REX Karmaveer History & F1RST of F!RST Impact! (Changing the world with simple ideas for action)
Read the natural flow of REX since inception-
If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.
From 1993 onwards the REX Karmaveer Mission Founder has been an advisor and event/ campaign organizer for several Non-Profit Organisations from around the globe.
He has planned and oragnised Music Events like Sound of the Sea (the firs Music Concert in India to be held with an historical monument “Gateway of India” as the backdrop, Music For Life with all Indian Classical Music Maestros, Pop Concert Tours, Art Auctions with Christies, Sotheby’s and Bowring, Movie Premieres and Contests and Global Online Auctions with eBay. All these events were organised as Fundraisers and Social Cause campaigns. Jerry also conceptualised and implemented THE MAGIC BOX idea on Jet Airways to raise funds for the Education of needy and deserving children. This initiative has today raised over 15 crores in the past 21 years.
More Details about all events and campaigns organised by Jerry are on http://icongo.in/eventandcampaigns.html
Impact & Outcome :
Music & Art for communal harmony event was executed by Chennai based sex workers & underserved youth, with speeches by actors and activists like Amala Akkineni (Founder Board member of REX- Karmaveer) and Kamal Hassan, to sensitize people for issues related to governance, electoral reforms, proactive citizenship and communal harmony.
The yearlong planning and preparations to organize the first REX Karmaveer event begins.
Impact & Outcome :
The Founders of iCONGO and REX Karmaveer trigger the candlelight vigil to ensure justice for Jessica Lal, a young girl who was murdered and her killers were acquitted because of their power and political clout.
A SMS by the founders of iCONGO and REX to a few hundred people goes viral (Yes this happened in an era when there was no Facebook or WatsApp) and a huge candlelight vigil is organized to demand justice.
Jessica Lal’s sister Sabrina Lal and other victims of the system, like Neelam Katara, Neelima Krishnamurthy and others, who are fighting for justice are awarded at the first REX Karmaveer awards organized in partnership with NDTV and BIG FM.
The first REX Karmveer forum and Karmaveer Puraskaar awards to felicitate and recognise Citizen Heroes is now ready for launch. It is decided to create the most unique egalitarian and inclusive forum in the world, we will practice a strictly NO- VIP CULTURE.
Impact & Outcome:
Richard Saul Wurman founder of TED endorsed REX and says this is what his original intent for TED was when he founded it in 1984, to promote conversations in an informal, austere, dignified and inclusive learning environment.
REX Karmaveer mission starts the Ethical Leadership workshops in schools, colleges, B-schools to sensitise students about our constitutional rights and duties and own our Individual Social Responsibility.
We also begin pledges around India to adopt 26/11 as the Citizen Action Pledge Day.
Impact & Outcomes
- Swachh Bharat Mission becomes a national movement in later years and 26/11 is now adopted by the Government as Constitution Day.
- Terms like Individual Social Responsibility, People Private Public Partnerships, RIGHT every WRONG, JOY OF GIVING, which are conceptualised, propagated and promoted by REX Karmaveer founders are now being used in campaigns by Government and several Ministries.
- REX Karmaveer inspires campaigns like Lead India, Social Impact awards and Teach India by Times of India, CNN Real Heroes etc.
REX Karmaveer founders’ plan that the RIGHT every WRONG conclave and Karmaveer Puraskaar shall be the flagship programs of the RIGHT every WRONG movement.
It is decided to hold the conclave and awards every year on 26/11 since this is the day the Indian Constitution was adopted in 1949.
The idea is to promote this day as the Citizen Action Pledge Day, since knowledge churned in the REX Karmaveer Forum would be used to involve citizens in the process of change.
During a meeting with Mr. Prannoy Roy of NDTV, Jerry discusses the idea with Prannoy, who asks the NDTV management to support REX Karmaveer mission.
Meanwhile after discussing the idea of the RIGHT every WRONG & KARMAVEER misson with various media houses like Times of India, CNN – IBN etc, we ignite a spark within these media houses and they launch campaigns like Lead India, Teach India, Real Heroes and Social Impact awards.
In 2005, we also organised a small meet called KarmaYuva with youth icons like Murali Kartik, Gautam Gambhir, Aakash Chopra, Amit Killam, DJ Narain, Bobby Cash, Sivamani (all who performed in the SOUND OF THE SEA event organised by Jerry at Gateway of India) to involve the Youth as champions of change.
Later that year we associated with AIESEC as a core partner of the REX Karmaveer mission. with a vision to involve the youth holistically in the process of change.
The first REX conclave & Karmaveer Puraskaar awards are planned for November 26 & 27, 2006 but due to unavailability of our VENUE OF CHOICE (where the freedom struggle began and continues) – Satyagraha Mandap at Gandhi Darshan – Rajghat, we cannot organize the event in November, 2006 (we are sticklers for principles. What to do? 😊 )
Impact & Outcome :
We create and launch THE OMEGA RATINGs to promote best practices in the NGO sector. The Omega Ratings have been applauded by Case studies at Harvard, University of British Columbia, London School of Economics and uPEACE as best practices for the NOT-FOR-PROFIT sector.
The 1st curtain raiser REX Karmaveer event is held at Satyagraha Mandap in Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat, New Delhi in partnership with Population First. Several socio-political issues are discussed. Issues ranging from child rights to human rights are brought to the fore. Issues of Farmers, Positive People and the Disabled etc. are discussed. Issues related to Right to Information, Media Irresponsibility, CSR, NGO mismanagement, Livelihood are discussed.
The 1st Karmaveer Puraskaar awards is also held during the event and several citizens pledge to uphold the values of democracy and celebrate 26/11 every year, as the CITIZEN ACTION PLEDGE DAY. This is broadcast nationally on NDTV.
Impact & Outcome
- The Omega ratings NGO Transparency & Accountability code was FORMALLY announced. This led to the Planning Commission and Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment adopting a NGO Registration & Disclosure process.
- During the first conclave, we also shared the iTEAM idea for creating a skill based livelihood program for marginalized youth in partnership with industry associations and USAID. The thought leadership was adopted for the National Skills Development Corporation.
- In partnership with Population First and UNFPA, the REX Karmaveer mission also churned the “Laadli” campaign to save the girl child which has now been adopted by various state governments across India.
- Real-Time Knowledge created through the thought leadership at the REX Karmaveer forum, was featured in Journals and Books published by HBR, UPeace, ISB, ICFAI, Oxford University Publishing.
The 3rd REX Karmaveer Forum in 2008 led to a sustained campaign for electoral reforms, in association with NNFI- National Network for India and the UNODC.
Impact & Outcomes
We launched the CERI (Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India) process.
The 4th REX Karmaveer forum in 2009 was on the issue of citizens rising against corruption and organized by iCONGO and REX Karmaveer Volunteers and founders in partnership with UNODC, NNFI and the Professionals Party of India.
Impact & Outcomes
- This led to India against Corruption, where citizens pledged to say NO to corruption and the UN started the global ACT -Against Corruption Today movement.
- In partnership with UN we also announced
www.hallabolo.com simple mobile and web-based tools and weaponry, to help common citizens fight corruption on a daily basis. This idea was adopted by several Ministries and Political parties like Aam Aadmi Party and BJP in subsequent years. Coincidentally, Manish Sisodia of AAM AADMI Party first presented their campaign strategy for RIGHT TO INFORMATION at the first REX CONCLiVE in March 2007. The thought leadership in our REX CONCLiVE in 2009 inspired the Indian Against Corruption movement.
- In 2010 when India Against Corruption was being planned by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal, the REX Karmaveer founder Jeroninio (Jerry) Almeida was approached and met by Anna Hazare to seek iCONGO and the REX Karmaveer communities’ partnership in the movement.
- Jerry told Anna that we at REX Karmaveer, believe in influencing change slowly and silently, but SURELY and SUSTAINIBLY. He told Anna that we do not believe in unnecessary rabble-rousing and attention-seeking protests on the street. Anna Hazare, who was nominated for the Karmaveer award in 2010 was also informed by Jerry that while he trusts Anna and his intent, he did not trust the intent of many people in Team Anna, like Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and others.
- REX Karmaveer community members and founders are also engaged with the UN as a part of the working group, to work on the UN Convention against Corruption and represent the REX Karmaveer community in the global convention in Geneva regularly.
- In 2009, Jerry gave an impassioned talk at the UN about how the UN Millennium Development Goals were more like a daydream, as they would not be fulfilled by 2015. In his talk he also spoke about how the GOALS need to be realistic and SMART and that they can only be achieved when Citizens around the world owned and acted on the goals in partnership with the UN.
- Jerry was then invited as a Key Member of several UN Advisory Panels to draft the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Corporate Integrity Index and the strategy to involve citizens in the International Year of Volunteering in 2011.
- The REX Humane Capitalism Conclave with Ms. Anu Aga as the Chief Patron of the conclave and the Humane Business movement (nomenclature was suggested by Ms. Anu Aga Karmaveer award recipients and the first captain of Industry to announce 2% of profits for CSR in 1998), advocated 2% of profits from all businesses for CSR and how business needs to go beyond lip-service CSR.
- After 5 years of petitioning, the Government of India passed a mandate (The 2% CSR Bill, Companies Act 2013, passed in 2013 and implemented in 2014) that all business have to contribute 2% of profits for CSR.
- The Humane Capitalism Index also inspired the world’s most ethical companies listing and the UN Integrity Index for businesses.
In 2010, the 5th REX Karmaveer Forum in partnership with the National Foundation for Communal Harmony & the Ministry of Home Affairs was on the theme of communal harmony.
Impact & Outcomes
- This led to action against communalism and the creation of Volunteers for Peace & Communal Harmony, a national movement to bring together champions of communal harmony from various communities. This was powered by the Karmaveer Chakra in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- iCONGO and REX Karmaveer founder Jeroninio (Jerry) Almeida is invited as a key member of the Ministry of Home Affairs working committee to create ideas for promoting Volunteers for Peace. In the same year,
- Jerry is also invited by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in association with UN Volunteers and UN Development Program, to devise a strategy to promote the culture of Volunteering in schools and colleges. Jerry presented an idea to begin the International Volunteering Olympiad blended with life and leadership lessons for character building if students, in schools and colleges.
- On International Volunteering Day Jerry GIVES a compelling talk on THE SPIRIT OF VOLUNTEERING and the need for secular thinking, to UN Volunteers and International Leaders from UN offices globally, DFID, USAID and VSO. This set the tone for the International Year of Volunteering UN Karmaveer Chakra awards to recognise UN Volunteers.
- The REX Karmaveer Forum was followed up with a round table at the Ministry of Home Affairs, where all religious leaders from all communities participated and pledged to join in for promoting secularism & the religion of humanity.
- In 2010, REX Karmaveer founder Jerry Almeida through iCONGO led the strategy to build momentum for the “1 Billion Hungry” campaign and raised over 10 million subscribers and petitioners through the iCONGO and REX Karmaveer database of volunteers and supporters. REX Karmaveer also promoted the Restaurants Against Hunger campaign to raise funds for Hunger projects.
- For the first time in 2010, we award the Karmaveer Puraskaar outside the REX Karmaveer awards ceremony, to an unsung hero and forgotten music maestro Mr. Anthony Gonsalves, who is 80 years old and have never been recognised before. We give the award to him at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa in December, 2010. In 2011, the Karmaveer Puraskaar award helps to mainstream Mr. Anthony Gonsalves body of work in global media and shames the Government of India to finally nominate and choose Mr. Gonsalves for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award. Laxmi Gonsalves, the daughter of Anthony Gonsalves called the REX Karmaveer Founder after he received the Dadasaheb Phalke award and said “This is all happening because of you and the Karmaveer award”. We are glad to note the humble potential and influence of the Karmaveer awards. Mr. Gonsalves died a few days after the 2 awards.
The 6th conclave in 2011 was on how citizen need to adopt fundamental duties and volunteer to become proactive citizens and organized in partnership with UNDP, the UN Volunteers and VSO International.
In 2011, we partnered with global advertising firm Publicis Asia and India Pictures to create the BLOW-UP campaign to raise awareness of Fundamental Duty # 9 Safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
Impact & Outcomes
Karmayuga – The RIGHT every WRONG Generation with the new format of REX from 2012 with the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship program was announced as a run up to the 5th REX conclave.
The 7th REX CONCLiVE is organised on 26/27 and 28 November 2012 and opens with the new look and format of REX. REX CONCLiVE is a big hit and we launch the ONE BILLION RISING campaign to address crimes and wrongs against women at REX.
In 2012, we also worked to create the “Do NOT VOTE for THUGS and THIEVES” electoral campaign in Goa.
On 23rd March we organised the new format of REX CONCLiVE and also celebrate Martyr’s day as a tribute to the 3 big heroes of India Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru and Shaheed Sukhdev. The 2nd cadre of REX Karmaveer Global Fellows is carefully curated and awarded.
Impact & Outcomes
In Late 2014 after the 8th REX CONCLiVE with the REX Karmaveer Global Fellows we launch the nationwide, Swachh Bharat mission and PM Modi is influenced through the REX Karmaveer circles to make this a national campaign. Since, the seeding of the campaign in B-schools, colleges and companies in 2005, through the REX Karmaveer ethical leadership talks and workshops, several groups like The Ugly Indian, Bunch of Fools, spring up in cities and places like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Bhopal, Gujarat, Uttaranchal, Himachal and other places.
In 2014 REX Karmaveer collaborates with GAIL and Living Legend Mr. Milkha Singh to discover and harness the athletic talent of India and we launch THE FASTEST INDIAN. Several children from rural India win the contest and are being trained for athletic excellence.
Many of the volunteers involved in cleaning India are awarded in the 8th REX CONCLiVE and REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship. One of the Volunteers who is felicitated is a British citizen Ms. Jodie Underhill, who has devoted her life to cleaning up the hills in Uttaranchal Pradesh through her initiative waste warriors. She becomes a great role model for Indian Citizens to emulate and inspires many to pick up the broom and clean India.
The first set of Dr. Varghese Kurien – One vision to make a difference in our world, Karmaveer Puraskaar awards are given to Mr. Kaizaad Kotwal for successfully implementing the ONE BILLION RISING campaign and to the young lady, Ms. Nisha Kunju for excelling in her work for animal rights and to preserve our environment. Nisha was later chosen for the President of India, 100 Women Achievers of India. Nisha was chosen as a fellow in the first cadre of Fellows in 2011 and was awarded the Dr. Verghese Kurien award for her path-breaking work for animal rights and to clean India as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
We hold the event 9th REX CONCLiVE around the 27th day of February 2015, as a tribute to Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad another forgotten hero and freedom fighter who sacrificed his life for India alongwith Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru and Shaheed Sukhdev.
Impact & Outcomes
In 2016, we celebrate 10 years of the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowships, Karmaveer awards and REX CONCLiVE and host the 10th REX CONCLiVE and REX Karmaveer awards at the DPS School in Sector 45, Gurgaon. With over 600 REX Karmaveer Global Fellows and 2700 delegates participating, the energy at the REXperience is simply awesome, vibrant, inspiring and full of moJOsh.
Ms. Preeti Monga and Mr. Girish Gogia who have been inspiring people all around the world to be the change are chosen for the Dr. Verghese Kurien One vision to change our world Karmaveer Puraskaar.
The impact of “A letter from Jerry to Terry and a video appeal to Cannes Jury members” is colossal and creates a huge debate about ethics of advertising, CSR and Social impact in media globally. “A letter from Jerry to Terry and a video appeal to Cannes Jury members.” is followed up with another campaign in 2016 and the sequel video is titled “The Case Video must go on”. Advertising awards programs are now getting serious about regulating PUBLIC SERVICE and CSR advertising campaigns and checking their authenticity.
We begin public events of THE MAGNIFICENT 7 in nightclubs and restaurants with the objective of reaching out to inspire more and more people to be the change.
To celebrate 10 years of REX Karmaveer movement, we had a special event with all Indian Armed Forces veterans, to discuss the burning issue of terrorism which is now affecting every human’s daily existence.
The REX Karmaveer founder Jeroninio (Jerry) Almeida, has been conducting learning programs for students, teachers and parents about the need to encourage children to learn and not just study and to inspire them to pursue their passions, be driven by their dreams and follow their hearts. Having created a compelling learning program for Parents and Teachers titled “Not Just Teachers and Parents, but enlighteners, awakeners and transformers, who can change the future of the world”, Jerry was requested by many parents and teachers in the 10th REX CONCLiVE to focus and building character and taking the leadership learning and REX Karmaveer awards to schools and colleges. It was decided at the 10th CONCLiVE that all work would be kept aside and the focus would be on taking the REX Karmaveer Student and Youth Fellowships to schools within the next 2 years through the medium of International Volunteering Olympiad blended with moJOsh Inspirator leadership and life lessons for students, teachers and parents around India and the world. The mission has begun.
Through this time, we have been consolidating our efforts and preparing for the 11th REX CONCLiVE, REX Karmaveer Global Fellowships and Karmaveer awards.
“A small group of thoughtful, caring people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.
has over the years been partnered by various credible NGOs like Population First, WOTR, VSO, PPI, NFCH, NNFI; UN bodies like UNDP, UNODC, UNV, UNFPA; Ministries like the Ministry of Social Justice& Empowerment, Ministry of Home Affairs in the Indian Government; Bilateral/ Multilateral agencies like the EU, USAID, Swiss Development Corporation, GTZ; Media Partners like NDTV, UTVi, News X, Business World, Outlook, Deccan Chronicle, Financial Chronicle, Business Standard, International Herald Tribune, Education World, Tehelka, BIG FM, CNBC, People; Associations like NASSCOM Foundation, BCC & I, PHDCCI, RAI, TiE, and academic bodies like Harvard, Deakin University, TISS, Xavier’s Institute of Management, Christ University, MDI, ISB, Shriram School and various other partners. It is also commendable to note that Karmaveer awardees and people who have presented at REX in the earlier conclaves have all gone on to be featured in international magazines, TV shows and media. They have also become ambassadors, members of global organisations and have been invited to speak at global forums. People who have showcased their acts of performing arts like dance acts, singing acts have also been invited to perform at other functions and events.
that when we work silently from behind , somehow the universe conspires to recognise our efforts. So though you won’t see Jugnu’s name anywhere, her picture has become
the POSTER IMAGE for most articles demanding strict laws to provide justice for rape survivors and heroes. . That is the Power of Sincerity
Buddha had said that “An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” Keeping this thought in mind the REX conclave from inception has been converting ideas into action through strong advocacy and policy influencing. From the beginning the REX Facilitator & Curator Jeroninio Almeida (Jerry) started dreaming of an idea for building an egalitarian platform where concerned citizens from all walks of life could get a stage to present their thoughts and ideas. Thus was conceived Invisible Leaders of India during the visit of HRH Prince Charles’ visit to India in September 2004. Jerry used this opportunity to recognize the “invisible leaders of India”.
Jerry followed this up immediately with another event titled “Vision of India” where In December 2003, the founders of iCONGO planned, managed and supported an event for PUCL and Anhad in Chennai with leading celebrities like Kamal Hassan and Amala and Media partners like Vijay TV and The Hindu, to sensitize people
in Tamil Nadu to understand the electoral process and not just vote for politicians who make tall promises. This event was managed by sex workers and destitute youth who were trained to execute various details of event management and in the process gained jobs with event management firms.
Now in its 11th year all this has been rechristened and repositioned as REX- Ideas for Action 2.0