India, as a country, has prioritised government support for entrepreneurship and spawned a burgeoning culture of innovation, with initiatives such as Startup India.
The resourcefulness of the country's people has globally been celebrated by assigning a unique word called jugaad to it, and in many parts of the country, this culture takes root very young. YONO is all set to recognise such pioneering minds, all under the age of 20.
Six of India's brightest youngsters have been shortlisted for the YONO SBI 20 under 20 award under the category "promising game changers". The YONO SBI 20 under 20 award was instituted to celebrate the successful completion of a year of YONO, SBI's new age digital bank, and to connect with a new generation of influencers from all walks of life who have found inspiration or success at a young age.
Sashi Sreedharan, MD, Microsoft India, and Dilip Asbe, MD, National Payments Corporation of India, were part of the jury that shortlisted these names.
"The jury has gone into a lot of detailed analysis, to shortlist each of these names, which are now open to public voting. We believe that innovation must be encouraged, from a young age. We commend YONO on instituting the YONO SBI 20under20 award for promising game changers," said Mr Asbe.
Among the girls are Kavya Vignesh, 12, from Delhi, who realised that it is a common practice to destroy an unwanted beehive, killing a lot of bees in the process. So, she built a "bee-saver bot", which can relocate a beehive without harming the bees. 17-year-old Pothunuri Laya from Andhra Pradesh has already won the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement in 2016. She developed a low cost vehicular exhaust filter and an aquatic mangrove ecosystem that provides a natural coastal fencing, to preserve the delicate balance in the fragile coastal systems. 16-year-old Tejaswani Priyadarshani from Odisha has created a prototype of a fuel-free "air bike" which runs at up to 60 kilometres per hour. Using the principal of an air-gun, she mounted a cylinder with 10 kgs of compressed air to the back of a bicycle with no pedals. This could potentially have huge applications.
Among the boys is 17-year-old Aarnav Aggarwal from New Delhi, who has saved hundreds of farmers from losing hope in the Vidarbha belt after they suffered crop failures. He created "UjjBhav", a mentorship program and peer-to-peer community, where deprived farmers are connected with successful farmers and professionals in agriculture field for free information sharing and community support. 16-year-old Akash Manoj from Tamil Nadu has developed a skin patch that can detect silent heart attacks. His skin patch, which can be attached to the ear or the wrist, releases a positive electrical impulse that will attract the negatively charged protein released by the heart to signal a heart attack. Harshwardhan Zala is a 15-year-old student from Gujarat, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Rs 5 crore with the state government at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in 2017. He has designed a smart solution using which drones can not only detect but also diffuse landmines on war fields, saving many lives in the process. The army can potentially send these drones to survey minefields, pick up the locations of landmines, and submit their findings to the base-station remotely and the drones can also bomb landmines they spot.
All of these young achievers have speed, flexibility and versatility, which resonates with the values of YONO, SBI's digital bank. YONO is the legacy bank's move to be more fluid and in tandem with a new-age audience that likes to bank at their own convenience on digital platforms.
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