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From Menstruation To Mental Health, These Young Students Are Mitigating Several Issues Of Marginalised Communities

Meet India's young future leaders, who are mitigating various sensitive social issues faced by rural communities and the underprivileged through innovative projects

Meet India's future leaders, who have launched innovative projects to mitigate issues faced by rural and the underprivileged communities. Through the Bengaluru-based foundation, 1M1B's flagship program, the students recently showcased their project's impact at the United Nations.

Around 23 million girls drop-out of school annually in India due to a lack of proper menstrual hygiene management facilities, which include the availability of sanitary pads and information about menstruation, a 2019 report by NGO Dasra stated.

The issue caught the eye of a 15-year-old Bengaluru resident, Ananya Malde. Ms. Malde has founded a project called ?Pragati' that works towards raising awareness about menstrual health and hygiene among the girls in the rural parts of India, with an aim to reduce their drop-out rates from school.

Ms. Malde's project ?Pragati' is primarily based out of her hometown, Gujarat, specifically in Kutch/Kachchh. She has conducted multiple awareness sessions in a few schools in Gujarat. During these sessions, she interacted with over 100 girls and learned about their experiences.

15-year-old Aniketh Kalagara from Bengaluru has initiated a step towards mitigating the issue of ?perfectionism' among the youth through his project ?Ridere'. Ridere works towards raising awareness among young children and their parents about the issue of ?pressure of perfection' among youth aged 10 to 18. The project is driven by his personal experiences.

Through Ridere, Mr. Kalagara conducts multiple mental health workshops and sessions for the youth under the guidance of medical experts and educators. As a part of the project, Mr. Kalagara also educates families of youth about the importance of a parent-child relationship, as he believes a parent-child bond lays the foundation for a child's personality, life choices, and overall behaviour.

18-year-old Meghana Narayanan from Bengaluru has founded a project called ?Abhaya' that makes health and life insurance policies accessible to marginalised communities. She launched the project with the vision of reducing the financial burden of the underprivileged.

Project Abhaya covers issues related to financial burden, lack of insurance coverage, monetary implications due to unprecedented events, and lack of awareness about government schemes among domestic workers and people below the poverty line.

To expand the project's impact, Ms. Narayanan has partnered with Suruchi, an NGO for underprivileged women. This helped her with the enrollment of more beneficiaries.

16-year-old Anvitha Kollipara, who had recently shifted to India from the US. She visited her grandparents' homes in Kapileswarapuram in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, witnessed the disparity between rural and urban areas in terms of the facilities, especially electricity as the villages witnessed frequent power cuts.

Ms. Kollipara launched Project Soledu, an initiative to inform the communities in rural areas about solar power and its positive effects on society by raising awareness and providing informational workshops among children aged between 10-15.

For the workshop, Ms. Kollipara has created a curriculum on solar power and has worked in collaboration with Teach for India schools across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and SOS schools.

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