Kanhaiya Varshney is an 18 years old educationist and social entrepreneur from Delhi. As a STEM education advocate, he is working towards strengthening the education system by transforming the lives of underprivileged children through 21st-century learning, literacy, and life skills. He is the Founder & President of the “Be Dauntless Foundation”, India’s Proactive Youth-Led Organization with a vision of reimagining a better world. He also works as a writer for blind students.
In 2016, Kanhaiya was the only Indian to get selected as a global finalist for the VTRAC Program by Harvard University and was invited for the PennApps; the World’s biggest hackathon at the University of Pennsylvania. Similarly, He became the youngest ever humanitarian to receive the Birla Young Indian Award. He describes himself as a passionate, problem solver, and result-oriented educator, who is on a mission to make children live better through quality education.
Kanhaiya has created an amazing impact on the community. In these challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic, Kanhaiya is running a Meal To Heal campaign under the umbrella of Be Dauntless Foundation to provide two times meals and necessities to needy individuals at their doorstep.
When the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed and schools were closed, the concept of digital classes emerged. However, as everyone was adapting to this new normal, Kanhaiya realized that many slum children were offline, They did not have access to smartphones, laptops, internet, or in some cases even electricity. So he and his team come up with the idea of ‘HumMali’ and started teaching kids through the audio conference call.
Kanhaiya has also helped kids escape child marriage and child labor, Furthermore, he created a 5-level curriculum to educate the rural masses in India. He envisions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals of – No Poverty, Quality Education, & Gender Equality.
Kanhaiya believes in change and action. His works truly empower youths to act for positive change. He is one of the Finalists of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero 2020. We had a few conversations with him regarding his projects and initiatives;
How was your experience when you were announced as the Top 6 Finalist of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero India?
I was extremely grateful and happy at the same time. It was great to hear that I was selected for the finale. This will motivate me to do more towards the betterment of society.
What inspires you to become a result-oriented educator?
Close to 97% of children in the age group of 6 to 14 years are going to school. Yet, children are not necessarily learning. Poor quality teaching and learning practices result in lower school attendance. The learning crisis is increasing day by day, over 70% of children are unable to read simple text or do basic arithmetics. This motivated me to become a STEM Education advocate and bring change.
You are a founder of the ‘Be Dauntless Foundation ’which empowers underprivileged children. How did you get your idea or concept to initiate it into action?
I had been teaching slum kids near my home for a couple of years and during this period; I got to know that society still practices evils like child marriage, gender discrimination, and child labor. All this despite innumerable efforts by the government and NGOs at various levels. So after much deliberation, I thought to contribute to my end to bring a change in the system. This was when the “Be Dauntless Foundation” was born in June 2019 – to transform the lives of underprivileged children through quality education. Since we took off, Be Dauntless Foundation has empowered more than 30,000 lives in India.
In your opinion; what personality traits do educators need to be successful educators?
A successful educator must need to be empathetic and modest who can understand one’s problem and help them with patience. Successful educators are the change makers so if you want to bring a change you need to be open enough to get dissolved among others and enlighten the community.
What are your plans?
In the next 3 years, we aim to empower 2 million lives through quality education, and also we will expand our work to 28 states to achieve the UN sustainable development goals of – No Poverty, Quality Education, and Gender Equality.
What is your message to the teenagers?
I strongly believe that youth with a passion for a cause and zeal to solve problems can create a positive impact.