Two Indians and an Indian-American are selected for the inaugural class of UN Young Leaders for Sustainable Development Goals.
Trisha Shetty, Ankit Kawatra, and Indian-American Karan Jerath are among the 17 people selected for their leadership and contribution to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
Achievements of Trisha Shetty:
- 25-year-old Trisha launched a platform last year, 'She Says' to educate, rehabilitate and empower women to take direct action against sexual assault in India
- Her team works with established institutions across all the education, entertainment and healthcare fields to set up a network of support that recognises all factors of sexual abuse and provides necessary means to fight it, said a statement on the young leaders by the office of the UN Secretary-General's envoy on Youth
- Till now, over 60,000 young people has been successfully involved through educational workshops and Shetty is now aiming to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of gender equality
- 'She Says' uniquely provides tools and resources for women, including access to legal, medical and psychological support
- "I decided to do something when I realised that I could go online to find information about restaurants, but for victims of sexual abuse, there was nothing," Shetty said
Achievements of Ankit Kawatra:
- In 2014, Ankit (24) founded 'Feeding India' to address the issues of hunger and food waste, particularly by distributing excess food from weddings and parties to the needy
- Over 2,000 volunteers in 28 cities in India are working under this organisation for rescuing and redistributing excess food to help feed people in need
- The organisation has served over one million meals to date and aims to reach 100 million by 2020
- At the age of 22, Kawatra quit his corporate job to focus on tackling food waste and hunger in India when at an Indian wedding, he was 'appalled' by the amount of food going waste in a country where 194 million are undernourished
- The idea behind his organisation was to collect excess food from parties, events and weddings and re distribute to people in need and it is now eyeing reaching the goal of zero hunger
- Speaking at a UN event, Kawatra said he was "honoured" to be selected as a UN Young Leader, a role which will give him "an opportunity to further advocate global development goals that need to be achieved for a better planet and also raise India's concerns and social challenges all over the world".
Achievements of Karan Jerath:
- 19-year-old Indian-American Karan Jerath invented a ground-breaking, subsea wellhead capping device that contains oil spills at the source as a solution in the aftermath of the BP deepwater horizon oil spill -- the largest marine oilspill in US history, near his home in Texas
- Indian-born Jerath moved to US at the age of 13. He was brought up in Malaysia
- When the BP oil spill took place 30 minutes away from his home in Texas, Jerath says he was determined to take action
- "I realised that much smaller spills are happening on a daily basis and negatively affecting our oceans and environment. I had to find a solution," he said
- While still in high school, he invented a device that contains oil spills at the source. The patent-pending device can collect oil, gas and water gushing from a broken well on the seafloor, providing an effective, temporary solution in the case of an unforeseen subsea oil spill
- For his invention, Jerath won the 'Young Scientist Award' at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair's 2015 competition, and was selected as the youngest honouree on this year's Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy list.