Mississauga (Canada)-based UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) evangelist Ayush Chopra (17) has every reason to feel elated. In July this year, this teen was conferred the prestigious Diana Award 2019, established by the UK government in 1999 in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, to acknowledge outstanding young leaders for selflessly creating and sustaining positive social change in their communities around the world. This award is a prerequisite to qualify for the next grade Diana Legacy Award.
In 2017, Ayush founded a twitter online community @SDGs for children — now registered under Canada’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Act — to support Agenda 2030 of the United Nations globally. The @SDGs community continuously reminds the public of the 17 SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 with a 2030 deadline and offers children around the world a unique platform to connect, create and collaborate for a better and sustainable world.
The elder of two children of Hemant Chopra, scientist at the National Informatics Centre, Delhi, and Jyoti, director of an IT company, Ayush is a class XII student of the Rick Hansen Secondary School, Mississauga. Born and raised in India, he is an alum of Delhi’s top-ranked Ahlcon International School, and began his ‘advocacy’ in 2016 when he was 13 years old. He moved to Canada in 2018. “The SDGs are a prescription for equitable and sustainable development for the entire world,” says Ayush. Among them: no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation.
Looking to the future, Ayush is now focusing on higher education options and ways and means to expand @SDGs footprint worldwide. “I am exploring bachelor’s degree programmes in computer science. Simultaneously, I am working on my next book in consultation with 50 global educators titled SDGs White Book for teachers. In an increasingly polluted world running out of natural resources, actualisation of the SDGs is the only hope for the survival of humankind. Therefore, there’s no time to lose for implementing them,” says Ayush.
Clear the gangway!
Paromita Sengupta (Bangalore)