IIT Kanpur & Tata Trusts backed HelpUsGreen wins UN Young Leaders Award

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Kanpur-based flower recycling startup HelpUsGreen received the United Nations Young Leaders Award at the United Nations General Assembly at New York. HelpUsGreen collects flowers and offerings from religious places and converts them into a biodegradable alternative to Thermacol and incense sticks.

Ankit Agarwal, Co-Founder of HelpUsGreen, was selected as one of the 17 young leaders for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations, at the 73rd session of UN General Assembly in New York. Ankit was picked from over 18,000 youths from over 184 countries.

Over the next two years, Ankit will be involved in UN advocacy efforts and supporting young people to achieve their goals, with the help of the UN.

The young leaders that represented the seventeen countries across five continents range from scientists, inventors, storytellers, and activists.

The UN Young Leaders is a flagship initiative led by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s envoy of youth. The jury comprised of social visionaries and SDG advocates spanning across a range of backgrounds.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur, said, “Flower waste to Greening, IIT Kanpur is proud to be the technology partner of HelpUsGreen, a company dedicated to not only greening the environment but also in the process empowering thousands of women through this endeavour matching IIT Kanpur’s credo of ‘Technology for Sustainable development’.”

HelpUsGreen was founded by Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi in May 2015. It was supported and incubated by Tata Trusts‘ Social Alpha and IIT Kanpur. The startup’s flower recycling technology is a sustainable solution to the temple waste issue, helping preserve rivers.

So far, the startup claims to have recycled more than 11,000 metric tonnes temple waste flowers and recycles around 8.4 tons of waste daily by converting it into the packaging material, charcoal-free incense sticks, and natural vermicompost.

HelpUsGreen is further set to receive “Goal Keepers Award” from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation this month, along with UN Momentum of Change Award, which will be received as part of COP26 summit in Poland in December.


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