Udit Singhal, an 18 year old boy from Delhi has been selected by the UN (United Nations) in the list of young leaders for Sustainable Development Goals Programme, 2020. This program provides an opportunity for youngsters who are endeavouring to combat world’s most burning issues. Singhal is among the Class of 17 Young leaders for UN Sustainable Development Goals. He is also the founder of “Glass2Sand“, a zero waste ecosystem. The company addresses the growing jeopardy of glass waste in Delhi.
Journey of “Glass2Sand”
Udit is a student of The British School in New Delhi. Idea of this project struck in his mind when he saw waste collectors struggling for waste bottles collection. In 2018, due to demand drop, the bottles had become infeasible for the collectors. Meanwhile, the reason was lack of large storage spaces and high transportation costs. The segregation of empty glass bottles stopped and now they were directly sent to landfills for dumping. Glass2Sand came to the rescue and according to the website, till now over 8,000 bottles have been stopped from dumping. As a result, 4,815 kg of high-grade silica sand has been produced so far. The glass bottles usually take million years to decompose but Udit’s initiative made these to crush into commercially valuable sand.
Udit on ‘UN Young Leader’ selection
On being chosen for the highest profile recognition opportunity, Udit is really excited. He issued a statement saying,” As a Young Leader for the SDGs, I will be an active agent of change. I hope to be able to encourage communities to embrace a better civic sense to create sustainable living spaces- like when detonation of mountain-high landfills occur.”
The 2020 Class of 17 Young Leaders include representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Ireland, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Turkey, Uganda and the United States.
What is Young Leaders for SDG initiative?
Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth organise the program every two years. Young leaders of ages between 18 and 29 come together to represent the diverse issues of youngsters from every region of the world. They are also responsible for encouraging millions of young leaders in support of Sustainable Development Goals. The selected leaders aim with the help of strategic opportunities provided by UN and through their own existing dynamism, platforms and networks.
UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake said, “As the UN marks its 75th anniversary during unprecedented times, the 2020 Young SDG Leaders are proving to be an inspiration. They are a clear example of how youths are leading the way in shaping a more sustainable and inclusive future for all. They are continuously showing immense resilience, resourcefulness and leadership. These younger ones are the flag bearers of innovation to recover, better and achieve the SDGs.”