dr. Mabelle Arole, Jaya Arunachalam, Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Ela Bhatt, Neha Gupta
A Giraffe Hero who is finally commended tends to be involved not in a stand-alone act of bravery or heroism but his or her efforts have to be long-termed with the noble motive of finding solutions to various ills of the society & actually bringing positive change in the ground realities . There are details on the website-link There, you will also find examples of Indian Giraffe Heroes already selected.

My purpose with this message is to introduce you to this new organization and to solicit your help in nominating as a ‘Giraffe Hero’ anyone you know who is acting courageously to serve the common good (to solve a significant public problem).

To help guide your nomination, there is fully-evolved criteria for Giraffedom & the nomination-form. Both the documents are available at the HQ website
What happens next? After nominations are received, a voluntary Jury of learned friends of the `Project`, sometimes including ‘Giraffe Heroes’ already honored, decide from the received nominations the new `Giraffe Heroes` to be commended.

If all the nominees qualify as Giraffe Heroes, all are commended; if none do, none are chosen. There are no quotas involved & each nominee is considered in relation to the criteria & not to each other.
Since 1983, Giraffe Heroes Project-US, has chosen just a little over 1300 persons from 27 countries as Giraffe Heroes .

In 2010, the Giraffe Heroes Project (US) decided to open affiliates overseas. Giraffe Heroes International (GHI) was launched.GHI takes the vision, strategy & materials developed by the Giraffe Project, over the last 30 years to countries where that inspiration & knowledge can make a critical difference helping people solve the problems that challenge their nations & their lives.
Giraffe Heroes India- Sunitha Krishnan, Usha Narayane, Bunker Roy, Vijay Saluja, Govindappa Venkataswamy
Since 2010, GH Intl Programmes have been launched in Nigeria, Nepal, Sierra-Leone, Egypt, UK & India. In India, it was launched in May 2012,when Mr John Graham-the DIRECTOR of Giraffe Heroes International visited India[for about a fortnight]. John & I [I was appointed Director of Giraffe Heroes India Programme] met many
prominent persons/groups to apprise them about this initiative & seek their association/support for this Programme. I am very happy to share that the responses recd from them were very enthusiastic & positive.
Since then, constant & consistent efforts have been on, to bring wide awareness about this India-programme among many persons/groups & in various fora.

I am also very happy to submit, that with the very encouraging support & guidance from Mr John Graham & Ms Ann Medlock-the Founder of Giraffe Heroes Project-US, it has been possible to cover some distance in our journey to commending Giraffe Heroes from India. Our India GHI Page is available at the where the profiles of the Giraffe Heroes commended from India, are also available. 

You will be happy to know that Baba Amte, Ms Ela Bhatt, Mr Bunker Roy are among the Giraffe Heroes chosen from India. So far ,only 14 persons from India have been commended as Giraffe Heroes but this number,I hope, will climb rapidly now that Giraffe Heroes India has been established. 

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to pl have a look at & to SEND your nominations to the us at the addresses below, using as your guide the information at 
The Jury will consider your nomination and other`s & commend the Giraffe Heroes as per the process explained earlier.

If there are any queries, pl do not hesitate & write to us at e-mails:

or at

823, Nav Sansad Vihar
Plot 4, Sector 22, Dwarka
New Delhi-110077-India