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Tinkering with robotics, I have built some projects which have been helpful in solving real-world problems

Harshil AnandI started my journey at the age of 14 when I was eagerly interested to dig deeper into the field of robotics science. Currently I’m 17, pursuing my 12th grade with PCM+CS. I have  co-founded a deeptech company focused on B2B aswell as B2C model. We have been into the R&D sector as well as providing web & AI services contributing our part in automating businesses of this era. We have a roadmap to launch series of ventures under Vicube and SmarTee(building the next generation of healthtech wearables) is the first subsidiary part of it with another automated web dev. firm under process.

It’s been almost 3 years tinkering with robotics stuff and drones and I have built some amazing projects which have been helpful in solving real-world problems – a natural disaster rescue drone which took me to the finals of YOUNG SCIENTIST INDIA 2017, AI enabled edu chatbots, home cleaning robots etc. I started freelancing when I was 15 to fund my own projects which has taught me some important money valuation aspects at a younger age. I’m currently researching on wearable technologies in the health domain under SmarTee and our first product will be reaching market by this year.

Always curious and interested into computing applications and my brother was as a source of inspiration for me as he was a kind of tech savvy guy and loved doing electronics projects. On my first visit to IIT Delhi I developed a spark to build robots. I teamed up with 3 of my friends and  participated in their annual tech-fest. I saw drones there for the very first time in my life which made me to tinker with drones and UAV’s in the future years.

Yes, I was so fascinated by these flying robots that made me to learn about the different aspects of it. I met a guy who was running a robotics school in my city who helped me so much in my journey by providing me with costly drones to learn, and other stuff to help me out. My project Medibot got selected for the finale of Young Scientist India 2017 in the aeromodelling category. This was a drone to help out trapped refugees at the time of natural disasters to provide medical supplies, ultimately make a huge cost cut as it was done by helicopters.

Before all this I was a kind of guy who used to be involved into some unwanted bad habits during my 6th-7th class period, used abusing languages in school, not a good scorer and had a toxic kind of life.

Instantly after being one of the winners at Bihar startup conclave, we got a huge media attention and featured in renowned media newspapers in various cities pan india, social blogs, writeups and got invited to radioshows. This was the time when I could tell that I actually made my parents proud. My father was sharing all those articles to their groups and mom was being called up by my name.

Harshil Anand
Delegate, YIC IIT Delhi 2019

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You’re not alone! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You just have to reach out.

Raashi Thakran

Raashi Thakran

My name is Raashi Thakran and I am currently based in Pune.

I was born in Dehradun into a military home. So, we were moving a lot due to my father’s profession. I’ve always loved meeting new people and experiencing new places. I’ve always had a very close relationship with my family and especially my little brother. We’ve had our fights and differences but they’ve made me who I am.

This year, on 6th January I lost my little brother to suicide.

He was only 18 years old.

It was very sudden, shocking and happened when we least expected it. It was the darkest phase of my life. I was lost and scared. Confused, angry and lonely. I spent months trying to get an answer to this one question – Why? I was suffering from crippling anxiety and insomnia.

One day, I stumbled upon an email from Change.org regarding a one-year long fellowship. I decided to apply and got selected. This was the beginning of my journey as a mental health advocate. I finally found a purpose and at the same time, I decided to get professional help for myself because there is no shame in it.

I have started a petition on Change.org asking the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to launch a national helpline number for suicide prevention in India. It has received more than 1.8 lac signatures till date and there has been an out pour of support.
We had a meeting with the Health Advisor of Niti Aayog regarding my campaign and they are very interested in taking this forward.
I have collaborated with various organisations i.e NNDC-IF, SPIF, Teach For India and I am also using social media to talk openly about these issues and to let people know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

You can sign Raashi’s petition on change.org here

Raashi Thakran
Delegate, YIC IIT Delhi 2019

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Press Release: The 10th Edition of Young India Challenge 2019 at IIT Delhi

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The 10th Young India Challenge (YIC) was organised by Human Circle on 12th and 13th October at IIT Delhi. The event was focussed on #DoWhatYouLove with a theme of  ‘Sustainable Living’. Approximately 500 students, young professionals and entrepreneurs from more than 75 cities participated at YIC to find solutions for the challenges we face in India regarding. People worked in teams to work on UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 13, that is, Responsible Consumption & Production and Climate Action respectively.

The first day started of with some icebreaker games with the delegates and a ‘Welcome to the #DoWhatYouLove Movement’ keynote address by Kamal Seth (Founder & Chief Happiness Officer and Co-creator, YIC) with a thumping introduction and set the already pumped up energy even higher!! 400 jovial faces from all regions of India were greeted with some of the historic YIC rituals, like the ‘Collectective Ovation’. A tribute to the nation with a vitalizing Vande Mataram slowly compounded the high spirits with a constructive seriousness of the cause of Sustainable Living. The delegates raised their Reusable Bamboo Mugs, pledged to be a #SustainabilityWarrior and to fight the climate crisis faced by our nation and the world at large. Kamal also asked the young mins a promise to use their reusable mugs to the point it gets withered. 

 

 

Wioleta (Co-founder, Human Circle & Co-creator, Young India Challenge) really shifted gears to the ‘How to do it’ part of the Movement with the anatomy of the brain pictorial and with her fun exercise ritual. She enabled everyone to connect with themselves as well as with their neighbors. The session proceeded as a sharing session where the participants learnt how to keep keep good mental health. The afternoon of the first day saw speaker sessions by Nida Hasan, Country Head of Change.org, India and Anshul Tewari Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Youth Ki Awaaz. These sessions found some really interesting questions from the curious minds in the audience and it can safely be said that the speakers loved by the participants for their courage and passion. There was also an engaging dialogue on #YouthforSustainability. It covered various areas like excess consumerism, role of media, political and social outreach for climate action, emergency of the sustainability issues in India, and a lot more. The panelists  also deliberated upon how to make sustainable supply chains more mainstream in India, like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO – a standard for sustainability) backed certified sustainable palm oil. Seated on the panel were the Founder of Human Circle and india Representative, RSPO, Kamal Seth, Prashant Jha, Hindi Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz, Namrata Kilpady, Campaign Manager, Change.org, Devik Sodha, President of AIESEC India, and Saneesh Cherian, Head of Business Management, The Logical Indian. The eminent panelists engaged in a dialogue about how sustainability issues are tackled by these coveted digital media organizations, MNCs and governments. One of the outcomes of the discussion was to develop a consensus for #YouthforSustainability and a collaboration amongst like minded organizations to reach millions of people in India for the same.

 

After the immersive panel discussion, the Happiness Team entered with flags of the teams and gathered them up to set them in a brainstorm mode. This was immediately followed by impromptu jingles made by the teams and Kamal and Wioleta praised the teams they felt were captivating. The mood was certainly set and the teams, with their ‘drop-the-box’ ideas, were determined to claim the winning award! 

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The second day started off as the delegates then made their way into the auditorium where they were introduced to their expert mentors for the day. This was followed by an entire day of finding and creating a solution to the challenge given to the team. The mentors guided the teams to find innovative solutions to the challenges we face in India and across the world. After lunch the teams worked on their ideas for a couple more hours and then they were made to present their solutions to the members of the jury. 

 

The teams presented some practical solutions to the challenge that was posed to them and they made it difficult for the jury to choose the winning teams and come to a conclusion. The jury presentations were followed by the Awards Ceremony at the main auditorium which was now vibrantly decorated with colours of India. Hosts for the Awards Ceremony Divya Dureja and Kamal Seth welcomed the audience and took them through the entire Day 2 with a slideshow of pictures playing to the song “Aaj Ka Yeh Din”. 

As the ceremony continued, winners of the ‘You Are The Story’ Contest Raashi Thakran, Kunal Soni and Harshil Anand shared their stories with the audience  consisting of delegates, mentors and happiness team. This was followed by a session from AIESEC in Delhi IIT and the launch of RSPO’s ‘I am a Sustainability Warrior’ ambassador program and a #YouthforSustainability Fellowship with Centre For Responsible Business. Some members of the Happiness Team and Delegates were then invited to share their own YIC experiences which was followed by the announcement of the winning teams.

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“Time has come for the youth in India to step up our efforts to tackle the climate crisis. We must do the best we can to leave a healthy planet for our children and grandchildren. A collective effort by the people and supported by companies, NGOs, governments and all civil society stakeholders can make it happen. We must hold each other accountable for our promises.” said Kamal Seth

“In order to do the great work of making this world a better place, we must learn to keep ourselves happy and ‘hack our brains’ to stay in a positive state of mind to tackle the biggest challenges of our times like the climate crisis and depression. We must grab all opportunities to increase our self awareness and practical skills to add more and more value in the work we do.” said Wioleta Burdzy Seth

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The 10th Young India Challenge has been the biggest one so far with more than 50 speakers, mentors and jury members and throughout the two days of the event, the energy was on a whole different level. So many passionate youngsters all gathered in one place to find solutions to the challenges we face in India is an indicator of the vast potential that the Indian youth has.

We would like to thank all our partners and supporters for making the 10th Young India Challenge a mega success!

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Day 2 Drill is on!!

 

Good Morning from Day 2 of the 10th Young India Challenge where ideas are ready to take flight and claim their skies!

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Teams have gathered together and are more than excited to present their ideas which they are, clearly, very confident about. Two of the very smart and focused delegates, Geetika Bhatiya from Noida and Devdeep from Calcutta briefly summarized Day 1 to the Mentors and Jury Members to let them have a taste of the intense brainstorming that happened yesterday. They clearly emphasized that today is the day of action and they can’t wait to pounce on their mentors with questions that’ll help them inch closer to their solutions. This was followed by the Clapping Ritual by Kamal to let the mentors know that this so-called ‘geeky’ community of young brains are in fact fun-loving people and they know how to strike the right work-life balance too.

 

The mentor introduction session was initiated by Kamal where each mentor was asked to introduce themselves and their endeavors in about 60 seconds. The audience gave an overwhelming response to the mentors who, without a doubt, enchanted the delegates with their own stories and passions. Mentor Gautam Seth from Webcontxt rightly described the energy in the room as “infectious” and stated that he came for the YIC to get infected by the energy in a positive way! The cause and intent behind YIC is such that it has forced mentors to leave their homes on an easy-going Sunday morning for the event and many of them said that this was perhaps the best way to do a Sunday! No wonder Mentors like Piyush Dhawan from UNDP India “breathe SDGs in their life”! He, a Pollution Migrant, as he calls himself, upon leaving the city life for a better future for himself and his family, shared his strive to make the world a better place by taking the SDGs to the local level with Future for Cities and the concept of Circular Economy. He, perhaps like the rest of the other mentors, is here to learn, co-create and make connections that only grow with every rise following today!

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Some of our Mentors are true inspirations for our Delegates who made it from the ‘Delegate’ Tag to the ‘Mentor’ Tag in a matter of a couple of years!! Mentor Abhishek Saini from Those in Need covered that journey in just two years! Mentor Rachit Malhotra belongs to the same bandwagon who extended the DoWhatYouLOve Movement with a really important question, “Are you as enthusiastic about a Monday morning as you are for a Weekend??”

 

We have mentors like Sarika Panda Bhatt from Nagarro and Raahgiri Foundation who has cycled all the way from Manali to Leh to which the audience couldn’t help but erupt into a thunderous applause!  

 

Towards the end of the introduction session Mentor Shubra Puri from Gurgaon First asked the delegates if they are ready to become ‘Cool Fools’ since she believes that Sustainability is not just the future but fashionable and the cool thing to do and we can’t agree more with her!

 

Chaos time is here as the Mentors are unleased into the crowd of hungry delegates to gorge in all that they can!! Flight time is here and the teams are ready to claim their skies!

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Let the Challenge Begin!!

After the immersive panel discussion, conversations were sure to brew. The perfectly timed Tea Break saw the delegates discussing issues with the panelists and speakers during the previous sessions and among the peers, they met with too! What a great recipe to making everlasting bonds with delegates from all parts of the nation!!

 

No wonder the delegates were forced into the room after the break to introduce them to their challenges! The Happiness Team entered with flags of the teams and gathered them up to set them in a brainstorm mode. This was immediately followed by impromptu jingles made by the teams and Kamal and Wioleta praised the teams they felt were captivating. The mood is certainly set and the teams, with their ‘drop-the-box’ ideas, are determined to claim the winning award! 

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And amidst all this enthusiasm, a structure was given by Wioleta to the teams to present their ideas and presentations for tomorrow. Doubts were cleared, responsibilities amongst teams were divided and it became pretty evident that channeling of ideas within teams started to happen after the hullabaloo that the Lecture Hall was dissolved in thin air and seriousness dripped in. 

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Way past the 6 pm cinderella time, the event was wrapped up by Kamal with a slideshow of pictures from Day 1 and the staple YIC song, Aaj Kaa Yeh Din.

Day 1 dusks successfully at the dawn of new friendships, connections, and ideas taking shape. Day 2, here we come for you!!

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The post-lunch season next saw an engaging panel dialogue on #YouthForSustainability

 

The post-lunch season next saw an engaging panel dialogue on #YouthForSustainability. The dialogue covered various areas like consumerism culture, media role, political and social outreach, emergency of the sustainability issues in India, and a lot more. 

Seated on the panel were the Founder of Human Circle, Kamal Seth, Prashant Jha, Hindi Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz, Namrata Kilpady, Campaign Manager, Change.org, Devik Sodha, President of AIESEC India, and Sanish Cherian, Head of Business Management, The Logical Indian. 

The eminent panelists engaged in a dialogue about how sustainability issues are tackled by these coveted digital media organizations. Sanish highlighted how small things, like a small product bought from Alibaba Express than from local markets, also contribute to the carbon footprint. He got the quote, “Empathy. Educate. Excel” as the motto for everybody should go with. He underlines that the main cause the problems of degeneration of the environment is on the rise is because people lack empathy for their surroundings. There is a need to cultivate empathy among the people to look beyond. 

This set the question in motion about how many corporate organizations and mass platforms do write and talk many right things about the environment and climate change, but often don’t walk their talk. Why do they act this way? Why are they part of hypocrisy? The answer was because probably it’s still much more important for them to satisfy the stakeholders and earn large money. This led the dialogue to the adverse production and consumerist culture, whose effects can be seen in our world today. 

Examples of Amazon Rainforest fire in Brazil and Aarey deforestation in Mumbai were duly discussed. Just putting blame on consumers and government for these, doesn’t justify the bigger picture where many things are interconnected. But these movements also had a silver lining, in a way that these movements got a wider reach and people raised their voice against the injustice to the environment. Social media has really empowered people to question hypocrisy in such scenarios.  

After addressing the questions, the room shifted to the solutions. The first and foremost one is how consumers can take action by refusing and challenging to buy non-sustainable products, packaging, etc. And people should support the organizations and movements who are genuinely making a difference on this road. For example the campaign of ADIDAS,  #RunForTheOcean and #ExtinctionRebellion, etc. The point is that not everywhere is gloom and doom about this issue; it’s only that people need to stay more updated about the same and do something about it. 

With many questions answered, and many curious ones hanging, we shifted the gears to our Young India CHALLENGE!

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YIC hosts ‘Anshul Tewari ki awaaz’ from Youth Ki Awaaz

Our speakers are here and we can’t wait to hear their stories!!

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The Founder of Youth Ki Awaaz, Anshul Tewari shared not just his story but also his connection  with Do What You Love since a very tender age of fourteen when he started his own blog. Later through the years he realized the power of his blog because he realized that it was actually his voice that mattered the most. He hated the fact that the people around him did not take him seriously enough and this is what fuelled his vigour of continuing the blog despite just two viewers a day which included his mother and a friend!!

The point he emphasised on during his story was the intent behind his blog. There were events and incidents happening around him that disheartened him and this inspired him to share those stories because no one else did and those stories mattered! 

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As glorious as it sounds, Youth Ki Awaaz has faced a lot of challenges and still continues to do so. He started his blog with a domain for a 500 rupee gift from his brother and volunteer writers who were his friends to keep the blog going. From that point to today when YKA is a very popular media house for today’s youngsters. Yet, even today he faces challenges that he posed in front of the audience and asked if the young minds can come up with a practical solution and work in those areas with them. 

His session found some really interesting questions from the curious minds in the audience and it can safely be said that he was loved by the delegates!   

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And the Speaker Sessions Begin!!

The first speaker of the day: Nida Hasan from  Change.org India

After lunch, the audience was greeted by our first speaker, Ms. Nida Hasan, Country Head of Change.org, India, a unique platform that gives voice to the people and causes whose voice is unheard and brings them to mainstream. Sharing her story about her childhood dream to become a doctor till the time she decided to become an english journalist, was surely relatable and inspiring. She then moved towards her journey at Change.org, and how it impacted her life as well as of the thousands on her platform. 

She shared about few campaigns that went viral and inspired many. For example,  #GlassHalfFull, about child sexual abuse and about Ghazipur landfills. 

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After a talk ripe with wisdom of life experience and a desire to be a catalyst for social change the program matured into a Q/A session. Filled with insightful questions, Ms Nida was bombarded with queries that ranged from sustainable development to community engagement and everything that covers the wide spectrum in between. These inquisitive minds with a passion for change put up some thought provoking questions like How to amass the support of people? as well as how can one bridge the gap between offline and online world?

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Ms. Nida undeterred by the questions gave a daft response to incorporate support from a grass root level through a petition on change.org. A cause within the social laws of society supported through twitter is a recipe for success, the pervasive quality of social media can be used to garner support and rally people to the right cause.Patience and perseverance will help reduce the gap and propel your cause forward.Further with a resilient voice and resolve to be the change herself, a girl named Paavini questioned about the change from media industry to social welfare and the stories that compelled Ms Nida to make this change. With a nostalgic undertone she spoke about her inability to act on issues while only having the time to cover them as a media person, from one issue to another, from one story to another and from one flight to another she didn’t have any time to reflect. Moved by the plight of children in rat hole mines of Meghalaya was just the push needed to make this change and now change.org stands at a strength of about 10k petitions and since then this change maker hasn’t looked back.

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Hack Your Brain session with Wioleta got the delegates in the groove!

Taking  the transition to a nerdy mind frame by Kamal, Wioleta really shifted gears to the technicalities of the Movement we are here for today. With the anatomy of the brain pictorial and with her fun exercise ritual, she enabled everyone to connect with themselves as well as with their neighbors. 

Words of wisdom seemed to pour seamlessly and connected various domains of following our passions, dealing with mental health, taking a break when needed and thus leading an enhanced life. This was a much-needed inundation that enlights the spark in the minds of young individuals by encouraging them to speak, write or even text loved ones as per the question in hand. Small things that we do actually have a huge impact on ourselves and the importance of reading books, traveling, meeting people and socializing.

The essence of jugaadh is something that permeates the atmosphere of the room, constantly evolving with whatever sources one has is how Wioleta draws a parallel between both. Working on oneself is a constant process success will manifest itself slowly but surely, and the rooms burst into a loud round of applause and why not truth has been told but this time there wasn’t a need of grain of salt to accept it. Self-growth is just not limited to academic intelligence but rather is just a part of the bigger picture which she explains quite clearly. Create music, write, dance, develop but most importantly live, each river takes its own route to reach the ocean and along its way it enriches countless lives. There isn’t a single path to happiness but every path surely is an edifying one.

This brings us to the necessity of being in harmony with nature which is the underlying theme of this dynamic event and who else is better to instill such feeling than the minds who are the harbingers of a better tomorrow. To be in harmony with nature, to consciously care about animals is a  feeling that will architect your personality onto a global citizen, Your interpersonal skills need to grow, body chemistry, linguistic skills, how to treat others, how to remain aplomb while the ground is burning.

The session proceeds as a sharing session where mental health is discussed, a much-needed skill, around 400 minds each brewing with countless stories and perceptions, an edifying atmosphere was created!

The importance of gratitude was exemplified, tough times never last but tough people do and gratitude is the oar that helps us on the boat our boat through these tough waters. All this beautifully morphed into a much deeper Q/A session and now the delegates not just acknowledge their own thoughts and beliefs but also have a glimpse of the peers they are with today, too!

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“Hell YEAH!!”, YIC kickstarts.

How’s The Josh?
High Sir!!

And the mega event that was long-awaited has begun with full vigor and Josh!!!

Enter Kamal Seth, the Chief Happiness Officer with a thumping introduction and set the already pumped up energy even higher!! “Shake the building” is all he is up to today, all for good! His famous Clapping and “Hell Yeah” ritual channelized the energy into focus and attentiveness for the two days!

79 cities  have come today to this capital of India as over 400 jovial faces from these cities were greeted. A tribute to the nation with a vitalizing Vande Mataram slowly compounded the high spirits with a constructive seriousness of the cause we are here for!

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The reason we are here for, is most definitely, #DoWhatYouLove because that is the one thing that is the antidote to depression, something that is plaguing not just India but the world as well. But besides this, the edition is also a sustainable one. The delegates raised their Reusable Cups and pledged to be a #SustainabilityWarrior and fight the degenerative demons haunting our Nation and the World, with their passions and innovative solutions. Kamal also asked the young souls a promise to use their reusable cups to the point it gets used or overused. Sure, we are here to tackle big challenges, but first, each one need to become the Sustainable Warriors ourselves. 

“I am a Sustainability Warrior” , the crowd roared and thus the #YouthForSustainability Movement reached the delegates who are now cautious of their actions for individual behavior have the power to change the course of the Nation! 

With the Magic Circle and the Why, How and What Golden Circle, he explained and discussed the importance of #DoWhatYouLove and got them engaged and thinking about incorporating their passions and making a living out of it! 

To say the least, the introduction by Kamal got pretty intense as he touched niches of our beings that revolved around sustainability and our passion areas albeit keeping the tempo and energy alive!