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Monday, April 12, 2021

A 16-year-old boy’s aim to rid problems in rural India with tech solutions

Mehta aspires to rid all the problems that plague our society, especially in rural India, with tech solutions. 

Sixteen-year-old Satyam Mehta, a class 11 student of Noida’s Amity International School, has founded two ventures as part of his aim to solve diverse problems in rural India through tech solutions: JunkGuards and Rural Invest. He is an active member of a third initiative called Pravakriti.

Mehta aspires to rid all the problems that plague our society, especially in rural India, with tech solutions. 

Mehta founded JunkGuards in 2018, with the aim to ensure adherence to proper waste management practices. It also connects all the stakeholders in the e-waste ecosystem:  the producers, the users and the e-recyclers.

“I launched it after I did a programme with The TiE Young Entrepreneur (TYE), where students learn about entrepreneurship, ideation and business basics. JunkGuards collaborates with RWAs, installs e-waste bins in localities encouraging people to dispose of their e-waste. So far, we have collected 700kgs of e-waste in these bins, which was then given away for scientific disposal,” The New Indian Express quoted Mehta as saying.

Incepted last year, Rural Invest aims to inculcate financial literacy among people in rural areas.

“It is a bootstrapped start-up, which I founded with three others Naman Tekriwal, Raghav Sharma and Madhav Sharma. We have developed a mobile application (Rural Invest, available on both Android and iOS) for people residing in rural areas to invest in mutual funds through SIPs,” he added. 

Mehta said that when it comes to finance, there is a huge urban-rural divide in the country. “Technology has the power to change the world while financial literacy empowers people,” he said.

“Children can be a good medium through which adults can learn,” says Mehta, who now plans to visit schools and colleges in villages.

Mehta further said that Pravakriti is an initiative for promoting better menstrual health and period positivity among both men and women. “We also hold awareness drives on the importance of sanitary napkins in various underprivileged schools,” he said.

“As I secure more educational qualifications, I will take up other issues that rig our society as well,” Mehta said.

In my free time, you will find me either playing chess or tennis. I am truly inspired by Magnus Carlson and Parimarjan Negi, who became grandmasters at a young age. Apart from these, I love listening to music, and reading books related to science and technology. A brief history of time is my favourite book,” he added.

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