An initiative that offers machinery to small-scale entrepreneurs to produce low-cost sanitary napkins, a project that collects waste from housing societies and converts it into compost, while transferring the non-degradable waste to their respective companies for recycling and a web portal that has compiled exhaustive information on Indian healthcare providers.
Innovative projects, all led by the youth, such as these were presented to a panel of technical experts, representatives from the UN and the government, as well as academic institutions on Friday, as part of the inaugural day of the two-day Young Social Innovators Conclave 2014.
A joint initiative by NSF and UN-Habitat, the conclave was held at University of Mumbai’s Sir JJ College of Architecture – also one of the organisers.
Leni Chaudhuri, programme head of Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, said the youth are the key stakeholders in a rapidly growing India. “The conclave plays the role of the catalyst for change which focuses on developing the next generation leaders to solve our most challenging problems in areas such as education, environment, poverty, healthcare, and social justice.”
Dr Nachiket Mor, president ICICI Foundation, Kavita Ramdas, who represents India, Nepal and Sri Lanka for Ford Foundation, Anshul Tewari, founder and editor-in-chief of Youth Ki Awaaz and Dr Shilpa Phadke, sociologist, Tata Institute of Social Sciences were among the panelists.
The conclave also saw five initiatives from across the country receive The India Youth Fund – a grant programme jointly launched by UN-Habitat and NSF last year.
Judged on their innovation and potential solution to the country’s growing urbanization problems, each project received Rs 8 lakh as grant.