On International Youth Day, Let’s Celebrate Our Youngest Changemakers!

Adrija Sen

August 12, 2022

This International Youth Day, let’s take a minute to recognise and celebrate the inspirational youth leaders, activists, and achievers who are leading the way to a better future!

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At just 15 years old, Gitanjali Rao was chosen as TIME’s first-ever Kid of the Year among 5,000 nominees. Her ultimate mission is to impact change in society and bring positivity to her community by implementing science and technology. Her work tackles many issues like contaminated drinking water, opioid addiction and even cyberbullying.

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Gitanjali Rao Scientist and Inventor

In 2020, a mere 14-year-old Vanisha Umashankar won the prestigious Children's Climate Prize for designing a mobile ironing cart that uses solar panels instead of charcoal to power an iron box. She also got selected for the Prime Minister of India’s Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar shortlist in 2021, the highest civilian award in India for students under 18.

Vanisha Umashankar Scientist and Inventor

24-year-old Neeraj Chopra is the first Asian athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in the men's javelin throw. He has also won the Padma Shri, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award for Athletics and the Arjuna Award for Athletics. Fondly referred to as the ‘golden boy,’ Neeraj is inspiring thousands of young Indian athletes to pursue their dreams.

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Neeraj Chopra Athlete

Indian prodigy chess grandmaster Praggnanandhaa earned his international master title of the youngest at 10 and the grandmaster title at age 12. He was the second-youngest at the time and the fifth-youngest person ever to win the title of Grandmaster.

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Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa Chess Grandmaster

9-year-old Prasiddhi Singh is a social entrepreneur and environmental activist. She began her activism journey at the tender age of four after Cyclone Vardah destroyed villages and farmlands around her house in 2016. She has led thousands of plantation drives and also ensured the plantation of fourteen forests across India, focusing on her home state of Tamil Nadu through the ‘Prasiddhi Forest Foundation.’

Prasiddhi Singh Environmental Activist

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The sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen are the two people responsible for banning plastic on their home island in Bali, Indonesia. The two siblings, aged 20 and 22, co-founded Bye Bye Plastic at the ages of 10 and 12, leading the movement since 2013. They are currently working on a youth empowerment project founded by Melati named Youthtopia.

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Melati & Isabel Wijsen Environmental Activists

Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 for her fight to safeguard the right to education for every child. Malala was shot in 2012 by the Taliban regime in her country Pakistan for standing up for girls' right to education. Surviving the attack, she fled and dedicated her life to the same cause, making her one of the most inspirational leaders in the world today.

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Malala Social Activist

19-year-old Greta Thunberg is one of the most well-known faces of youth activism. She is known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action to stop climate change and has dedicated her whole life to this mission. Greta began her activism when she was only 11 by persuading her parents to change their lifestyle to reduce their carbon footprint.

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Greta Thunberg Environmental Activist