V-Awardees 2021

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Akarsh Shroff
21 years old, Bangalore, Karnataka

Akarsh founded his own NGO at the age of 17, YuvaSpark with the aim of improving the quality of education for underserved children and has managed to overall improve the quality of education for 5000+ underprivileged children from May 2018 to early 2020. He runs 4 education projects through volunteering at 11 centres comprising orphanages, government schools and an after-school centre. Through the projects Vineeta, Utsaaha Ullaasa, LEAD, he has helped the under privileged children by academic mentorship, linguistic skill development, interpersonal skill development and library enrichment & development.

During the destute time of this pandemic (Covid), he managed to raised INR 43,00,000+ for COVID relief project called Project Q with the support of 1500+ donors through crowdfunding and received 17,00,000+ rupees worth of in-kind donations from corporates to impact people across 8 districts in 3 states of India. ​He aims to replicate their volunteering models to inspire more youngsters across India and scale to at least 10 states in the next year.

He has not only taken volunteering as his full time career but has also started a changemaking movement through his student-driven weekend volunteering programs to engage more youngsters to take meaningful social action across different geographies.

Arshya started her own English Edtech and digital literacy platform “Read Together” in 2019 which provides children of classes 1-5 with their English syllabus in an audio-visual format to facilitate a multi-sensory, engaging and interactive form of learning. She has impacted 1500+ students this year and aims to impact 3000+ by next year. She partnered with Chimple, Edutennis and Centre for Catalyzing Change to work with them at a personal level to track the progress of her program and further get involved in providing education accessibility on ground. Her work has been featured in prestigious magazines like Indian Express, Education World, Business World, Rediff etc. Her project has helped children under the Right to Education Act, who come from economically weaker sections of society.

She believes that the work that she is doing through Read Together is extremely relevant to today’s society. The pandemic has taught us all how to adapt to technology and has made it clear that digital literacy is the need of the hour. Through her initiative, she wishes to achieve it.

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Arshya Gaur
17 years old, Delhi

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Devansh Mehta
27 years old, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Devansh Mehta started volunteering since 2017. A journalist by training, he did his master’s project at the Columbia Journalism School. He volunteered with CGNet Swara, and worked with the 10 million strong Gond tribal group in the Dandakaranya forest region of Central India. The organisation is a news outlet that distributes and collects information from the community. He developed an application called Mobile Satyagraha that allows urban activists all over the world to adopt problems reported on the platform and work with the administration towards its resolution. He co-designed and co-created 5 different technologies with CGNet Swara which is collectively been used by over 15,000 people. He has done fundraising and helping CGNet Swara get an INR 33 lakh grant from Tata Trusts in 2018, INR 19 lakh from South-Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) in 2019 and INR 1 crore from IPSMF during 2017-2020.

During the first lockdown from April to June 2020, he volunteered to help CGNet Swara (an NGO with a helpline number) give food to migrants, return them to their villages, etc. He has been previously awarded for his contributions by SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge, Columbia University ($30,000 award to social entrepreneurs for validating ideas to transform society), Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship, Tamer Centre for Social Enterprise, Columbia Business School ($5000 fellowship awarded to select graduates that work with non-profits or social enterprises immediately after graduation, and Social enterprise Voicedeck incubated at Microsoft Research India’s Centre for Societal Impact through Cloud and AI (SCAI)

Rashmi is a 24 years old Environment Conservationist from Raigarh, Maharashtra who started Mumbai Ploggers, a youth initiative which mobilized 200+ Mumbaikars and Navi Mumbaikars to work towards environment conservation efforts and sensitize the volunteers towards waste problem. She organized 50 clean ups till date and collaborating with local government bodies as well as NGOs on various occasions to create an amplified impact. With her initiatives, they have collected over 450 kgs of waste in the past of which they have sent 30 kgs of plastic for recycling.

Her initiatives have been seen at – Owe Damn, Kharghar hills – 3 spots , Taloja Hills, Murbi Gaon, Prabhadevi Beach, Airoli Mangrooves. Her initiative Chalk of Shame and Slogan Ing focus on circling litter and cigarette butts on the roads and writing provoking slogans to make people responsible for cleanliness. She has also been actively working on reforestation, trail building, bird survey and plant tagging in collaboration with iNature Watch foundation.

With her recent initiatives, post Ganpati Visarjan Clean up with Rotract SIES Nerul, restoration of Prabhadevi beach in Mumbai along with the BMC and Coastal Clean-up Project has proven to be a mark on the stone and been recognised by The Economic Times as a Planet Buddy in the SDG Summit 2021.


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Rashmi Singh
24 years old, Raigarh, Maharashtra

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Sanjoli Banerjee
22 years old, Karnal, Haryana

Sanjoli Banerjee a 22 year old, Founded ‘Sushiksha: Empowerment through Education’ provide holistic development to students who attend the school by mobile school initiative. Sushiksha conduct art, dance, sports, fitness, drama, public speaking classes besides academic sessions. They have empower over 165 students, has over 30 trainers, all youth and 8 officers in different leadership roles.

She has been volunteering with an organisation Sarthi in different capacities for over 17 years now, having successfully sensitised more than 10,000 people in different cities in India through the three projects carried out. She has engaged rural women and young girls in skill development by imparting stitching skills to make them self-reliant. They planted more than 450 trees across North India and travelled 4500 kms on road expedition across seven states of India, reaching more than 20 schools and colleges and about 30 villages and cities. They got women Police Stations opened in her city with the help of The Ministry of Women and Child Welfare.

She wants to replicate the model of ‘Sushiksha’, working on menstrual hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness, and on mental health and wellness of people, to collaborate and partner with other experts and organisations at the national and international level and to make the current projects sustainable, engage more volunteers, and focus on long-term solutions to make people truly empowered and self-reliant.

Shankar has been volunteering at Vrikshit Foundation for 2.5 years now. So far, he and his team have managed to clean 280+ locations, with the trash weighing up more than 70,00,000 kilograms. He and his team have planted 19000 trees and managed to beautify more than 50 walls across the capital of the country. More than 30,000 kilogram of trash has been collected and cleaned in the hills of Himachal Pradesh by his team. Down South, his team have cleaned the Azheekal Beach in Kerala, the Saroor Nagar Lake in Hyderabad and several beaches in Mumbai.

During the times of covid distress, the team able to feed more than 10,000 migrant labourers’ families, distribute more than 200 oximeters and 50+ oxygen cylinders free of cost to the needy. They provided ration to families residing in a slum area in Delhi regularly for 3 months in collaboration with Zomato Feed India.

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Shankar Singh
24 years old, Delhi

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Shiwani Agarawal
23 years old, Araria, Bihar

Founder of Break the Silence and dedicated her full time to Created awareness among village women and children about Quality education, Gender equality, Child Sex Abuse and menstrual hygiene. She has delivered workshop, distributed sustainable sanitary napkins, conducted research to understand the issues that menstruators are facing while on their periods. She volunteered with Baala- travelled to 50 villages and communities (15,000 people) in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, sensitise women and children about menstrual hygiene. She has sensitized above 50,000 young adults across Nepal, Gujarat, Bihar and West Bengal about sexual abuse. She has educated students about the Environment Impact Assessment and the possible implication of the document in their future. She started a Fridays for Future (FFF) which is a movement that advocates for climate justice, so that there is a better and sustainable future for the next generation. She has delivered workshops in schools around Delhi to children so that they understand their carbon footprint and the implications of their activities on the environment.


Tanuj started Friends2Help as a WhatsApp group which was later registered as a society in 2017. Over the course of 4 years, the society has donated 1.25 lacs units of blood. In 2019, Tanuj was awarded the ‘Roll of Honour’ by Alma Mater Punjab University for working in the field of blood donation.


24 years old, Fatehabad, Haryana

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Tanya Chadha
25 years old, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Founder of an NGO, My Safe Circle with an ambition to fights against mental illness and aims to provide a safe environment for the survivors and their families to speak their minds up. She successfully collaborated with multiple MUNs, schools, and colleges like Sanjeevani, Inevita Mun, The Philanthropy Conclave, Mysthetic Mun, Conrad Model UN, Ilaria debate, Resistencia Summit, etc to worked in the field of therapies and mental health services for the betterment of society. She worked as trustee with Ladli Foundation Trust and was involved in different projects like Project Shagun to carry-out mass wedding of 1700+, Project Josh to eliminate the social threat by diverting young boys and juveniles from substance abuse, Saheli – a program for the uneducated woman in poor areas educating them on the issue of sexual abuse, unprotected sex, and most important of all the menstrual hygiene.

She was a President of the National Service Scheme of Shivaji College and Senior Student Coordinator of Women Development Cell of Shivaji College (01/08/2014-01/04/2017) and started the initiative to organize various campaigns in slums and villages near the college on the health and sanitization of women. Campaigns also focused on non-violent environment abridgment, anti-drug movement, cleanliness, and plantation drives, both within and outside the premises.

Vinay being specially-abled could understand the hardship faced by people of similar ability. He founder of The Advantage India, a social enterprise which empowers the differently-abled community of India by providing them with employment, education, counselling and vocational training. He has been able to reach out to 120+ NGOs & corporate companies across India to recruit people with disabilities.

They have partnered with more than 15+ renowned NGOs from where I recruit differently-abled people and help them get jobs through my more than 15+ Partner corporate companies. Through organisation’s Vocational Training Program, they have helped more than 500 people. More than 200+ specially-abled children and their parents have been helped through counselling program, and 5000+ lives have been impacted through their career programs and other workshops. They have helped 10 specially-abled people in starting their businesses and thus getting them self-employed. Organization recruited around 5400 differently-abled people from across the country who are being helped through organisation’s various programs.

With his foundation, he aims to provide platform to encourage others to pursue their passions, work towards their community, and create some tangible impact.

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Vinay Goyal
19 years old, Patiala, Punjab

V-Awards 2021 Ceremony