Young Achiever 2011
Chief Guest and Magsaysay award recipient Harish Hande (centre) with other dignitaries, award winners and the YAA team.
The results of the state-wide search for the Young Achiever 2011 were announced at a ceremony held at the Sheraton Bangalore Hotel on 11 November. Chief Guest Harish Hande, noted social entrepreneur and Magsaysay Award winner, presented the Young Achiever 2011 trophy and citation to Kuldeep Dantewadia.
M. R. Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group, then presented the Young Achiever a cheque for Rs 1,00,000. Special mention awards, with a citation and cash prize, were also presented to Vishal Kumar Jain (Community Service), Sharmada Balu (Tennis) and Arundhuti Gupta (Community Service/Special Entrepreneurship).
Young Achiever 2011
Kuldeep Dantewadia: This enterprising 23-year-old Bangalore boy founded The Environment Group, which focuses on Solid Waste Management Solutions, Carbon Footprint and Carbon Management. He also started an NGO, ‘Reap Benefits’—India’s first environment portal that grades educational institutions and rewards students. He was selected Social Innovator by StartingBloc 2011, Boston, and was Indian representative at the South Asian Youth Conference held in May 2011. Kuldeep is also a national level quizzer.
Kuldeep Dantewadia receiving the citation from M. R. Jaishankar, CMD,
Special Mention Awards
Sharmada Balu: This 18-year-old is a promising tennis champion and the highest ranked WTA player among juniors. She is also the first Indian Junior to win the Indian Tennis Federation Meet in May 2011. She has won three successive national women’s titles as a Junior. She is also a recipient of the prestigious Kempegowda Award.
Vishal Kumar Jain: Originally from Bellary, 26-year-old Vishal is currently a second year student, specialising in Marketing and HR, at IIM Lucknow. A serious eye problem he had from childhood resulted in complete vision loss when he was in Std 9.He initially discontinued his studies, but resumed his education on moving to Bangalore. He also became involved in several social initiatives and worked hard on improving his personal skills. In 2009, he cleared CAT and is perhaps the first visually challenged person to have been admitted to an IIM. Vishal has initiated many social projects concerned with helping the visually impaired and underprivileged, providing career counselling for government school children and sponsoring education for the less privileged.
Arundhuti Gupta: 25-year-old Arundhuti founded an NGO called Mentor Together in 2009. A registered charitable trust, Mentor Together works to empower the lives of under-served urban youth through several mentoring programmes. Their projects are based on a special curriculum which helps the mentees learn English and develop life and communication skills. These mentoring relationships provide significant opportunities for all-round development.