Malaysian Indian Dhanveer Singh has won the Most Outstanding Youth of the Year award for his work to educate poor children in Southeast Asian nations. He says being with children inspires him.
Singh's non-profit organisation SOLS247 is working among the disadvantaged youth in countries such as Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Timor Leste, who are not in the league of the region's "tiger economies".
He was conferred the award at the Fourth Asian Youth Ambassadors (AYA) Dream Malaysia Awards ceremony here Sunday.
He was among seven who was nominated for the award, which recognises individuals aged between 18 and 33 who overcame obstacles in their lives to be where they are today.
Singh was stunned when his name was called by last year's winner, Kenny Lee, and Sandra Chin, executive director of Asian Youth Ambassadors (AYA), which presents the awards, The New Straits Times reported Monday.
"What can I say? I don't feel like I am the only winner here. There are many unsung heroes here and around the world. This award is for all of us," Singh said in his acceptance speech.
He received a pewter trophy shaped like a durian, a framed certificate, a mobile phone, free web-hosting services and a gift bag.
The durian was chosen as the trophy design because it signifies the hard work required in peeling the fruit's skin to get the flesh, the organisers explained.