Ankit Kawatra, founder of Feeding India and recognized social entrepreneur has been named in the Forbes 30 under 30 list under the Social Entrepreneurs category from India. Ankit was 22 when he decided to quit his corporate job to focus on tackling food waste and hunger in India. In two years his initiative has expanded to 4,500 volunteers in 45 cities, serving over 4.8 million meals.
Forbes announced its 2017 “30 Under 30 Asia” list on 12th April 2017, featuring young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who are challenging conventions and making an impact in today’s world. The second annual list includes 30 honorees for each of the 10 categories that make up the list. Other mentions on the list include actor Alia Bhatt, Margot Robbie (lead actress in Wolf of Wall street, Suicide Squad), Joseph Schooling (swimmer and athlete who defeated Michael Phelps in Olympics in Rio denying Phelps his 23rd gold).
More than 1,200 submissions were received but only 300 applicants made the final cut. The honorees were vetted by a panel of expert judges.All under 30 years old, the honorees were selected by judges who are some of the most accomplished and acclaimed in their respective fields.
Ankit was quoted saying “Being on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List is like a dream come true. This is not just recognition for me, but also for my dream of a hunger free world, where no child has to die of not having proper food. I am honored to be on the Forbes List, and forever grateful to the Feeding India volunteers, team and supporters who have been with me through thick and thin. This recognition will help establish Hunger as a stronger concern globally and take us all a step closer to my dream.
Also, since I work on ground to fight hunger and to ensure that excess food is not wasted but instead is given to people in need, this recognition gives me encouragement to do more and better. The journey has only begun and I’m excited! ”
In September 2016, Ankit was appointed as the UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon selected from 18,000 applicants across 186 countries.Recently, he also won the Queen’s Young Leaders award in UK for his exceptional work in transforming the lives of others and will be receiving the award by Her Majesty the Queen in Buckingham Palace, London in June this year. Earlier this year, Feeding India grabbed the Lean Startup of the year award under social sector and Ankit was named the Young Entrepreneur of the year in Small Enterprise Business Awards. In November 2016, Ankit was awarded the Karamveer Chakra and REX Global fellowship which has also been awarded to Prince Charles, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in the past.
Now, adding another feather to his cap, Ankit has made it to the prestigious Forbes Under 30 Asia list. The list which released today, comprised of 300 names from Asia, who made it big in different fields.
He has been named under the social entrepreneur category. The profile description in Forbes website reads, “Kawatra’s Feeding India tries to solve the country’s hunger problem by providing free meals through volunteers and donation centers. It operates a smartphone app where restaurants and individuals can sign up to donate food, which are then collected and distributed to people in need. The nonprofit
organization has a network of more than 4,500 volunteers, who run regular feeding programs in more than 45 Indian cities and has served more than 4.8 million meals so far.”
Rana Wehbe, Senior Digital Editor, Asia at Forbes Media, said: “This year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list highlights the diversity of talent in this vast region, with impressive young entrepreneurs from all walks of life pushing the boundaries of innovation.”
Srishti Jain, managing communication and partnerships for Feeding India said “Ankit is raising awareness about a much needed problem of food waste and hunger not only in India but the entire world. With more recognitions like this he is raising the bar higher each time and creating more impact among the youth of today”.
Feeding India is a not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to solve the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the country. They provide balanced diet and nutritious meals to people who cannot access or earn food for themselves, namely- children, elderly and specially-abled. Feeding India aims to help children focus on education by supporting small-scale schools which sustained feeding programs.
It all started when Ankit Kawatra attended a grand wedding where there were 10,000 people invited and 35+ cuisines. He wondered what would happen to so much food and decided to stay back. Ankit witnessed heaps of excess food being sent straight to the bin which could have fed 10,000+ people just that night. At 22, he quit his well-paying job and a growing career at an MNC to do something which he felt is more important- making India a hunger and food-waste free nation. Ankit is one of those people who wants to create a difference in the world.