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  • Young social entrepreneurs share stories, win hearts at CII summit

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    Bengaluru:

    When four youngsters took the stage at the India Innovation Summit on Thursday, the packed hall greeted them with thunderous applause. From a 17-year-old girl who sowed the seeds of her venture in 2015 to a 21-year-old village lad who has gone the extra mile to help distressed farmers, the innovators shared their journeys and success stories at the two-day meet organized by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

    This app tracks baby’s mental, physical growth

    “When I was in class six, school authorities told my parents to get me enroled in a special school. I was 11 when they realized that I was suffering from dyspraxia, a motor disorder caused by damage to the brain. By the time I stepped into class 10, I became an ace coder,” said Harsh Songra, founder of My Child, an app. Featured twice in the Forbes India 30 Under 30 list, he’s been a TedEx speaker too.

    Founded in 2015, the app helps parents track the child’s mental and physical development and unusual symptoms from birth to two years. “Today, we connect to over 200 mothers across 140 countries in a month to help them understand their children’s development stages and identify signs of a disorder, if any. The app uses artificial intelligence algorithms. I have also started a content page — We Included — which narrates the tales and travails of the disabled across the globe and sensitizes people,” said Harsha.

    Harsh Songra, 21, co-founder, My Child

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    A platform which hones communication skills

    While chasing the IIT dream, Siddharth Pandiya realized that he was doing no value-addition by becoming another computer engineer. “I left the rat race and started something which I realized is so vital today, a debating platform. My parents always wanted me to develop communication skills,” said Siddharth, who is preparing to join University of California, Los Angeles.

    The teenager who just completed PUC from Greenwood High School is the founder of Debate for Change, a forum supported by Google. An avid debater since the age of eight, Siddharth’s aim is to make schoolchildren discuss varied topics with students across the world, hence enhancing their communication skills. “It’s a voice-based platform. One has to meet certain parameters, like the number of debates, to secure a world ranking,” he said, adding, “I’d rather be an aggregator of skills and find the right people to do the right job than a master of all trades. That’s my success mantra.”

    Siddharth Pandiya, 18, founder, Debate for Change

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    This initiative hopes to change mindsets, save resources

    Two years ago, when an environmentalist spoke about the impact of wasting resources and degradation of the planet during environment day, classmates Garvita Gulhati and Pooja S chanced upon the idea of a social startup — Why Waste? “The speech got us thinking and we realized we needed to do something,” said Garvita, who was 15 years old then.

    “If we drink water from a bottle at a summit and leave it half empty, 14 million litres of water will be wasted in two days? Our initiative intends to change mindsets. I believe we are all tenants on Earth; if we can leave a house spick and span being tenants, why can’t we do that for the planet? We have to stop wasting resources, which are limited,” she said. As part of the initiative, Garvita organizes campaigns to conserve natural resources.

    Garvita Gulhati, 17, co-founder, Why Waste?

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    A tech tool to aid farmers

    Hailing from a humble farmer family in a remote Mangaluru village, Ajay Gopi started an agriculture startup in 2015. “I have experienced the agony farmers in our country go through. When about 1,500 farmers committed suicide in Karnataka because of crop failure and debt, I decided to make a difference,” said the collegegoer.

    The startup, Teraniru, gives users access to the aquaponics technology, wherein plants grow in soil which sucks the same water in which fish breed. His prototype is functioning since December at the Kaggalipura rural market. “My aim is to do away with middlemen in the agriculture sector. We have to focus on people who contribute to the food chain, otherwise we will not survive,” said Ajay, who is now head of Project DEFY in Mangaluru and a fellow at Ashoka India.

    Ajay Gopi, 21, co-founder, Teraniru

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / TNN / July 14th, 2017

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