By Wasudev Mishra, YES’14 Alumni from Nagpur

“After my Exchange Experience, AFS has been an integral part of my life. The YES Program has been a turning point in my life. In this one year exchange program, I learned to step out of comfort zone and take my responsibility as a global citizen. AFS has taught me to think out of the box for the welfare of society. Through AFS I learnt about global issues and how to find solutions to sort them.

In order to bring a change, I started an Initiative called Silaigram for Empowering Women and Rural Communities to attain sustainable development. In Silaigram, we give an opportunity to underprivileged rural women to earn a living by doing the thing which they are good at. The products that we make in Silaigram are made from upcycled cloth which gets dumped from garment factory and using such cloth reduces the a great quantity of cloth that gets dumped in environment creating problems and thus attaining SDGs.

In June, I got in contact with Ashoka Innovators for Public and got Nominated there for Ashoka Young Changemakers Program.

Ashoka Young Changemakers provides powerful, carefully identified young people and the journey of a young person who has “their dream, their team, and the ability to change the world”. Ashoka shortlisted 12 teenagers from across India out of the 1,200 applications for the first global edition of the Young Changemakers program. The initiative’s aim is to focus on the role of teenagers as influencers and co-leaders as a means to bring about large-scale social change. I got shortlisted for their Ashoka Young Changemakers meet at Bangalore where I got to interact with several other social entrepreneurs.

I had an opportunity to be a part of a Round Table Discussion on Livelihood Creations in Young People with Stakeholders from Government Agencies, Ashoka Fellows, CSR heads, and other Dignitaries.”