By Mohana Basu
New Delhi, Feb 18 For the first time, a group of Indian students who have worked on grassroot-level social projects for creating jobs will present their proposals to international diplomats and policy-makers from around the world at the UN headquarters.
The programme is part of the â€œFuture Leadersâ€ initiative of 1M1B, an Indian not-for-profit organisation which seeks to train over the years one million young entrepreneurs for creating jobs for one billion people.
After a six-month-long curriculum and fellowship programme, 1M1B selected 10 students from India who will be present at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on March 19.
The top three students among them will make a presentation on their respective projects before a gathering of diplomats and representatives of the media, foundations and others.
"The 17 goals of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require people, especially young people, to drive action towards their fulfilment by the year 2030," said Manav Subodh, co-founder of 1M1B. "So today, more than any other time, the UN requires ambassadorship and action by young people towards the UN SDGs," Subodh said.
He said the â€œFuture Leadersâ€ programme of 1M1B, a job-creation and income enhancement initiative aligned to the UN SDG, seeks to give a â€œglobal stage to future influencersâ€.
Under the fellowship programme, promising students are identified, felicitated and given access to high impact development projects.
One of the selected projects, 'The Project Fresh Start (TPFS)â€, by Nikita Nambiar (14) of The International School Bangalore, seeks to empower incarcerated women, socially and financially, help them stay out of prison, and become productive community members.
Ten women inmates of the Tumkur Central Jail are being trained in the art of making Tanjore paintings by a professional artist.
Nambiar plans to auction off these paintings through a charity event later and forward the proceeds to the women.
Another selected project, â€œDivyangâ€, an initiative by Sanjana Tarigopula (14), addresses the lack of awareness on autism and hopes to provide support for caregivers, friends and family of patients.
She created an app that not only provides access to autism-related research to create awareness within support groups, but also showcases the varied talents of people who suffer from autism.
The programme started in August 2017 in partnership with The International School of Bangalore (TISB).
Selected candidates were called for a panel interview following which the fellows were chosen.
The â€˜1M1B Future Influencersâ€™ programme will be formally announced at the UN on March 19.
After the first cohort from India, the programme will open up for participants from other schools and countries, including the US, Kenya and Vietnam.
Over 100 Future Influencers are expected to participate at the grand finale of the event in October 2018 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
1M1B focuses on youth and women from ages 18-25 in the most underserved parts of the world.
The initiative builds conscious enterprises and undertakes income enhancement initiatives for underprivileged communities by engaging urban leaders and startups.