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Vimlendu Jha – Head, Swechha

A dynamic youth leader from India who currently heads Swechha, a Delhi-based youth and environment organization. Since founding the organization in 2000, Vimlendu has successfully turned Swechha into one of India’s leading youth-run and youth-focused NGOs, engaged in issues of active citizenship and volunteering for the environment and social development. With an outreach of 10 million members, 10000 volunteers and over 300 associated organizations across India each year, Swechha is widely recognized as one of the country’s most influential organizations on youth matters. He has also worked closely with the Government of India through its Planning Commission arm, including the local government of New Delhi.

In 2004, Vimlendu was profiled as one of the top 25 youth leaders of the world by International Youth Foundation through the international publication ‘Our Time is Now’, for his work on environment and on building participation for river keeping. In 2004, ‘India Today’ and ‘Outlook’ – India’s leading news magazines acknowledged him as one of the top youth leaders of India. In 2007, Vimlendu was selected as one of six change makers worldwide by CNN International to be part of their Be the Change programme and was followed by the channel each week for over a year. This visual chronicle of Vimlendu, a ‘natural leader’, is estimated to have been viewed by over 100 million people worldwide.

He also anchored the International Year of Volunteers 2001 initiative in India through UNV, heading the Volunteer Promotion Unit in New Delhi. He has considerable international experience including association with Civicus World Assembly, British Council, IVLP (Dept of State, USA), UNV, UNDP – offering his expertise and services at these forums over a decade. In 2011, Vimlendu was invited to speak at the UN General Assembly on issues of the Youth in global south.

Vimlendu’s ability to network with youth organizations across the country as well as his keen understanding of the issues facing young people, makes him regularly sought after for advice and experience. The Inoue Public Relations Inc., Tokyo, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JICA), GIZ (Germany), Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO), the British Council, the State Department of the US Government and Sarvodaya Sri Lanka are to name a few international agencies who continue to closely associate with him.
He has been nominated as Global Economic Fellow for the year 2012.
Among other interests, Vimlendu is also a successful green entrepreneur. He helped set up the Green the Gap Collective, a fair trade initiative that produces innovative products from waste material.

Besides a young leader, Vimlendu is also an avid photographer, musician and film-maker. He has made award-winning documentaries on environment and youth issues, such as Disposable and Wasted, which deal with solid waste management; Jijivisha, which deals with water issues and the plight the river Yamuna; and Tatva, which is on climate, water and energy issues. All the films have been broadcast through several national and international news channels.

Vimlendu’s innovative and unconventional approaches to contemporary environmental and social issues have touched over 60 million people worldwide. He continues to be a dynamic and inspirational youth leader.

He continues to engage with several Heads of State internationally on issues of youth and environment. He also trains and builds capacities of local parliamentarians in India

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