24 Sep 2018
IIT Kanpur-backed start-up receives United Nations Young Leaders award
Kanpur-based start-up HelpUsGreen, which converts flowers and offerings collected from religious places into a biodegradable alternative to thermacol and incense sticks, received the UN Young Leaders Award at the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.
Ankit Agarwal, Co-founder of HelpUsGreen, was selected as one of the 17 young leaders for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.
HelpUsGreen has recycled 11,060 metric tons of temple-waste flowers
Founded in May'15 by Ankit Agarwal (28) and Karan Rastogi (29), HelpUsGreen has been supported by Tata Trusts' Social Alpha and IIT-Kanpur.
HelpUsGreen offers a sustainable solution to the monumental "temple-waste" problem in India.
Having pioneered the 'flowercycling' technology to preserve the Rivers Ganges from becoming a dumping ground for temple waste, they have recycled 11,060 metric tons of temple-waste flowers till date.
They employ women manual scavengers, provide them insurance, benefits
The 8.4 tons of floral-waste collected daily is upcycled into a biodegradable packaging material, charcoal-free incense, and natural vermicompost.
In an effort to create a circular economy, HelpUsGreen employs women who were earlier manual scavengers thereby impacting more than 73 families and increasing their income 6x times.
They are also being provided with facilities like insurance, bus service, and medical benefits.
We're proud to partner with HelpUsGreen: IIT-K, Tata Trusts
Manoj Kumar, Head, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Tata Trusts & CEO, Social Alpha, said, "We are proud of what the founders have achieved in a short period."
Professor Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur, said, "Flower waste to Greening, IIT Kanpur is proud to be the technology partner of HelpUsGreen who's endeavor is matching IIT Kanpur's credo of 'Technology for Sustainable development'."
Ankit will be collaborating with UN for next 2 years
Ankit, who was selected from over 18,000 entries from more than 184 countries, will be engaged in UN advocacy efforts and support young people in the realization of the goals by collaborating with the UN for the next two years.
The United Nations Young Leaders is a flagship initiative led by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's envoy of youth.