CONQUERER OF THE BIG WIDE WORLD
Already a role model for her fellow youngsters with her many feats, Malaika Vaz, an aspiring film maker, social entrepreneur and adventure sports athlete among her other skill sets, has now the National Youth Award
Goa’s State Youth Award Winner Malaika Vaz has been awarded with the National Youth Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The award was presented at the 22nd National Youth Festival held in New Delhi. Malaika Vaz is a 20-year-old National Geographic Explorer, adventure sports athlete, social entrepreneur, wildlife filmmaker and presenter. Her internship with Felis Creation, India’s leading wildlife film making production house, catapulted her into film making. Since then her work has focussed on telling impactful stories about the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. Her recent short documentary along with cinematographer Nitye Sood titled “Waghoba: Provider, Destroyer, Deity” focusing on Tiger conflict in central India was screened at wildlife film festivals in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. She is currently working on a feature length investigative documentary on oceanic protection. Malaika is supported by pioneering outdoor company Columbia Sportswear in her adventure sport and wildlife film endeavours. Malaika is also the Director for the Indo-Pak Climate Peace conference and the Project Lead for the Manta Trust in India. As of 2017, Malaika is also the Founder and Director of Untamed Planet Films - a production house creating innovative and compelling natural history content. A PADI Divemaster, endurance horse rider, sailor, certified pilot, Malaika has been a national level windsurfer. Malaika’s expeditions and adventures have taken her across all 7 continents, and she is a Limca Book record holder for being the youngest person to participate in research expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic. . The Chief Minister of Goa and the Government of Goa and NCAOR has also supported her Polar expeditions. Malaika was also named the Goa State Youth Leader 2016 for her achievements in the field of adventure and film. She has also made a strong social contribution at a young age . With her organisation ‘Kriya: Empowerment through Action’, she has worked to empower women victims of violence, disadvantaged youth and children from criminally labelled tribal communities through adventure sport and outdoor education. Malaika is a public speaker who has spoken at various events including Ted X talks to inspire young people to explore the outdoor Ted X talks. Malaika who grew up in Saligao, thanked the Principal and teachers of Sharda Mandir and Mahindra United World College Pune, who she said have been her biggest motivating and synergy tangents. Speaking to Cafe, her father, Mac Vaz, Director of Madame Rosa Distillery, was elated with the news, like any proud parent would be. “Malaika, has been like any other average kid, in her studies,and upbringing. Her passion for indulging in adventure activity and learning about wildlife from a very young age has been extraordinary,” said Mac “May it be on Horseback, or Bungee Jumping or Sky Diving, she is a brave heart. When she was a kid,I recollect a friend and Indian Army officer Colonel Salim Pathan calling her a “Jhansi -Ki- Rani”...Earlier we had to rein her in to not throw caution to the winds,now she herself ensures all safety diligence,” added Mac. Malaika’s mother Marusha added that Malaika had picked up a reading habit from a very young age and how this kind of curiosity helped her seek new and exciting interests.
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