Eight youngsters from Bengaluru shortlisted to present their impact projects at United Nations

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As part of the One Million For One Billion (1M1B) flagship programme ‘Future Leaders’, eight students from Bengaluru were shortlisted to participate in a three-day event at New York with an opportunity to showcase their impact at the annual 1M1B Activate Impact Summit at the United Nations Headquarters.

1M1B is a Bengaluru-based social innovation and future skills initiative aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The programme aims to create a new generation of socially conscious leaders who tackle societal issues in a sustainable manner in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The summit is a platform for young change-makers to showcase their projects ranging from poverty to unemployment and mental health to wage gap and their impact at the global level.

Eight students from Bengaluru who will be presenting their ‘impact project’ before the United Nations on December 14 have worked on initiatives, including mental health awareness, assisting women belonging to economically weaker sections in getting their health insurance, menstrual hygiene, solving water crisis and education among others.

Ananya Seth along with her partner Anupama Rao are presenting ‘Project Udaan’, an initiative that aims to bridge the financial gap for economically backward women by getting them into health insurance and policies.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, 16-year-old Seth said, “Our research on the access to health insurance benefits in India showed that many people, mostly women, are not aware of the health insurance policies they are entitled to. Some are aware but not up to an extent where they can fill the forms and get their benefits.”

Seth added, “My partner and I tied up with two insurance policy companies, collected data from women, filled up the forms and helped them get their policies. A lot of these women are domestic workers and we asked their employers to explain the importance of health insurance.”

The duo has so far provided health insurance to 80 unorganised women workers across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They raised Rs 36,650 to help pay for the premium of these policies and have conducted an awareness session with over 300 students on this subject.

Keerthana R, 14, is working on a project titled ‘Minds_aligned’ which is striving towards a world with no stigma around mental health and helping people prioritise mental health.

“Raising the concern around mental health at a global platform is very pertinent. Many people around the world do not understand what mental health is and they suffer from certain mental health conditions without opening about it, considering the stigma attached to it,” said Keerthana.

She added, “I usually work on mental health awareness sessions among adults because if they can understand the importance of mental health they can pass it on to their children. The source of mental health issues can be many, including loneliness, trauma from childhood, societal behaviour among others.”

Meanwhile, Agastya Palangala, is working on ‘Healthy You(th)’, a project focusing on health-oriented activities for children aged 13 and above. The 15-year-old has conducted physical and digital activities to spread awareness on health lifestyle across government schools, wherein he has impacted 600 children in government schools so far.

Aryen Singhal, a 17-year-old, will be presenting his project titled ‘Project Flow’, wherein he has worked with 192 households in Bengaluru to manage and reduce water usage. He has onboarded 15 ‘water warriors’ to help conserve water and has achieved annual savings of 8,15,360 litre of water.

Divya Gopal and Raanan Bhayana are presenting their project ‘Four Sparks’, where the duo designed an 18-week agenda to teach Rubik’s cube, brain games, puzzles, quizzes, science experiments at underprivileged schools. They have impacted over 300 students through Science Day programmes, distributed books at over five schools and have impacted over 50 students through their weekly sessions.

Manav Subodh, founder of 1M1B said, “We believe that it is important to support our youth to get ready for the real world because the reality is that academic degrees and qualifications aren’t of much relevance if there are no skills to showcase. Opportunities today focus more on skills, innovation and technical capabilities. Through our flagship programme, we aim to create a generation of socially conscious leaders who create sustainable solutions to real-world problems and impart skills like problem-solving, flexibility, empathy, dealing with failures and collaboration.”



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