Ankit Agarwal

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Ankit Agarwal

Funded with support from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation
2017 Global Fellow
Founder of Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt. Ltd

Ankit Agarwal 2017 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Beat 'untouchability' by employing and training manual scavengers in India to convert the floral waste dumped in the Holy River Ganges from temples and mosques into proprietary products.

Multimedia 

Photos courtesy of Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt. Ltd.
Summary 

Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt. Ltd is a social enterprise that owns the brand Helpusgreen. Helpusgreen preserves the Ganges River by collecting the floral waste from temples and mosques that is dumped in the river and flowercycling (upcycling) it into patented fertilizer and incense sticks. This, in turn, provides livelihoods to manual scavenger families in Uttar Pradesh, India. Since the Ganges is considered sacred in India, cleaning the river not only provides employment to manual scavengers, but eliminates the entrenched attitudes and discriminatory practices that still bind families to this degrading occupation. The community benefits from a reduction in disease, predictable income, social acceptance and, most importantly, dignity. The project is scalable and brings a hope to revive the Ganges.

Experience 

Ankit is the founder of Kanpur Flowercycling Pvt. Ltd, a social enterprise that owns the brand Helpusgreen. Helpusgreen preserves the Ganges River from becoming a religious sewer by flowercycling the waste from temples and mosques that is dumped in the Ganges River into patented fertilizer and incense products. This, in turn, provides livelihoods to manual scavenger families in India. Ankit was awarded the UNEP, Centre for Environment Education 'Unsung Heroes' Award and has won the Wharton India Economic Forum People's choice Award 2017, Tie Global Spirit of Manufacturing Award for Social Impact, and the prestigious Abby Gold 2016. Ankit has worked on sustainability projects across 26 countries and was selected amongst the 21 young leaders for extraordinary skills by the Asia Society. He is an Acumen, Unltd fellow and a GAP Changemaker. Ankit received his bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering followed by a master's in Innovation Management from SIBM. He has worked at Symantec Corporation as an automation scientist, has published 17 research papers, and holds a patent.

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