Ashoka Innovators for the Public, the world’s largest network of Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers, has selected 13 changemakers from across India for the third edition of Ashoka Young Changemakers.
Ashoka Young Changemakers is a carefully selected network of young people who have already launched their own initiatives, built teams, and created positive change in their communities. The new cohort of Ashoka Young Changemakers addresses a wide variety of issues ranging across mental health, financial literacy, environment conservation, education, communications, healthcare, gender and art & culture.
These Young Changemakers include:
Anagha R, Goa, Yours Mindfully: Anagha founded Yours Mindfully (earlier MindChamps), a robust community of 40+ youngsters aged 15-22 years from across the world, with a mission to bridge the gaps in awareness, inclusion, and accessibility in the mental health space. The platform offers inclusive and research-based mental health resources and organizes listening circles, workshops, and digital media campaigns that provide students, teachers, and parents a support system to deal with mental health challenges.
T Anjana Suresh, Kerala, FunFunds: With the aim to deepen conversations around financial literacy, Anjana started FunFunds – a digital platform that provides free financial literacy courses for different age groups and attempts to counter stereotypes of finance as something dreadfully boring. The platform operates via social media and other channels.
Bhagyashree P, Maharashtra, Empower: With the aim to empower and enable young minds to channel their creativity for change, Bhagyashree founded Empower magazine. It is a platform where young people can communicate issues near and dear to their hearts without the barriers of nationality, race, culture or gender. The magazine has published 11 editions and has a monthly readership of 4000+ across 80+ countries.
Dhruv N, Tamil Nadu, Finance4Future: Dhruv founded ‘Finance4Future’ to address the problem of financial illiteracy that is largely prevalent in lower-income communities and rural areas of India. Dhruv and team have been able to reach hundreds of students belonging to underfunded schools and underprivileged communities and offered to take 10-14 classes on basic financial concepts.
Dwishojoyee B, Bihar, The Soft Move: Dwishojoyee’s initiative ‘The Soft Move’ focuses on helping young people move away from being ‘Noise-makers’ and towards being ‘Change-makers’. The 30-member team led by Dwishojoyee, runs ‘The Paperbag Project’ that works closely with street vendors in helping them switch from plastic bags to paper bags.
Kalash B, Maharashtra, Fun Learning Youth: Kalash runs ‘Fun Learning Youth’, an organization that involves youth in social activity which helps underprivileged children in education along with providing managing and changemaking skills to the persons involved. Fun Learning Youth has mentored 700 students so far across the country and is now moving towards re-enrolment of students in formal schools and increasing accountability within traditional schooling systems.
Krishna S, Jammu &Kashmir, Maunitva Nirakrn: Krishna founded ‘Maunitva Nirakarn’, an organization aims to draw awareness to and destigmatize mental health issues. The organization, with 10 Core Team members, 7 Cause Ambassadors and 40 Volunteers, has reached hundreds through its webinars across cities in the country.
Prajal R, Sikkim, COVID Management System: Prajal founded ‘Ripra Clothing Private Limited’, an initiative to promote the unique societal flavour and cultural extravaganza offered by his native state to mainland Indians. During the second wave of COVID-19, Prajal also worked to create a management system with a 200+ volunteers’ team. Using social media, he collaborated with various media houses of his state and across the country and worked as COVID emergency coordinator under the guidance of Chief Minister Sikkim. The team was active in 21 states in India and helped more than 1000 patients in 13 days.
Rishikesh A, Odisha, Kisan Know: Rishikesh started ‘Kishan Know’, an IoT and AI-based model that helps recognize pests and microbial attacks in under 12 hours and recommends the right pesticide to use for that particular infestation, to help save crops from damage. Till now, this has helped over 7 villages save their crops from damage. Rishikesh is currently working with the government to be able to scale this service at the state and national level as well.
Sagarika D, Assam, Maan Ki Umeed: Through ‘Maan Ki Umeed’, Sagarika and her team focus on enrolling slum kids to primary schools and organising various capacity-building programs for them. The team led by Sagarika has able to reach more than 500 girls and women from rural and underprivileged areas, donated over 15,000 sanitary napkins during the Assam floods of 2020, and provide food ration kits to over 1500 families during COVID-19 pandemic covering 4 districts of Assam.
Shloka A, Karnataka, InternMee: Shloka’s initiative ‘InternMee’ is a one-stop platform to help high school students find work as well as helping organizations find and recruit passionate volunteers. With a core team of 25, the platform has 35,000 global users and has catered to 20,000 applications with a matchmaking rate of 50%.
Suhani D, Maharashtra, Sangam India: Suhani runs ‘Sangam India’, a platform for empowering local artists, entrepreneurs and creative minds, wherein they can showcase their skills, expand their businesses, and meet their future collaborators. With a team of 40 people aged between 14-24 years, the platform has a base of hundreds of member artists in their nation-wide community.
Vasundhara C, Punjab, Inspire Dose: Vasundhara’s initiative ‘Inspire Dose’ works to destigmatise mental health, provide mental health support to people, and make youth find new pathways through spirituality. With a team of four, Vasundhara has been organising surveys, writing blogs, making videos, recording podcasts and providing self-care items.
“Our growing community of Ashoka Young Changemakers is a testimonial to the power of starting early to lead change which is a foundational step towards becoming lifelong changemakers. Even in the face of the many challenges and uncertainties brought on by the pandemic, these inspiring young changemakers remained committed to their goals of bringing about positive change and advancing their communities. We are looking forward to support them come up with their best ideas to create an ‘Everyone A Changemaker’ world around them,” said Yashveer Singh, the Co-founder & Global Director of Ashoka Young Changemakers.
These Young Changemakers will be introduced to a global platform with further access to co-leadership boot camps, media partnerships, public speaking platforms, exposure visits, strategic allies, and more opportunities to advance themselves to be the influencers of youth culture in India.
Ashoka is leading the way to an ‘Everyone a Changemaker’ world. As the world’s largest network of changemakers and social innovators with more than 4,000 social entrepreneurs in 93 countries, Ashoka aims to bring about large-scale social change. Ashoka supports innovators to get started, grow their ideas, collaborate, reshape whole systems and influence societal transformation. Founded in 1980 with the belief that the most powerful force in the world is a big idea in the hands of an entrepreneur, Ashoka applies insights from the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to set in motion profound societal transformation. Current insights indicate that our rapidly changing world calls for an ‘Everyone a Changemaker’ world, one where every person practices the critical skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership and changemaking.
For more information on Ashoka, please visit www.ashoka.org.