The Varkey GEMS Foundation has introduced a unique initiative called Guruvar Awards to acknowledge and recognise teachers who have gone the extra mile to help their students in their schools as well as local communities.

The States with the leading nominations include Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

The initiative is targeting over 3,000 schools, 1.5 lakh teachers and 57 lakh students from around the country.

Teachers cannot nominate themselves for these awards and can only be nominated by fellow teachers, students, principals, parents, ex-teachers, ex-students and ex-principals.

Sunny Varkey, Founder and Chairman, GEMS Education, said: "Deteriorating motivational cues in profession has lead to a dearth of quality teachers in India today. Therefore, we bring forward an award which is aimed to be a catalyst to promote teaching as a preferred profession amongst the youth in India."

Four categories

The four categories that have been devised for these awards are: Outstanding New Teacher Award, Best Teacher Award, Best Principal Award and Best Teacher in a Vernacular Board.

A prize of Rs.51 lakh and over 50 prizes amounting to over Rs. 2 crore are up for grabs for teachers across various categories and selection levels.

The entries can be nominated by logging into www.guruvarawards.com.

For further details, call Hemali Bhutani (98189 34440) or Mayak Choudhary (99103 20101).