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Young Changemaker: Their achievements belie their age

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 05, 2020 Published on March 04, 2020

Age, it is said, is just a number. Young Changemakers live that statement. Every year BusinessLine Changemaker Awards receives a lot of nomination from youngsters, some in their teens, for the good work they have done. This year, too, the story was the same. Here are the nominees for the Young Changemaker category:

Akash Singh

All of 19, this social inventor and entrepreneur has been lauded for his initiatives by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His start-up, Energinee Innovations, is making all the right waves, be it providing skills to prisoners or transforming temple waste into eco-friendly and upcycled products. Through his venture, the otherwise-stigmatised undertrials get upskilled and find a means of livelihood.

Kaajal Gupta

She wields the written word and the power of technology to bring about change that she wants to see. Gupta is the founder and CEO of Liberate: My OCD Fighter, a mental-health app, which not only allows users to understand their experience with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) better, but also offers methods to combat them. Liberate currently has over 3,000 users in India and the US.

Pradeep Mewada

This 17-year-old, along with his group of about 10 friends, is on a mission to end open defecation. Now, almost every house in his village, Raipur Nayakheda, in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh, has a toilet, and open defecation is virtually non-existent there. Mewada’s idea has now spread to over 20 nearby villages and is inspiring many other youngsters to take up similar issues.

Rashid K, Vimal Govind, Arun George, Nikhil NP

These are the faces behind Bandicoot, the robot that removes accumulated sludge and plastic waste that clog manholes, and helps bring down deaths due to manual scavenging. The four are the founders of Genrobotic Innovations, a start-up that specialises in designing robots to address social issues. The firm has embarked on a movement called #MissionRobohole to replace men with robots for scavenging.

Vaamaa Baldota

Five years ago, in 2015, Baldota founded DARE – Defence Against Rape and Eve-Teasing – in an attempt to make girls physically and mentally tough, to thwart physical attacks and tackle difficult situations. So far, her organisation has trained over 2.75 lakh girls in about 1,400 schools in the South, and has a network of nearly 500 trainers. It aims to train at least 10 lakh girls by 2022, and is roping in more volunteers to multiply the impact.

Vihaan Agarwal and Nav Agarwal

With an eye on zero-waste future through sustainable change, the two brothers started a non-governmental organisation One Step Greener, which runs a monthly door-to-door pick-up service for dry recyclable waste and helps residents reduce their waste footprint. Through the process, the organisation has saved enough energy to provide power to 44,891 average Indian homes for a day.

The winner for this category will be revealed at the Awards function to be held in New Delhi on March 6. The event is supported by LIC, Tata Sons, Dell, Qualcomm, PepsiCo, and Nestle among others.

Published on March 04, 2020
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