From fighting child marriages to making women self reliant: These seven young female activists are changing India

These seven young female activists are effecting change in India in a unique way. Read their incredible stories

While most of us plan on giving back to society but only a few of us succeed in doing so. We want to change  our surrounding but underestimate our capabilities. We want to inspire others but assume that we need to achieve big before making an impact in other’s life. Contrary to the popular perception, these 7 young female activists have proved that age is just a number.  What we really need is determination and perseverance to overcome challenges  then the rest will follow itself.  Check out how these young women made an impact–big and small–with their unique initiatives.
1) Meera Sharma:

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You may have heard of Disney’s musical fantasy film Tangled that tells the story of a princess with the longest and most beautiful hair who’s been imprisoned by an evil witch. It all began when Meera discovered that real hair wigs for cancer patients were very expensive (as high as Rs. 30,000) and the synthetic wigs were itchy and harmful to skin. After Chemotherapy, the cancer patients gradually lose their hair. It becomes emotionally challenging for a woman to face such a situation. The 22 year old along with her friends launched Tangled in Chennai and donated their hairs for the cause. Her organisation partnered with the salon chain, Green Trends roped in a wig-maker, Raj Hair Intl. Pvt. Ltd, who agreed to make natural hair wigs for them at a price of Rs. 4,500 per wig. The cost of wig-making is borne by the sponsors whose generous contributions make this possible. Today, Tangled is working across India to provide free, organic wigs to cancer patients and boost their self-confidence. If you have long locks, you know how it can help others.

2) Anjali Chandrasekhar:

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Anjali raises funds for humanitarian caused through art when she was only 16 . She won the third prize at the United Nations Poster for Peace Contest. The Chennai born artist received the award at the U.N. Headquarters in New York on May 3, 2016. Anjali’s work has been bought by UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNISDR, WWF, FAO, among other organizations. Anjali began teaching underprivileged children at the Integrated Multipurpose Recreation and Hobby Centre (IMRHC) in Bangalore when she was only 10. She started painting even earlier- at the age of 4.

3) Varsha Varghese:

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Varsha came to Delhi all the way from Dubai to pursue economics major from Delhi’s prestigious St Stephen’s College. In  the first year, she joined ‘Make a Difference’ (MAD) as a teaching volunteer. Her association with MAD made her realise that her true calling lies in teaching. In 2014, she along with two of her collegemates Priyanka Roychowdhary and Rahul Sreekumar kickstarted Wordsworth project to  improve language competency in children. The Wordsworth project aims to create interactive reading spaces in low resource schools and learning centres, by availing books and  trained volunteers who teach kids basic grammar through interactive activities. Varsha’s idea is simple- every subject you learn is through the medium of language . She says “you’re in the fourth standard and are good in maths, but not good in English, you might find it difficult to solve your statement problems. Many kids just go about memorising stuff without understanding the meaning, because they’re unable to comprehend the words.”

4) Avani Singh:

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The Delhi girl  founded Ummeed in 2012 with a sole aim to empower woman. Then a 16 year old girl Avani launched program under which women from the slums of Delhi were trained to become taxi and rickshaw (electric rickshaws) drivers. Initially finding a women driver was a challenge as it was against the established mindset of male drivers. Avani partnered with Delhi Based NGO Cequin (Centre for Equality and Inclusion) to find women driver  Soon, she had her first e-rickshaw driver, Kohinoor, who was delighted by the opportunity.Today, Avani has now trained several underprivileged  women to be e-rickshaw drivers but taxi drivers too. Umeed is giving hope to many women and making them self dependent

5) Rashi Anand:

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Rashi was so moved by the plight of the kids on the streets of Delhi that she decided to launch Lakshyam, an NGO  for street and underprivileged children in Delhi when she was only 18 years old. The NGO rehabilitates street children who were susceptible to drug abuse, prostitution, begging, petty thefts and so forth. She also set up a Toy Library programme that provided pictorial books and educational toys to street kids.

6) Kirti Bharti:

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Child marriages are illegal in India but over 40% such marriages take place in the country. This 29-year-old activist is a fearless crusader who has played a key role in stopping nearly 900 child marriages and has also  annulled 150 marriages involving minor boys and girls. A resident of Rajasthan, Kirti Bharti has dedicated her life to protecting helpless children whose families force them into marriage at a young age. In 2011, Kriti established the Saarthi Trust to help prevent child marriage by educating girls about their rights.

7) Trisha Shetty:

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A 26-year-old from India, launched Shesays , a non-profit organization with a full team of “fabulous” under-25s in 2015. Trisha’s organisation aims to end gender based discrimination and advance women’s rights in India by engaging with the youth and activating them as agents of social change.