Lifestyle Viral and Trending 11 Aug 2018 Changing lives &lsqu ...

Changing lives ‘Garv’ se

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | POOJA PRABBHAN
Published Aug 11, 2018, 12:07 am IST
Updated Aug 11, 2018, 12:07 am IST
Garvita Gulhati will represent India at the Global Youth Summit which begins tomorrow in Aarau.
Garvita Gulhati.
 Garvita Gulhati.

At 18, Bengalurean Garvita Gulhati is wise beyond her years. While most of her counterparts are twiddling their thumbs and ranting on Twitter, she’s fine-tuning her curriculum vitae with sharp ‘change-making’ skills. The young tyke has been zeroed in by the Global Youth Summit to represent India at the Summit, to be held between August 12-18 at  Aarau in Switzerland. The city girl who rose to social prominence post her NGO Why Waste, gets chatty with us...

Attributing the opportunity to an interesting WhatsApp message, Garvita shares, “I received a detailed link to the summit and details regarding registrations through Ashoka’s (an organisation that brings social change makers under one roof) WhatsApp group. Out of curiosity, I  explored and winded up filling the form and completing the procedures they asked.” And, the young change maker was in for a pleasant surprise when the results rolled out. “I was ecstatic when I cleared the first round, which was strenuous in terms of the essays we had to submit. But, the other two rounds which included the interviews were even more rigorous, so it was amazing when I got the final email of selection! There were over 48,000 entries from across 185 countries, where they shortlisted 60 candidates, and I will be solely representing India which is most exciting!” she says.

 

While she’s got age on her side, Garvita reveals it took her long until most people began to take her work seriously. “It used to be difficult to get people to listen to us, because they thought we weren’t making sense and being young, they probably didn’t understand much of what we were doing. Another thing was that Why Waste? started when I hit the prime of my high school the time when we should be ideally studying for our entrance exams. I got many comments like, ‘Why are you wasting your time with Why Waste?’ And ‘You have more important things to do,’ etc. But what always kept me going was the mindset that there is no right or wrong time for change. And if you believe that you have the capacity to make a difference now, then you don’t need to wait for anyone to tell you when you’re probably 30-years-old that, okay now is the right time to do this. That’s never going to happen. Honestly, this is something I face even today, in college. Many people don’t see the importance in social and environmental i
ssues, and find it a trivial activity,” says the PESIT student.

Aside of the summit, there are two other initiatives in the pipeline that Garvita is looking forward to. “The Change Makers Society is an initiative to empower college-going youth to use their knowledge and abilities to build a sustainable society. I’ve been able to set-up a sustainable module of this in our college, where we have over 100 students working across six domains to revolutionise change with the support of Global Shapers Bengaluru Hubare.”

That aside,  Lead Young at Schools is a collaborative initiative with Ashoka where we plan on sharing stories of change makers who started off at a young age, and are super successful. “We’ve already reached out to over 60+ youth across 40 schools in Bengaluru in just two months of flying this initiative, there’s more to go,” concludes Garvita, who’s also a trained Kathak dancer and a water baby with a flair for writing.

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