Inspiring journeys of young changemakers

For those who swear by the power of the youth, here come the inspiring stories of those who with their out-of-the-box initiatives are doing their bit for the society. Around 22 such young leaders from different parts of the country were recently recognised at Changelooms, an event by Pravah held in the city. While each of the changemakers makes for a fascinating story, we zoom in on four of them.

Happy journey:
Zeeshan Mohammad founded Safe Safar after he saw how difficult it is for his female friends to commute in public transport. The Lucknow-based youth-run organisation works with commuters and autodrivers to make “violence-free journeys a reality”. “We conducted a baseline survey and found that 90 per cent girls faced some sort of harassment but never raised a voice because they did not know who to approach with the complaint.
We make them understand the process of filing the complaints etc. We also involve the drivers as they often act as witness to the crime,” he says.

Eco-friendly ideas:
This young bunch from Bengaluru through their initiative Reap Benefit develops low-cost environment-friendly innovations by roping in students from various schools and colleges. Founder Kuldeep Dantewada tells us that while the cause undertaken is a huge one, but they ensure that work becomes fun. “We have developed a low-cost grey water conversion system through which grey water can be recycled and used for sanitation purposes in schools,” says the 25-year-old, who runs the organisation with his three friends.

Gender equality:
Bappaditya Mukherjee, PrantKatha, founder works to promote active citizenship, particularly among youngsters. “We have created a group called Melting Pot, where youth try to finds answers to various issues relevant to them. These include concerns of the LGBT community, the bias they face and acceptance issues etc,” he says.

Communal harmony:
Lokesh Kalan was 17 when he witnessed the bloodshed and the Gujarat riots. “I saw mass migration of people and how the refugees suffered for the want of basic amenities. We among our friend circle started discussion and debate around such issues,” he says. Lokesh founded Alfa Educational Society which works to create communal harmony and encourage youth to take interest in the politics and policymaking.

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