Millennium Post

2 Indians among 17 UN Young Leaders

Two Indians and an Indian-American are among 17 people selected for the inaugural class of the UN Young Leaders for Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to use their leadership skills and contribution to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

Trisha Shetty, 25, is the founder and CEO of ‘SheSays’, which she had launched last year to educate, rehabilitate and empower women to take direct action against sexual assault in India.

Ankit Kawatra, 24, founded ‘Feeding India’ in 2014 to address hunger and food waste, particularly by distributing excess food from weddings and parties to the needy.

Indian-American Karan Jerath, 19, 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.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the 17 young change-makers are a “testament to the ingenuity of youth and I congratulate them for their exceptional leadership and demonstrated commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals”.

‘SheSays’ 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. So far, Shetty’s organisation has engaged over 60,000 youngsters through workshops. 

Kawatra’s organisation has a network of over 2,000 volunteers in 28 cities in India for collecting and redistributing left-over food among the needy. The organisation has served over one million meals to date and aims to reach 100 million by 2020.

Jerath, a scientist and an innovator, was born in India, raised in Malaysia and moved to the United States at the age of 13. 
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